Monday, July 27, 2015

From Amsterdam to Reymontowka

On Friday morning, July 24, I enjoyed breakfast at the Citizen M hotel. The staff there is wonderful. This is a buffet breakfast, but noting my pink cane, the staff was wonderfully helpful, getting me more orange juice and more cappuccino. Then upstairs for the final packing.

I got myself over to Schiphol Plaza and reorganized by carry on bag just a bit. I enter Schiphol Plaza from Departure Hall 4 and have to get to Departure Hall 1 -- a long walk. Then at the KLM kiosk I again encountered the problem of having to pay 30 Euros for checking a bag. So I had to wait in a line to get personal attention and have my Delta Skymiles account entered into the KLM records. Baggage then quickly checked with out paying the fee.

Again my pink cane had to go through security. Then it was a long walk to Gate D60. This involved finding a lift (what we call an elevator in the United States) and going up one level. Then when I got to the gate I found I had to do the opposite, get a lift to go down one level. This turned out to be a waiting area with only about 16 seats. The flight waiting to board featured one of the budget airlines and the gate area was packed with young adults flying to Palma. So back up the lift and out into a more waiting area. There I found a smoothie drink and sat down to read for awhile. When I thought is was time to my flight I went back. There was one chair in the middle of a row. When I asked if that chair was available,  a man on the end of row said, "No, no, take my seat" and I did!

The flight to Warsaw was packed, but an easy flight.  We entered the baggage hall at Carousel 9 and of course my baggage was to arrive on Carousel 1. Finally it got there and I was on my way to the Courtyard by Marriott. Arriving there I found I did not have a reservation -- my mistake. They graciously helped me, including taking my baggage right to my room.

Then I went down to the Lobby Bar for supper. Now I'm in Poland and I can have black currant juice.

Not only do I like it, but dark fruits such as this contain an enzyme which helps to reduce arthritis inflammation.

I ordered a hamburger remembering that it is very good here.

Tucked behind it is a small dish of coleslaw. There is an English idiom -- my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I couldn't eat all of this, but indeed it was good.

Had a good night's rest.

Then on Saturday morning, July 25, down to the lobby again for breakfast. I chose scrambled eggs with lots of Polish mushrooms.

Up to my room for the final packing and then waiting for an e-mail to arrive from Dorota telling me the van from Reymontowka was entering Warsaw. I got to the Departure gate area where previous volunteers were being left just in time to load my luggage into the van.

Then I went downstairs by the Arrival gate area to Flying Bistro to wait with two volunteers who had come in on a 7:30 AM flight. By 12:00 we had everyone gathered and we were on our way to Reymontowka.

Upon arrival we were met with the traditional Bread and Salt Ceremony.

This ceremony is traditional in many parts of Central Europe. It welcomes guests and assures them at the same time that the host had food and drink to meet their needs.

After finding our rooms -- and I volunteered for Room 9, the one without hot water! -- we gathered for obiad, the Polish word for the mid-day meal. Below is a photo of the view from my room.

With 54 campers, 10 volunteers, and the Polish staff the campus is full up. We eat our meals in the Red Room, a room that was a library when the house was built. This room presently displays an exhibit of floral paintings by Krystyny Bachanek.

Below is one wall of paintings and her self protrait.

The self portrait is much better than my photo displays. I couldn't overcome the light from the nearby window. 

We had wonderful obiad, the Polish word for the large mid-day meal, and then had time for a short rest. Then it was time for supper!

During our evening meal the promised thunderstorm arrived, changing the temperature from the low 90s to the mid 70s. The thunderstorm was a delightful experience for the volunteers from California, who seldom see such an occurrence.  Some of us sat on the steps leading to the tent watching the rain pour down on the side windows. 

Then time to rest before all the Sunday orientation and class planning activities.

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