1,000+ Days in Poland
From September 1996 to July 1999 I lived in Lipnica Wielka, a small, cozy village in the mountains of southern Poland. Stretched along one road leading to Babia Gora (Lady's Mountain), Lipnica is the epitome of "rural" in many ways. Chickens scurrying at one's feet on the way to the post office; kids tugging on a line connected to a 1,000 pound cow, "leading" the cow home; an elderly couple using a tractor to drive to the village health clinic--all common sites. Yet "rural" doesn't mean "backward" of course--in this small village I met some of the most amazing, thoughtful people I've ever been privileged to know.
For three years I taught English at the new high school in Lipnica. Without a doubt, this was the formative experience of my life. As most PC Volunteers say, I must admit that I probably took more from this experience than I gave. What did I give? That's difficult to say. I'd like to think that I inspired a few kids and made them realize that their future is in their hands alone--all that teacherly stuff. In brief, I hope I made (get your tissue out) a difference.
Now, what did I get? That's a much easier question.I . . .
For now, that's all I'm going to put on this page. I might add to it in the future, but nothing more for now. It's strange--a thousand and some days in Poland, and I squeeze out less than a thousand words about the experience. I hope that says more about the ineffability of the adventure I had in Poland than about my writing ability.