The official Global Volunteers program for May 2015 began yesterday. As readers know I had already been here for week working in the resource room and sorting and re-shelving all the teaching materials left behind by other volunteers.
Yesterday I had breakfast alone, but had a nice conversation afterward with a Polish man who had been to Minneapolis. He spoke English-- I don't know enough Polish to carry on such a conversation.
There was only about 30 minutes of work left in the resource room doing the final sorting of materials. Then I had some free time to simply relax. I could hear music from a party being held downstairs. It wasn't until I went down to wait for the volunteers that I found it was live music.
Nine volunteers arrived about 2:45 in the afternoon. One volunteer had experienced the domino effect of late planes and so was expected much later in the day.
A bread and salt ceremony is common in Central Europe as a way to visitors. In some countries it is called salt and bread. The photo below shows the volunteers being welcomed.
In just about another hour it was time for the evening meal. This one included pierogi.
It was wonderful, after the evening meal, to go to my room and not have anything much to do.
And it was the first quiet night I've had here. No parties or events happening downstairs and no dogs in the neighborhood doing a serenade.
Today we are starting the orientation process. Four of the 11 team members have been to Poland before. The others are quite anxious about being in an environment that feels foreign to them, whereas to me it feels like my second home.
My teaching assignments are one group of fourth graders and one group of fifth graders at the nearby Cisie elementary school. Then in the afternoon I will teach in the after school program at the nearby Kotun Community Center. I will have one group of beginners -- aged 6-8 years, and one group of middle school students -- 13-14 year olds.
This is my fifth time teaching at Cisie School and it feels like home to me, too. Last year I also taught in the after school program at Kotun, so that is not a problem either.
I am trying to stay patient as the "newbies" worry about meeting the children. I know they are wonderful kids.