July 20th – 21st 2015

So yesterday we had delicious apple pancakes for dinner, prepared by Julia. These were more akin to American pancakes than the crepes I’ve been frequently eating this trip, which are also called pancakes. Afterwards we changed the movie selection and watched “In Bruges.” At least, I think that was the title. Really great movie about a hitman that accidentally shoots a little boy. Definitely a movie I would recommend.
The next morning I somehow woke up at 0900 (after all the drinks). Julia was already at work, and Dawid was starting at 1000. I took my time with breakfast and showering and left at 1000, meeting Dawid at the rec center at about half past. Today I finally got to see exactly what he does for a living. There were about 10 kids there, ranging in age from about 6-12. When I first showed up they had prepared a long sheet of paper with about a dozen questions for me (the questions were writtten really large), so they could practice their English. These were mostly generic questions such as: where do you live? what is the climate in the US? do you have any pets? We spent about half an hour on Q&A, then moved into an adjoining room with a kitchen and made croissants. We rolled dough and cut it into triangles, then topped them with nutella and/or jam, rolled them up, and put them in the oven. While they were cooking we crossed the field behind the rec center and climbed up a small hill into the forest, where Dawid tied a slack line for us. This is something I discovered in Prague and already had plans to buy my own back in Arizona. Slacklining is a fun activitiy that actually takes quite a bit of skill. We spent about an hour practicing on the line before heading back inside to eat our cooked croissants. Afterwards we all went to the main room and used a 10-meter rope to play an elimination game of jump rope. This was followed by an imitation game (although I was the first target and they didn’t explain anything to me). So for a few minutes everyone had to mimic my every action and gesture and expression. I soon had them all acting and sounding like gorillas. As much as I’ve always disliked children, this group was quite the adorable bunch.

By this time is was 1400, and the kids were leaving. Dawid still had some things to do in the office, so I headed home. I got bored and left the house after two hours, on Julia’s bike, and went back to the rec center just to get out of the house. Dawid was just finishing up, so we left shortly afterwards. When we got back Julia was already home. We cleaned up a bit and cut up more apples for juice and cider and such then decided we should finally have that BBQ that was postponed by rain a few days back. We took a basket of food and beer to the yard and roasted sausages on sticks like I used to do with family on vacations when I was younger, sans beer of course. Even after we were done eating we sat around the fire for another hour just telling jokes (most of them unsavory). Both of them agree that I have created monsters by explaining the universality of “TWSS” jokes. They thoroughly enjoy the concept and contribute as much as myself.

After dinner we adjourned to the living room. We were going to watch a movie, but wound up spending an hour using Google Earth to show each other important places in our lives. We finally had to stop around midnight, as everyone was tired. Tomorrow also should be a big day. We are waking up early, 0800, to go to the market two towns over. Then I’m going with Dawid on another project on which he is working. He is looking through 70-year-old German magazines for references to his village in order to find out more about the history. Apparently during WWII the Germans forced everyone out and it was repopulated with Germans. Then after the war ended the Germans left and Poles were able to reclaim the territory. So basically nobody knows anything about these small Polish villages unless something was printed about them in newspapers or magazines. Therefor, Dawid is trying to learn as much as possible by looking through an archive of old German magazines and newspapers. I’m going along because he doesn’t know the German language, so I’m going to scan the articles he finds that mention his village so he has a digital copy and can translate them later. I’m sure Angie would get a kick out of all the old documents we’ll be sifting through.

I would like to add a few things after drinks but before closing. First of all, thank you nobody for even checking to see if posting my public photos on Flikr worked. It would only have taken 30 seconds. I can’t do it myself because my devices are always logged in to my account. But I can only assume from the lack of response that nobody is looking at them anyway. So from now on, just Facebook will have the pictures.

Also, Trish and Angie. You probably both know by now, but just reiterating: the country of Poland has apparently paid to send my postcards with Czech stamps to you, but will require reimbursement upon arrival. So save your Zloty (or you could probably just sleep with the postman…or woman). Also also, Angie, you have no idea how many times a week I look at the photos of that post card I sent you of Maria Theresa beside the one Homer sent Marge. Everytime I see it I laugh uncontrollably. Maria really does have a butt that won’t quit.

Shoot…what else, what else…oh, my odyssey has unofficially come to an end. Not in the sense that I plan on returning state-side anytime soon, but within the next few days I am buying a ticket back to Arizona. This is an unfortunate necessity, as buying a plain ticket 4-8 weeks in advance will save me a lot of money. And even though I’m WAY underbudget right now (how often does that happen on vacation?), I figured I should plan at least a little bit ahead. So within the next few days, surely before I leave Nowy Kosciol, I will have secured a way home. But more than that, it will for the rest of my trip be a depressing reminder that all good things must sometime end. I think only one person will actually know the specifics of my departure and subsequent arrival. And hopefully he’ll pick me up from the airport, too. On a brighter side, he and I will most likely be in New Zealand just a few short months afterwards! I don’t want to get my hopes up, but it’s too late – he may have devised a plan that will allow me/us to travel forever!

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