Thursday, June 22, 2017

Another Polish adventure | LTS Module 4

I needed to be in Krakow for the Leadership Training School Module 4, and I couldn't go to Poland without seeing my newly found relatives, so I started in Warsaw for a night with my wonderful (second) cousin Izabela, before being whisked away by the rest of her family to Terespol.
Izabela had to work and so she couldn't come with us, which was a problem as she is the one with the best English. I was kind of worried that we would have to resort to hands and feet, but between my little bit of Polish, their little bit of English and the genius that is the Google translator app, we did great! If you are connected to the internet, you can even talk into the app and it translates it and then speaks it out, and on the whole is pretty good. However there were a few times it didn't hear properly or the translation was less than ideal... like the one below: WHAAAAT???
We had a great couple of days, and one day they took me to the place where they used to go on vacation as a family when the kids were younger. Here we are with Ania (who is another second cousin), her aunt and uncle (and Izabela's parents), Irena and Adam and Izabela's sister, Ilona. We ended up walking the 5kms around the lake and then having a lovely lunch!
They took me again to the place where my Grandfather grew up, and the poppies were like a little hello from him! I was surprised at how emotional I actually got... but family and roots do go deep I suppose, and I am just so happy that we found this side of the family once again!
 Then it was time to say goodbye and head off to the next adventure... (until next time!)
On my way to Krakow, I broke up the long journey in Kielce to meet up with Janna whom I met in 2011 in South Africa... it was fun hanging out with her again. Here we are on the walking street in Kielce:
 She also took me to a very interesting memorial/art piece which shows what man does to man, and commemorates the different acts of terrorism across the globe, especially September 11/twin towers.
While I was in Krakow, a few of us took the opportunity to go to Auschwitz, and I was reminded of the Kielce memorial - what man does to his fellow man...
 A little story: the Jews were all told that they were going to do a job, so they would get on the trains willingly and that that job was to polish the boots of the German soldiers. So many of them came with their own brushes and polish, so that they could do a good job. So sad...
These are the train tracks into Birkenau, and it seemed so poignant that there was a rose there... remembering the 1000s of people who came into the camp and never left again.
The thing that really got me was the kids... there was one really poignant display where they had reproduced drawings that were drawn by kids in the camps... and every one of those kids consequently died in the camp. I lost it the most at that... this is their impression of the above picture: No words...
Back in Krakow, we were right near the old city, which was really beautiful: here is the Marketplace
And Church of the 12 apostles, next to St Andrews:
 The Castle:
 The castle from the other side with one of the carriages who go through the city carrying tourists:
We did actually have lectures and processing groups, and all sorts of busy-ness which made for long days, but soooo good! Below is Bruce Clewitt who was speaking to us on the Catholic World. We also had Jeff Fountain on Europe, Stephe Meyers on teams, and many other great speakers!
 There was some time to connect with our fellow students and enjoy some networking: love it!
It was also great to connect with the people from YWAM Poland - we spent one afternoon together just catching up, and we meant to get a photo, but it didn't happen :( After the week in Krakow was over, I went to Rzeszow to spend time with one of the YWAM families, Roma and Tamara and their two boys, Sasha and Tolek. We also ran a couple of fun English classes for the children in their church and I shared in the church on Sunday morning. 
Then it was time to head back to Banja Luka and catch up with what is going on there! 

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