Friday, August 30, 2013

Our last day at Reymontowka

Our day at Reymontowka Manor started as our campers preparing for the evening’s performance. Each volunteer teacher spent every possible moment reviewing their presentation. Each volunteer was so proud of their group and wanted to support the campers as much as possible.

The third hour of the morning was a presentation by Veronica and Sasha from Belarus. There are many older historical buildings including St Sophia’s church in their country. One  interesting fact was that one street has kerosene lamps that are lighted by hand each night. People come by to touch this man for good luck. The campers were given prizes when they answered questions correctly from the presentation. The volunteers then joined with the children singing for the next hour.. English songs and Polish traditional songs. After lunch, we all started packing and completing all the questionnaires about our experience here. At 18:00, the  presentation began. The children were dancing and speaking English parts to songs and drama with skill and confidence. We volunteers were able to meet the parents and appreciated the opportunity to be a part of this camp. We all wish we could be back next year to share in the children’s growth and experience of learning about our American culture. We all have a new appreciation for the country’s hard working and honest people whose rich heritage we explored in these two weeks.

 Journal by Jan

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Personal reflections

Message of the day by Jan- Remembering our visit to the old Jewish synagogue in Krakow. This says was on the wall “ Better is a little the righteous have,  than the wealth of many wicked. For the power of the wicked will be broken, because the Lord supports the righteous. “  

Our time in Poland is coming to an end. I CAME, I SAW, I Taught.. Hopefully my students learned something about  life…what I learned was ….no matter where you are from..people are proud of their heritage and cultural contributions to the family of man. Whether artist , author, or academic cultural contributions matter, but the most significant factor in all people is …they just want peace.

 Journal  by Greg

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cross-cultural discussions

Message of the day by Greg: “ Let us make the world a better place by our presence.”

At breakfast we had a recap of last night’s  lovely Latin dance, by our lovely guests from BelarusVeronica and Sasha and continued cross-cultural  discussion about fairy tales, mansions, microwaves, doing laundry, newspapers, and Las Vegas. In English classes, my group practiced their song for Friday night’s performance several times. The song is difficult, fast with several idoms, and they were remarkably able to sing most of it from memory. We then moved on to several  activities including a vocabulary Bingo game using adjectives for each letter in their name, a game of categories, and occupations quiz….and a quick game of poker at the request of the boys.  For the  fourth period,  Alex gave a lovely and interesting presentation about Arizona using terrific videos complied by the technically competent Sylvia. 
Before lunch the campers, who were in charge of  organizing the "camp weddings", to take place on Thursday evening, came into the dining room to solicit the participants for this activity from among the volunteers .  After lunch, Jan , Alex and Norina went for a short but beautiful walk. At dinner we had a lively, cross cultural  discussion of  the wonders of the iPhone, the internet, and Youtube. We volunteers were honored to be the judges at the Fashion show, with exceptionally talented runway models for the evening entertainment. After  the show the campers voted to choose the most friendly male and female camper. It was a lovely ending for another day at Reymontowka Manor.

Journal by Norina

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Another joyous day in Poland

Message of the day by Norina “, If nothing changed there would be no butterflies".

We volunteers enjoyed another wonderful day in Poland.   We taught, laughed, interacted and sang
. .. and traveled. Having met a delightful young couple from Belarus the previous morning, we were pleased they joined us on our field trip to the “New Wonder of Poland”.

Two hours via our mini-van Mercedes bus southeast of Reymontowka, we explored the colorful, well-manicured grounds of the palace-complex, the gardens, the Carriage House, and Socialist Realism Art.
Upon return, we feasted on home made cheesy pizza. After the campers completed the scavenger hunt, we were entertained by the dance show performed by our  two new friends. Their dancing captured our imaginations as we reflected on the beauty of our joyous day.

Journal by Alex

Monday, August 26, 2013

Relishing the pleasurable times together

Message of the day shared by Alex--“God doesn't require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.” Mother Teresa

Back in Reymontowka Manor, we started our day with sharing at breakfast our weekend adventures in this special country of Poland. Then to yoga class  by me with the campers. The pleasure was all mine. During the morning classes each group started preparing for the individual presentation for our last day.  The evening meal with the visiting Belarus couple was very colorful. All of us are relishing the pleasurable times together.
Journal entry by Jan

Friday, August 23, 2013

The best thing that can be said about a person is that he was a teacher

Message of the day by Jan:”This  is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” 

An adult never stands as tall as when they stoop to help a child… These last few days have shown for me … man at his best. Sharing knowledge, experience and caring. This is not by accident. This is the concerted effort by all to improve mankind’s status now and to work for a better future. .. In  my youth, we were guided by caring people.. we grew and and now attempt to give to others what had been given us…My hope is that it will be passed on forever.. In the end, the best thing that can be said about a person is that he was a teacher. Journal by Greg

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Great show of heritage

Message of the Day: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.. the courage to change the things I can…and the wisdom to know the difference".  Shared by Greg

Our team of early risers had breakfast of  apple fritters (racuchy) and lots of coffee. After  the meeting and  Message of the Day and journal was read, it was off to join another exciting day of teaching. We each seemed to have an armful of material and lots of hope this would be  a good indication of what the students would be learning. In the  fourth hour, there was a wonderful presentation  by Jan (one half of the Greg and Jan clan from San Diego). We saw a variety of videos of  California including the San Diego Zoo, products grown there, a mountain bike ride, and some yoga poses of the presenter herself. This was followed by a sing-along of “This land is my land” and “Waving Flag” with the children. 
After lunch, Jan, Norina, and myself walked to Kotun—and on the way admiring  the homes and gardens. On the way back, out of nowhere we heard the sound of jets,  and looked up and saw about twelve jets. They could have been from NATO but we do not know… but it was quite a sight. 

Tonight we were treated to a Polish night,which began with the Polish national dance,  
continuing with a visual and spoken history of Poland with a short film, then the traditional bread and salt followed by the dream about Warsaw song that everyone  knew the words for  and a biography in English of historical Polish men and women including Marie Curie and Reymont who won the Nobel  prize for the book ‘Peasants’. 
The evening continued with the presentation of a gift of stone with the Polish flag and date, to each volunteer,made by the children  themselves,then each one of us had to say a tongue twister in the Polish language. "I love you Poland" was the final song by the group, after which we were treated to a National treat of bread, lard  and pickles.We are very proud of them for putting on such a great show of their heritage.

Journal by Brenda