Saturday, September 17, 2016

Visiting a Country Church in Eastern Poland

In May before doing the school teaching program in Poland I spent a day with a guide who took me to places east of Siedlce that require an auto for access. I have written about some of these adventures in previous posts, but am still catching up with life after a busy summer.

After lunch in Zaborek, we drove a short distance to a church located in the countryside. Here is the sign for it.

This sign explains it is now a Roman Catholic church but in the past it has also been an Orthodox church. The type of church practices depended upon what type of government was/is in control.

Here is how it looks from the roadway. It is easy to notice the red awnings in the front. The church actually has a porch on three sides. I have never before seen a church with a porch. At the end of the visit here my guide came back from a conversation with church attendants to tell me why it had a porch. Some of the people attending this church had to travel so far -- in the days when travel would have been by horses -- that they could not make the trip on Sunday morning. Thus, they started out on Saturday afternoon and stayed all night on the porch outside the church.

Walking in I noticed this script written in what I presume is Cyrillic.

Here is what the inside of the church looks like.

This was indeed an interesting stop out in the middle of the rural area east of Siedlce.

A Saturday with Language Camp Kids

I went to Poland and participated in two language camps. I am still not walking well enough to go away on the weekends, having to walk up and down steps at train stations, for example. So Dorota, the Poland country manager, suggested I might like to go away with the campers for their Saturday field trip. All of the other volunteer teachers had left on Friday for weekend adventures so I had the pleasure of eating my meals and doing the Friday evening activities with the campers and the Polish camp staff.

On Saturday morning we had a very nice breakfast and then walked out to the road in front of Reymontowka to board the bus. I had the seat immediately behind the driver, so I had a good view of the road and enjoyed watching the GPS.

Our destination was the Arkadia Galleria (galleria being the word used in Central Europe for shopping mall) in Warsaw. This trip took about 90 minutes, about an hour to get to Warsaw with weekend traffic and then another 30 minutes to wind our way through the city toward the northern end. It had been 10 years since I had been to this galleria -- and hard to believe that I now have that much history in Poland !!!

We parked along the railroad track about 3 blocks away from the galleria and then a had a long walk through the galleria to get to the cinema area.  I was really glad to find a place to sit down when this walk was done.

The campers of course went immediately to the concession line.

While I was waiting one of the counselors showed me a voucher for free coffee received when buying tickets, They graciously walked to the nearby coffee shop to get the coffee for me. Now the campers purchased exactly what you might expect.

The film we saw was the Big Friendly Giant.

The dialogue was all in Polish and I don't understand more than 20% of the Polish I hear. However, the film was produced so well that I could easily follow the story without having to understand all the Polish dialogue.

After the film we walked back to the bus and from the luggage area appeared crates holding sandwiches and bottles of water.

Our next destination was the Copernicus Science Museum. I had been to this museum before and asked them not to buy me a ticket to walk through it again. But when we arrived I was totally puzzled. The line was coming out the door and about two blocks long. I couldn't figure out why so many people had decided to go to the museum that on a sunny summer day. The museum was not showing any special collection -- the whole thing was a mystery.

People in the line had to wait until others left before they would be admitted. And it appeared to me everyone in line was local, not tourists. I spent the time in the cafeteria area with my nose stuck in a book. It was a good place to people watch.

After about 2 hours we walked back to the bus and then made our way to the outskirts of Warsaw. We stopped at a gas station and the luggage area opened up again.

This time pastries, candy bars, and fruit juice appeared. It was a good late afternoon snack break.

Back to Reymontowka we had a very nice kolacja, too.

I so enjoy these kind of experiences.