I LOVE POLAND.
Yes, I know I often type in all caps and it's weird and makes people think I'm yelling for no reason (which I often do in real life, so texting life should match that anyways), but this statement deserved an all-caps moment. My second week in Komancza is now starting, and after the AMAZING weekend I had, I honestly look at the next few weeks and wonder how I'm going to leave this place.
Before the weekend started, I was still nervous and scared and feeling verrrrrry foreign in my village. The students still hadn't completely warmed up to me, I was bombing my adult classes, and I was feeling incredibly nervous around my host family. However, once Saturday came along, my host family appeared to have an idea of how to solve this issue.
Beer. Lots of beer.
After an incredible jog up the mountain behind my host family's house and helping out with the family chores during the day, Marisya, Peter, Paul, his fiancee Marga, and myself hopped in the stick shift car (the Polish only drive stick shift, which by American standards, is like the coolest thing you can do in a car aside from transforming it into a super hero robot) and headed to a Ukranian folk music festival a few towns over. This is the night that they decided that I needed to be "trained" in order to survive the Ukranian/Polish folk music festival coming up in a couple of weekends; a three day event that's the equivalent to Bonnaroo, complete with tents, beer, and lots of music. According to Marisya, my training over the course of the next few weeks includes: beer, beer, beer, oh and more beer (I'll try to make you proud, America). The Ukranian folk band was more like a Polish version of Reel Big Fish, but with a sick accordian player that reminded me of Ed from Sean of the Dead.
***American boys, take note: The Polish don't grind. They do this adorable dance, spinning the girl on multiple occasions, even dipping her a few times if they feel sober enough. I've never felt like such a lady.***
Sunday, I woke up to find that even MORE family had arrived from Greece, which brought in more cousins who apparently all live around Komancza (this family is huge, I've given up on trying to connect all the dots, and I've just started assuming that everyone in Komancza is related to my host family somehow). I was then invited to the bar for some afternoon "training" with Paul, Marga, and their cousin Mark. Along the way, we kept running into people and it became quite the outing. At one point, I'm pretty sure I agreed to letting Mark stow away in my bag to America posing as my pet sheep...it was either that, or I agreed to a marriage proposal, hard to make out in Polish...
Later on, Marisya, Paul, Marga and I took a casual trip to Slovakia (yes, they do that here, day trips to another country are as casual as Casual Fridays in America) where we visited the birthplace of Andy Warhol and the museum of his art work. It satisfied my trendy, artsy side that over the years has been suffocated by the sorority girl within me, and I'm now on an Andy Warhol binge (meaning I will be Googling his art, bringing him up in casual conversation to make myself seem more trendy, and wearing a beret at all hours of the day).
After the museum, we drove to a Slovakian mountain lake. I get to say I've swam, frolicked, and laughed under the shadow of a Slovakian mountain in one of the most beautiful lakes I've ever seen (this is also where I learned to change into a bathing suite in broad daylight without showing any lady bits; great skill to have). Finally, as we sang Ellie Golding at the top of our lungs, we took one last road trip back to Solina, Poland and saw the most incredible dam lit up in the night. Aside from the McDonald's cheeseburger I ate later that night on our drive back, it may have been the most beautiful man-made thing I've seen in Poland so far.
More on teaching and what not later, but as of now, I stick to my original statement: I love Poland.
Until next time,