Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Getting Started at Language Camp

We have 36 bright and intelligent Polish teenagers for language camp. On Sunday, as volunteers, we spent our morning with the usual Global Volunteer orientation activities. After the mid-day meal, obiad, everyone boarded the bus and went into Zakopane. Most went up Mt. Gubalowka. The campers hiked up, but three of us instead took the train up the mountain while two of the volunteers did the hike as well. The views were not the best due to the humid and cloudy weather. We walked around a bit and then the rains came. We were able to find a restaurant with a roof and so enjoyed a Coke Zero for awhile.

We had planned to take the chair lift down the mountain -- it's so beautiful to do it this way, but due to rain-- but mostly due to spectacular lightening -- being on a chair lift was neither wise nor possible. So back onto the train for a trip down the mountain.

We spent some time looking about in various mountain shops at the bottom of the mountain and then found our bus back at the stop as planned at 5:45.

After the evening meal we gathered together and each of us met the students we will teach during these two weeks.

Yesterday, Monday, we had our first teaching day. That is always an "interesting" day. One prepares the best as possible, but without knowing the students' skills and interests, it is always simply a guess. We are re-organizing things a bit for Tuesday, and I will spend the rest of the time with three girls who are just entering junior high who are quite skilled already with their English speaking.

Yesterday afternoon the activity was going to Krupowki Street in Zakopane. I used this time to buy my train tickets to Tarnow for this coming weekend. Doesn't sound like an activity? Well, it is at least a 10 minute walk from Krupowki to the train station. And because this was a time of day for a rain storm, I spent some time inside the train station looking at a photo exhibit about the history of train service into Zakopane.

I put two photos together. While in Siedlce I saw a photo of the first train that arrived there in October, 1866. The first train did not arrive in Zakopane until the latter part of 1899, so this area was quite isolated from the rest of Poland for some time due to the geographic features of the mountains.

Having a great time. The scenery is lovely and the people are great.

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