Yesterday was farewell here. It always amazes me how we are strangers at the start, and there are tears of parting at the end. My class and I were both about "out of gas" yesterday morning. We reviewed what we learned through this camp experience and then practiced for the presentation we would give. The students kept making suggestions throughout the planning, and then came to me to ask if they could create a big surprise. Then we walked for ice cream, but when we got to the main street, they asked, "Do you want ice cream or do you really want a big Polish doughnut?" I knew the answer was to choose the big Polish doughnut -- pascki. Then the question was my choice for the filling in the pacski. They went into their wallets, over my protest, to collect out the groschen to pay for this.
But before, while we were gathering to make the trek for ice cream, the students surprised me with a gift. It is a Zakopane T-shirt with Polish words relating to things one finds around Zakopane. They kept talking about the sacrifice it is to come here. I protested to tell them it's the best time of the year for me. The shirt fits perfectly. How they did this, I don't know, for I wouldn't know what size shirt to pick out for myself.
In the afternoon two of the volunteers and I went to the John Paul Church. I advocated that they do this explaining this is one of the treasures of Zakopane. I was glad I did for I saw more there than I ever had before. (Maybe pictures later-- in the rush of packing to move to a new location, pictures aren't downloaded.) We then wandered up Zakopane's main street, and to keep out of the rain for awhile, we ducked back into the same place as I was in the morning and had more pascki.
In the evening we volunteers wandered next door to have a drink together before the final program. The program started with one group totally surprising their teacher with an entirely different presentation than the one they had been practicing. They ended up turning over their notes to display a sign "We love you Ginny."
My students' big surprise was acting out and singing music from Shreck. At the conclusion of the individual class programs the students sang a song they had composed to thank each of us for coming. Then we settled in for some dancing time.
The students want to know if I will come back next year. I am explaining that I think that with my stay in Hungary in early 2010, I will have used up all my available time in the EU for a 12 month period. One goal is to find someone to better explain to me the Schengen regulations.
One volunteer had to leave early this morning, so I am up very early, have sent her on the way to the Krakow airport with the camp director. She wasn't expecting breakfast this early, but there it was for her. We sat and talked and decided the difference between Poland and some other countries in Europe is the warmth of the Polish people. In another country, one might have received breakfast, but here it is as if a friend does this for you; it doesn't feel like a business relationship.
I'm expecting a ride over to my location for the next week at 8 AM. Need to get back upstairs to do the final packing.