Sunday, February 28, 2010

Poland Part 3

For all of you who have been waiting, here's my story about getting lost in Radom. On Tuesday, Tim and I were going to the same school we went to on Monday, so we were just going to ride the bus there ourselves. No problem, we knew the bus number and where to get off. I will add right here that is was cold that day, we heard about -20 degrees Celsius, which is just below zero in Fahrenheit. That doesn't seem too unbearable to us from northern Minnesota, but if you haven't noticed, we don't walk any where when it is below zero, we just get in our preheated vehicles and drive. However, we had to do a fair amount of walking and it was brutal. Looking back, though, it didn't seem so terrible until after the cold had passed. I guess God just gave us the stamina we needed. Ok, back to the story. So we get on the bus, #7, but about 5 minutes later, we pulled into a bus stop, and the bus couldn't get going again. Everyone had to get out, and Tim and I are going, "Ok, now what?" About 5 minutes later, another bus #7 pulled up and everyone who got off the first bus got on that one, so we followed. We were early to begin with, so we were feeling just fine, we would get to the school with time to spare. We knew we should have gotten to our stop soon after that...and so 20 minutes later, I finally looked at Tim and said, "I think we missed our stop." He just said, "Yeah." So at the next stop, we got off. I still don't understand how we could have missed the stop. We both were watching for it, and it was at the train station, so it would have been pretty obvious. Of course, the windows were completely covered in frost, no, more like a thin layer of ice, so we couldn't see out any where except the front. The only other excuse I can think of is that the bus was trying to make up for the time lost when that other bus had to stop and just skipped our stop. Thankfully, the stop we got off at was just across the street from another bus stop that would have our correct bus going back the right direction. So we crossed the street and waited. The above picture is what the bus stop was across from, the Imperial Tobacco Company. I was a little nervous because it was kind of a side street and not much traffic was going by, so I was envisioning us being there for a long time before the bus came or my toes falling off because of the cold. I think we waited about 10 minutes, and our bus came. We got on, and then we got right to the train station and walked to the school. We were only 10 minutes late, and we were able to use this adventure as part of our presentation. We talked about how in the Midwest, most people don't use public transportation except for school, and how we just don't understand the whole bus system. The students thought it was funny. Thinking more about it, it really could have been a scary or miserable experience, but God was with us, and I really can't say I was worried at any point. It makes for a good story.
Another part of the ministry that the Hagemans and Snyders do is an outreach to the homeless people in Radom. They use an apartment, which is again about 10 or 20 minutes on foot from the Snyder's. I think they serve a meal there a couple times a week, and the pastor from the church, Pastor Tytus, gives a little message. The American team didn't get too involved in the ministry, but we went a couple nights to the Ministry Center (that's what they call the apartment) to meet those they are ministering to. Since the pastor talked in Polish, we didn't go in for his message, we just worked some on our presentations and other things in another room. The heat doesn't work real well in the apartment, so that's why we all have coats or sweatshirts on. L-R: me, Lee, Tim, Greg
These next pictures are of the Snyder's apartment, so you can kind of picture what I'm talking about when I keep bringing it up. Above is the dial intercom thing by the door. We pushed number 2 and they would unlock the door for us.
The walkway up to their house. We got off the bus stop and walked about 5 minutes to get to the apartment. Hanging out in the Snyder's living room. That's Steve Snyder on the computer at the desk.
Vera taking a little nap. Since it was a half hour bus ride back to the Hageman's apartment, we would just stay at the Snyder's after the presentations and lunch if we were doing anything in town that evening.
On Thursday of that first week, it was Bernatka Snyder's birthday. She generously shared her chocolate with the whole team. By the end of the afternoon, there wasn't much left.
Ok, now the Hageman's apartment. This is where I stayed along with Hannah, Linda, Lee, and of course, Bob and Vera. The room above is the shower room, and the washing machine is just out of the picture on the left.
This is the toilet room. There is a little sink, but we couldn't use it because it leaked. Although it was weird having the shower in a room with no toilet, it was better that way, because when you only have one toilet and one shower for six people, it worked much better to have them separate.
This picture was taken from the doorway into the apartment. The closed door there is the toilet room, and the open room to the left is the kitchen. Lee's bedroom was just out of the picture on the left. Bob and Vera's bedroom is at the end of the hall, and the living room is to the left at the end of the hall. The shower room is out of the picture on the right.
The kitchen was rather small, but we didn't spend much time at the Hageman's apartment, so it wasn't too bad. Actually, it was rather cozy when all six of us would sit in there and talk.
This was the living room that was converted into the girls' bedroom. It looks like a mess, but we were really pretty organized. :-)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Poland Part 2

