Saturday, June 30, 2012
This language camp began when the campers and staff boarded a bus in Siedlce at 6 AM. The bells in the Siedlce Cathedral were chiming—announcing it was 6 AM as we were boarding. Dorota and Lori joined the campers at this time. We drove about 35 minutes west to Minsk Maz where we stopped at the
and picked up more campers. Then
we started on a highway south. About 45 minutes later we stopped at a gas
station along the highway and picked up another camper. Somewhere around 10 AM Dorota got a phone
call from Nikita, the camper coming from Cultural Center . He had safely arrived in
The bus arrived at the Kraków airport a bit before 2 PM. We gathered up David, Nancy, Kathy, Martha, Valerie, Gillian, Beverly and Brandon. Thus we started on our way to Zakopane.We arrived at our hotel, Cztery Pory Roku, sometime shortly after 5 PM. The hotel had our dinner ready. We surely enjoyed the meal. After eating we were assigned our rooms and tried to get a bit organized. Then some of us found our way to the back patio and enjoyed the beautiful view of the mountains
Monday, June 4, 2012
The more advanced groups had an in-depth discussion on
geography, politics, and culture. United
Other class activities included trip to the town and the grocery store. Board games are turning out to be a favorite pastime for the kids, with the level of games commensurate with their abilities. Lori’s advanced group brought English-language brochures from their home city and discussed their city surroundings and home life. Val and Gillian used magazine from the
and had their group of students
described and write out pictures and scenes shown in magazine photos. This
activity is an excellent preparation for the students’ matura, the leaving high
school exam. They will be required to do this competently during their English
Afternoon activities, shared by students and volunteers, had to be altered because of a torrential downpour that began about 11 AM and continued through the afternoon. A visit to the water park was cancelled and replaced by a trip to the Krzeptówki church where Pope John Paul II celebrated mass in 1997. The altar from which he presided was removed from the church and placed in a bucolic wooded area on the property and enclosed as a shrine. Since a mass in progress, we viewed the church only from the vestibule, but were able to walk and spend time at Pope John Paul II’s altar.
The bus then drove to the church, Peksowy Brzyzek, in Zakopane. The church’s cemetery is filled with interested grave markers, many carved in wood. Several of the cemetery inhabitants lied to close to or over 100 years of age, a statement to the healthy lifestyle, climate and genes.
The students arrived to a roaring fire blazing and pop music blaring. The question and answer game elicited many raised hands and correct answers. The marshmallow roast that followed made many devourers S’Mores – some it was told has many as 5! It seemed a good time was had by all.
After our July 4th festivities ended, the Polish counselors and staff had a wonderful surprise for us. They welcomed us with a nice speech, letting us know that our work is valued. Then we were toasted with champagne and sweets. It was the perfect end to a very non-traditional 4th of July for all of us.