sábado, 1 de agosto de 2009

arriving to Polska

it all happend waaaay fast at the beginning: i went to the embassy one week and on the following one i bought my filght ticket on monday, get the visa on friday morning and took my plane the same night (yeah, with no visa i would had had problem, hehe). from Lima i had as stop overs Houston, USA (5 hours) and then NY (in theory 40 min, but my flight was late and i lost my connection so they sent me through Amsterdam) and finally Bruxelles where my friend Joke picked me up :) (thanks!) we hung out both on Mechlen and her village and then went to rest to Leuven. the day after i took my flight from Charleroi (long life to Ryanair!) n arrived to Wrocław (you should pronounce it as Brotsuaf if you speak spanish as me). then, i departed in the midnight between friday and saturday... and arrived to my destination on monday night, nice trip, hu?

bald trees, freaking cold days (i like to say it was "cold as hell"... but doesn't make much sense), unknown language, weird and squared buildings... couldnt avoid to ask myself: "what was i thinking about!?". just in the airport i felt i was in a waaay different world... but it felt much better when i was picked up and could saw how friendly people was :) thanks Gosia, Magda n Julita! when arriving to the AIESEC office i could confirm polish are friendly

of course at the beginning it was way harder to do anything that involved talking... even paying a bill! but i succeed on surviving thanks to my friends and to the few polish words i learned. but anyway, to get some detailed stuff in Biedronka, Eko or anywhere else with groceries... this very different language was a problem, but as i said... not critical: i can eat bread with butter for many days :P but thanks to my brazilian friend Nano i could make it to eat decent food... at least it looked decent :p i really had this feeling of being living in the USSR some years back.

getting to know Wroclaw was not that hard... after i catched the tram in the opposite way. i walked a lot with Nano on my 2nd or 3rd day and had some notion of where to go and get stuff. Basia (my buddie) was also very kind and i felt good she was taking care of me, felt very safe :)

Faci training in Wroclaw

Guided by the great Krzysztof Dzioba we had the trainings both in UT and AE, and even when he had little time to get to know the workshop and empower ourselves to run them the best, i think Dzioba made a great work and i'm glad he was the facilitator we had. it was nice to share the time with all the interns in this training, sad we didn't meet again... maybe Closing Gala could had been a good chance, but anyway... was good to be with these guys from China, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Egypt and of course... Perú :D


workshops - Legnica

so... 1st week with the workshops! it was a little different that what we were told, because of the the daily school schedule and that the director wanted us to talk more about our countries than entrepreneurship, so with Shou we make some presentations of our countries as well. our dorms were very nice and the Father José was very kind and always worried about us, he was such nice... and we ate a loooot! damn! so much food... and it was very tasty, my precious... i still don't understand how i lost weight in Poland!

with the students we watched this "7 pounds" movie with Will Smith and i could play soccer with some others. they knew this peruvian player in Lech Poznan named Hernán Rengifo and started calling me so (maybe because they didn't remember my name). Shou, i'm still sorry about this issue with the Sports Teacher :P


workshops - Białystok

i arrived there by casualty: Betty n me went there just because my friends Shu n Amy lost their train in Prague and after all, Marcel needed 2 guys to be sent to Bialystok :P after 9 loooong hours in the train we arrived and it was soooo cooold!!! Damian picked us up and during our staying there i could see Basia was a great organizer for the proyect, the team worked very well and they even toke us to the schools on the mornings :) running to the bus stop, most of the times :P hehe There i met Wenting and Qing, both from China and great trainers! and my dudes Gagan (he is the one in the video!) from India and Lanre from Nigeria... they all were very funny! oh! n i have to thank Betty for her patience with me

this was a nice surprise: suddently Basia, the Coordinator (OC) in this city, told me something like "ok, so TV is comming today". hope u can understand how much i was surprised... i hope i don't look waaaay bad, haha. it was nice after all... the interview was a little longer, but seems i didn't say enough interesting stuff haha. sometimes there was some problems with a couple of words guys didn't know and we needed to explain a little, for example "entrepreneurship", "budget"... so i asked just to be sure we were on the same frequence

those were incredible weeks, not only because this 'tv (very fast) experience' but at the end of the last workshop one student asked me to sign the presents we gave them from the sponsors... i reserved a ball for the ones who took the "advance workshop" n after signing the 1st one i found some more on the desk :) in a way, it felt like being John Nash (a beautiful mind, seen that movie?) hopefuly for the workshop and not for being insane :P haha. we also went to make some climbing on a mall and also went to this spanish movie festival, that was very interesting :) we also recieved the invitation to the house of Ela, the english teacher in the VI LO, with Betty we had a lovely dinner and supper... and i couldn't eat more!

