Constance, a volunteer serving in Poland, talks about the experience of team 251: a Team of returning volunteers to Poland.
The joy of wrapping one’s tongue around three consonants in a row – how one forgets the difficulty entailed in learning basic Polish words and phrases. But that’s the ending so let’s go to the beginning. The meeting of the unique 251st Global Volunteer Team at Reymontowka in Poland occurred on Saturday at late lunch about 4 p.m. The team is unique not only because it is a team of returning volunteers to Poland, but also because its members have volunteered here more than once before. We returned because we enjoy the country and have had excellent experiences here. And we all realize that each time we return to volunteer, we learn something new about the people and ourselves.
After “lunch” we adjourned to the Global Volunteer library where we introduced ourselves and chatted about the volunteer assignments we would be having at the Siedlce University of Natural Science and the Humanities. Dorota explained that it was a new program and we all expressed our enthusiasm for being involved in this new venture. She also reviewed some orientation information. We began looking for materials which we might use in class.
Sunday breakfast was lovely crepes with white cheese and dollops of cream or raspberry jam which Betty and Perry chose. After that delicious meal, Dorota led us to the library for a full orientation meeting. Then we ventured into the sunny outdoors – oh, it was cold, by California standards, brisk by Minnesotan. To church which was not only spiritually but also culturally fulfilling. Dorota gave us a tour of the countryside – villages and mushroom farm — on the return to Reymontowka for lunch.
Satiated we trudged up to the library/ workroom where we chose to use our “free time” to dig into more lesson preparation. ANTICIPATION, as the song goes. At 4:30 Professor Katarzyna Mroczynska from Siedlce University’s Institute of Modern Languages and Interdisciplinary Research arrived. The moment we’d been waiting for. Mrs. Mroczynska elaborated on the information Dorota had given us and we began to get a clear picture of what the classes would be like, who the students were, and what to expect. When we finally ran out of questions, Magda arrived with – oh, this is where I started this journal entry – (drum roll) our Polish language lesson. We worked hard for an hour trying to make our tongues do what our brains wanted them to. Magda was very patient with us.
At our feast of a thin spinach bread rolled up with salmon and roasted tomatoes followed by delicious pierogi, we practiced our hard learned Polish vocabulary. Then back to the library for a few more hours of preparation. This team of returning volunteers to Poland is looking forward to its first day at the University. We trekked to our rooms for a bit of final preparation and lots of sleep.
Hooray! Hooray! Poland is a 2016 Euro Champion Qualifer. They beat Ireland 2-1. Sweet dreams.
MESSAGE OF THE DAY: Teaching is touching lives forever. Anonymous (Shared by Betty)