There are so many layers of the experience yet to unfold


Message of the day: The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, story tellers, and lovers of all kinds. Attributed to the Dalai Lama and shared by Joanna

The first day of the rest of my life—the sun’s up, the mist is clearing on the Tatra Mountain range, and it is a beautiful morning at what is affectionately called “The Four (or Two) Seasons Hotel” – Cztery Pory Roku, in the district of Zakopane, Poland.
It’s Monday – We’ve gather for our daily briefing and readings. I share the message from the Dalai Lama, which become an underlying theme for the young people I get to learn from on this two week moment of time as a Global Volunteer in Poland.
At 9 AM five students join me for the start of two weeks of conversational English exchanges. Memories of the first days of school flood into my head: the awkwardness of introductions, the checking of each other out, the anxiety of meeting expectations. These universal emotions are floating visually in our collective faces. The “edge” softens as the day passes, and we reach that “sweet spot” when we realize we can trust in the process and each other during the days.
My intent is to the set the stage, restore the equilibrium when upsets come up, and be ever mindful that these young people are works in progress.  We the volunteers have an opportunity in this day and the days ahead to instill a bit of courage, competence, and confidence through the mastery of language skills, as these young people ever grow into adulthood. I too grow in the 3 Cs – courage, competence, and confidence in the process.
As the fear and trepidation faces away with the youth, so it goes with may Global Volunteer partners – Kaelen, Lori, Al, Brenda, Lynn, and Susan, under Dorota’s gracious and gentle guidance.
There are so many layers of the experience yet to unfold, and in the end, all enriching to me in this reflective time of my life.
Journal prepared by Joanne.
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