then, leaving Białystok was a little complicated because i took the bus on the wrong direction (yeah, i love taking transportation in the wrong way!) and my time was very thight... but finally i made it and Damian helped me to talked to the inspector to see if i could buy my ticket inside the train; this was specially useful because the train departed 2 min after i arrived to the wagon... then no time to buy the ticket on the window hehe. thanks for everything there! n Emilia... i don't smoke grass :)

i enjoy Bialystok a lot, bad luck i didn't have time to get to see the zubr around, it would had been awesome! but it doesn't matter because i had such a good time, and i even got a haircut there... wich, now that i remember... i needed to schedule an appointment to go, that was crazy! here in Lima you just go to get the haircut and make your queue until they can use their scissors on your head. (i wonder if it's the same in the rest of Europe). thanks Szymon for your help and for being such a nice friend!

workshops - Częstochowa

Damian was right there to pick us up, but Damian from Częstochowa, the one in Białystok is still there i think... anyway, we went to the city center and i wanted some sign with the name of the city on it, and i found this one that you can see on left side of the blog, n this thought came to my mind: "what does this city has to offer me to love it?... hum... i'll see". so, we went to the dorm and during our 1st week there we had a great time in the school, the director forced us to have lunch in the middle of the workshops, the teachers drove us to Olztyn Castle and around Częstochowa, went to Jasna Góra, Damian organized a small party with the students that week... but the best, i think, was when we were invited to the School Closing Ceremony for the Senior Students (Marysia, so rock singing! & dancing, of course!), we were told it was the day after and we wanted to do something to say "thanks, you are great"... so Shou, Vaun, León and me went to thee teather with Damian to look for customs, and they gave us some after begging a while (hope u can understand is not very common to have foreigners in Poland who want to borrow some customs for Closing Ceremonies...) but we got them and then i had to think a little to make some script, but we run out of time and had to go to the party with the students... there we drunk a lot of wódka, specially León who went to sleep early. we couldn't finish even 1 dialog i think, so we sort of use our creativity there n the ceremony. because of the customs: Shoushan played Shousharella, Varun was the Prince from India, León turned into Napo-leon and me... well, even when i was supposed to be a wizard, i felt like a clown. the presentation went pretty fine and that weekend we had a very nice trip out of Częstochowa and going to a cave, Ogrodzeniec Castle, Piaskowa Castle and finally we made it to Kraków! i returned to Kraków some weeks after with Qing... how we get the accomodation was such a story (we felt like this crazy woman will kidnap us, or steal our internal organs... but we survived). that week we also met the Mayor, i felt quiet important :)

On our way to Kraków, inside Damian's car

the other 2 weeks i spent there were a little more calm, but this party we had at the end of the 2nd week... but it was very nice staying in Adrianna's house and dancing with her when we were not watching the Champions League games, not that she likes them... but she joined me to watched them with good resoults for my Manchester United :D (i will say nothing else about this cup version). hanging out with some students was nice as well, and because the city tour was kind of complete i could just take it calm and talk more with people instead of going from one place to another. by the way, i like the variety of beer there... i won't forget how shameful for me was to arrive the 1st day to the I LO with sandals and pretty much "just waken up"... we shouldn't had had this small party and drinking games in Damian house the previous night, hehe. took me a while to find the right door when i arrived (with all my bags!) but Maja and Asia were very gentle when i arrived and took me to the classroom :) i started taking pictures of the group this week and i'm very sad i didn't do it before (Bialystok's one was taken by my friend Qing), here you can see the groups i had in I LO and II LO (by the way, "LO" means "High School" and they have romanic numering by city)

Last week in Częstochowa... totally out of my expectations of going back (certanly, not because i don't like the city but i thought i'd be somewhere else) i talked to Damian while being in Slovakia and asked him if he needed help for the last week of his schedule... and he did, so i took my train from Banska Bistrica straight to Czestochowa, but without this lady's help i would had made it sooner than i expected :P that was one of the ocassions where i felt there is not need to learn polish hehe (go check the video!). i stayed mostly in Francois's house, where i felt great. it was nice to keep learning some french and share the spanish. we also made it to play some basketball (after so many years that i played last time!) a couple of times and we ate the biggest pizz i ever saw! the workshops this time were very good and after Kash's words, i had "good timing" to arrive there, because she was leaving before friday. as u can see on the "official picture", i improved taking this pic... sad i didn't get any sign of "Enter your future" for this time, but was a good week again (student were great in every corner of Poland!). this week was the last one i spent in Poland, after the weekend i returned to Wroclaw to take my flight to Belgique and go back to Lima through the USA... the workshop in Opole was before this week

