April 18, 2003 - World of English: Poland Through the Eyes of the Peace Corps Volunteers

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Poland: Peace Corps Poland : The Peace Corps in Poland: April 18, 2003 - World of English: Poland Through the Eyes of the Peace Corps Volunteers

By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 6:17 pm: Edit Post

Poland Through the Eyes of the Peace Corps Volunteers

Poland Through the Eyes of the Peace Corps Volunteers

Through the Eyes of the Peace Corps Volunteers

Last year in our October issue (5/1999) we welcomed the new group of Peace Corps Volunteers. Sadly they will be the last group in Poland, and when they leave in the summer of 2001 the Peace Corps' work here will be done. Sixth months into their stay we thought we would ask them for their impressions of this country.

Here are some of the answers we received.

What was your most memorable moment in Poland?

'Learning the language and making Poland home.'

'Some of my colleagues over 'libations' tried to convince me that their friend was Clint Eastwood's nephew!'

'There have been so many. A few have been a little risqué so therefore I am not allowed to divulge the details. Sorry.'

'Being left by the bus on trip from Sandomierz to Przemys? ... finally 'saved' by someone who saw me running around, arms wildly flying about trying to stop traffic ... who made the bus stop en route and pick me up.'

'A night in Radom when two praktyki students invited me to an ognisko at their house. The entire family stopped by to look at and talk to 'the American'. My student's mother was extremely kind and hospitable. We talked until late at night, took a few pictures, and they took me home.'

'When the kids visit me in my flat, and I understand their jokes and can laugh along with them.'

'Living in a place that is in the middle of nowhere. The nearest food store and post office is three kilometers away.'

'My students gave me roses on my birthday.'

'Thanksgiving dinner in Kazimierz Dolny. Waiting three hours for a bus in snow on several occasions. Op?atek at Christmas Eve dinner. Teacher's day, dancing the Polonaise at the seniors' ball. Being stuffed silly by generous Polish mothers. Wychowawca initiation with the first year classes at the beginning of the year.'

'Working overtime & Polish workers opening a bottle of vodka & drinking as we worked.'

'Thanksgiving dinner at the house of an American teacher where the guest list included four Americans, five Poles, and two Serbs. The fun of assembling the traditional meal with Polish food products, sharing songs, traditions, etc. and the momentary (and brief) history lesson was fun. We even sang a few traditional T'giving songs! The Poles found the food 'interesting' and the whole idea unique.'

'Returning to my town after being gone for the weekend. A local babcia stopped me on the street and proceeded to tell me where the train was. I kept telling her I knew this, and it wasn't until I told her that I was the American schoolteacher that she quit trying to tell me the way to Gdan'sk. I'm still not sure if she was being helpful or...'

'Walking through the candlelit cemetery on November 1, on my second date with a Polish boy! We had our first serious conversation sitting next to his grandmother's grave.'

'The food is way too greasy, but the soup's great! The sun doesn't shine enough here in winter but it's not terribly cold. There are some very cool Polish holiday traditions, but I hate fish. I remember a lot of what I learned in my European history class in high school, so I know there wasn't much on Poland. It's been fascinating to come here and find out about Poland's role in European history and about its traditions. The countryside is beautiful, and I love some of the old architecture. I'm sorry communism added such ugly buildings to the cities. Now all I have to say is that for the future women need to stand up for themselves, and the country really needs to get some computers and enter the information age!'

Would you consider living in Poland permanently?
Yes 19 (38%) No 27 (54%) Maybe 2 (4%) No Answer 2 (4%)

(Ed. Note The answers represent the average of 50 respondents)

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Story Source: World of English

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Poland



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