Although I am only three months in Poland, I already lack behind with posting my retrospections. This time-inefficiency is also what represented my second month in Poland.
Like every day so far, also the second month came along with many new experiences. But let´s look at the weeks in a chronological order. As you might remember – or not remember – my first retrospection ended with my achievements and my changed expectations.
First of all, I realised that although I would agree that I arrived in Poland, I could never fully arrive with this amount of daily input. Not only was there immediately a next group to be greeted after the last one but I was also thrown into a historical forum organised by the DPJW (deutsch-polnisches Jugendwerk).
In this forum I was organising and coordinating with the people at the top. I worked along the director from Warsaw and even got to know the manager of the DPJW, Stephan Erb.
Having this in mind, I was on a high in these two days of the forum. As I simultaneously also had to work normally. Meaning: greeting the new group, teaching them about Gdansk and giving a workshop. No wonder then, I had after this week a lot of extra hours.
In this week I also noticed that with such a flexible job it is nearly impossible to develop an own social life next to work and with that it is also impossible to find friends. Of course, I tried new things out, like aerials silks in Gdynia and a group meet-up to speak Polish on Thursdays but finding “your things” need time and as you know of this I have not much.
This meant for me another lonely weekend. Although still better than the one before. As I couldn´t change the factor of loneliness, I started to accept it by just doing things on my own. This meant for instance to watch “the little mermaid” in Polish in the cinema alone. For people from the outside this must have looked weird but I had no other option, so I just LIVED WITH IT.
After this very eventful week, the next week of September was at least at work a catastrophe. As background information you have to know that our priest informed my colleague and me that there was a renovation going to take place during the 23.09. to 06.10. This meant two weeks of no work and no place to stay.
Because we received so little information of what was going to happen to us, I felt scared and left behind but especially angry. In my point of view, it looked as if for no whatsoever reason they were kicking us out. Another factor influencing this hopelessness was, that my coordinator announced she was going to leave our team because she was needed in her old job. This detail was a breaking point to me.
However luckily this all turned out differently at the end. Not only did my coordinator assure me that we would meet again, and I could always contact her in emergencies, but our team also explained all the formalities and offered us three option we could choose from in the two weeks of the renovation. Either taking a language course at the sea or staying in Gdansk or travelling in Poland and all the costs would be covered. I, of course, chose the latter.
This henceforth meant that although there was practically no work to be done before the renovation, I had to organise my trip, my accommodation and the places I wanted to see.
After many self-discussions and even drawing maps of Poland to envisage my possibilities. I ended up with the following plan:
1. three days in Wroclaw (Breslau)
2. four days in Zakopane (the Polish national park)
3. five days in Krakow (Krakau) with a day trip to Oswiecim (Ausschwitz)
After encountering a conflict with my co-worker, I decided that travelling alone was still better than with him. So, my plan was set. But even of loneliness I had thought of. As a matter of fact, one of my dearest friends from Germany came to visit me for three days so that even the following weekend was covered with love, philosophy and fun. Additionally, I decided to go to Wroclaw and meet other volunteers from the ON-ARRIVAL-TRAINING. In Zakopane I was then going to travel alone and saw it as an opportunity to be one with nature and enjoying the silence and Krakow as the highlight of my trip, was going to be my family time with my sister and mother.
What I however experienced on my first travel alone, will be displayed and said in a different blog. Because this is a story on its own.
However, I can say that this month maybe made me more aware of what it means to be an adult as it has a lot to do with independence and keeping calm in moments of turmoil.
Furthermore, I realised that I could have never be courageous enough for this year if not due to my family and friends. There is not without a reason the saying “THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME”.
And this does not refer to the place but the people that bring this place alive.
I definitely found my home. It is wherever my family is.