workshops - Opole

with Varun we had a great time there, not only hanging out with Ola and her friends but also because the school sent both Varun and me to this activity out of the city where schools from other countries sent some students to share some days talking about the countries, the heritage, some story and other cultural facts. we went 2 days and my team got 1st place on the football championship they organized :D

we also were invited to Ola's house and i so loooved it! it was out of Opole, in a peaceful and relaxing village :) we had dinner with her family and it was a very nice time with them, and also taking the bikes to the creek :D

the workshop in this school (II LO) had the most organized students i think, they made all the work in groups very well and the virector Barbara Jankowska was great supporting both Varun and me with the coordinations in the school with the teachers and classrooms :) the funniest thing i saw in Opole, in the next video:


when not in workshop... during the project

When not in the project (sometimes just a weekend), i got into Lubin, Lodz, Kopaniec (close to Jelenia Gora), Warszawa, and Krakow... if not staying in Wroclaw. i was not alone in any of this locations due to i always visited someone :) all my friends helped me to have such a wonderful time everywhere, n as usual i forgot some stuff on these places... it was hard to go far away 'cause mostly i had only the weekend, but easter was a good chance to have more time to go around. by the way, some stuff:

Gulmaro: please don't forget to send me the jacket! and send greetings to the made :p
Kulka: thanks for giving me back the t-shirt :)
Katy: i know u are now n Belgium... so don't worry about the t-shirt i left in Krakow :p
Qing: i am still waiting for the pictures i took in Krakow with your camera!
Basia+Tomacito: thanks for everything in Lubin!
Greg: i'll practice MK! did i leave anything there? i mean, besides de Chicha Morada

the train is my friend

the main type of transportation that we used in the project was the train, of course... i spent several hours in them, specially going from Wroclaw to Bialystok and from Lodz to Jelenia Góra. thank God most of the times i made it to buy something to eat inside... here are two videos: the 1st when during easter i went to see my friend Kulka in Kopaniec (but i get myself only to Jelenia Góra, then she gave me a ride) and the other one when trying to arrive to Opole in our way to Czestochowa with Shou and Varun. as u'll see... many hours in trains are not good for mental health

the meeting place

even when it was a little hard to hang out in the city at the beginning, it finally felt as home n Poland. i spent several days there, no workshop there though, but i got to hang out with the people of AIESEC (Wroclaw AE) n all of them were great n were very fiendly. the city is great, specially for this small islands right in river where people go to have bbq that i joined a couple of times. looooved the architecture and the cultural heritage it has... i didn't want to take many pictures when i arrived there (i arrived right to Wroclaw) it was so freaking freezing i didn't want to leave the dorm... just to Biedronka to buy food to survive. so, sightseeing came at the end of my trip... n i couldn't get to see all the places i wanted, but hope this is motivation enough to go back n take many more pics :)

1st city i landed in Poland... and the last one too. Wroclaw the meeting place... felt like home :)

so finally...

after the workshops i went to Slovakia for a week and had a great time with my friend Kjara, i even got to go to Budapest! :) sad i couldn't go to Sweden, as i planned... but i'm planning my revenge for that :P i had more than a week away from Poland and then came back for some last days helping a friend with 1 workshop and a wonderful time before departing to Wroclaw to take my flight to Bruxelles

i have to say that students were great in every school i went (in general, of course), schools were very supportive and helped to have good workshops, the people from AIESEC in Poland was great and took a lot of care of me and the rest of EPs (exchange participants) and all this lead to have a unique experience in the proyect.

with time was no hard to get on the tram or take buses, ask for kurczak or pieroggi, get jeden herbata and say dzien dobry :D the weather became much better with no freezing temperatures, trees looked way better with leafs on them, sun came by more often... people smiled on the streets, kids went out to play... and i had to leave the country before summer, such a pitty. i am very happy i took my bag and went to Poland... it was a great adventure and i got so many good memories :) i am lucky my camera was better than last trip so i could get videos and take more and better pictures. i have more than 7 Gb on pictures (by July 2009 and for a non-proffesional photographer, thats a lot i think!) but i won't publish much... sorry if u were expecting more, but is better if we meet and i can show u way more ;)

dziekuje Polska :) and all my friends and the people who helped me and was nice with me on my trip, i deeply hope we can meet again and that i can remain longer in all the beautiful places i visited :)

see u soon ;)


if u lost the way

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