On Sunday, we went to the church, which is a rented room in this building. The church is about a ten or twenty minute walk from the Snyder's apartment.
After church, we went for lunch at a restaurant called Teatralna's. These are the candles they had on the shelves along the walls. Obviously not the no-drip variety.
The group at Teatralna's.
I think everybody ordered pizza. Here's Andrew with his.
Daniel Snyder
Veronika Snyder
My pizza. They call it a Margherita in Poland too.
Andrew and Daniel became fast friends. It was so fun to see them together. After lunch, we went back to the Snyder's to plan for the presentations in the schools. The American team went in pairs to some of the local high schools and gave presentations on American culture. I was with Tim. We would do anywhere from 3 to 6 presentations a day. At the end of each presentation, we would invite the students to the workshop the next week and to a "Virtual Train Ride" across American at the church on Friday night. For this, we divided America into 6 parts, and pairs of Americans gave a short presentation on each region. We had 35 students show up for this - way more than we expected! Praise God!
Ok, back to Monday. After our presentations, which went until about 1:00, we went to a restaurant for lunch. I don't remember what it was called.
I think Andrew got the Pineapple Chicken. It was so colorful, I just had to get a picture.
Hannah got the potato pancakes with gravy. That's Laura on the left. Hannah and Laura did the presentations together.
I got potato pancakes with sugar, and they were really, really good.
That day was Andrew's birthday, so after lunch, we went to a place called Krowlewski's (I think I got that right) for dessert. These were mostly a layered, cream-type dessert. They weren't really sweet, but they were still good.
Bob had brought a birthday candle for Andrew's dessert.
I don't think Greg actually ate both of those, but it was a good picture.
Hannah's dessert.
Mine had a chocolate crust and chocolate shavings on top.
Isn't this a sweet picture of Daniel and Andrew?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Poland Part 1

I am so excited to finally share these pictures with you! I should have labeled this post "Pre-Poland" because these are mostly traveling to Poland. Here we go...
On January 20th, Hannah and Andrew and their parents picked me up and we drove down to the cities.
We stopped by Kal's so I could say goodbye to Dad.
Then we stopped by the job site where Hannah and Andrew's brothers were working so we could say goodbye to them.
We spent the night at a hotel in Minneapolis because we had to be at the airport around 9:00. Here's Hannah and I in the lobby.
We took the hotel shuttle to the airport. L-R: Andrew and Hannah's dad, Kevin, me, Hannah, Andrew.
The sky walk at the Minneapolis airport.
Andrew and Hannah's mom is a great photographer. Here we are getting in line to check in.
Waiting in line.
Check in.
The Kangas family right before goodbyes.
Andrew entering security.
Waiting in the security line.
Thankfully, none of us had any problems - even the two screws in my arm got through without starting a national security alert. Andrew and Hannah in Chicago. I love O'Hare airport. We had flown from Minneapolis to Chicago alone, and we were to meet up with the three guys from Nebraska, Lee, Tim, and Greg there. They ended up being the last people on the plane, and they had to almost run to get on, so we didn't get to talk to them much until we got to Frankfurt.
Andrew and I in Chicago.
Our plane from Chicago to Frankfurt. Notice the TV screens for each seat - very nice. I just love flying.
Andrew and Hannah on the plane. I didn't get seats by them on any flights, but they always sat together, so that was good.
When we got to Frankfurt, we had to take a bus into the terminal. Standing up in the back is Tim, and the guy in the red hat behind Andrew is Lee.
Andrew and I in Frankfurt. I thought the chandeliers in the Frankfurt airport were so pretty.
We had about an hour after we went through security to wait. It was a good time to get to know each other better.
I don't know how many of you remember my musings I wrote before I left about "watching the Son rise," but this is what we watched out of the window on the plane from Frankfurt to Warsaw. It was almost like God was saying, "yeah, you're not going to believe this!" This was about the last thing I saw before my eyelids surrendered to gravity for about 45 minutes, which was great, because I hadn't slept at all since waking up in the hotel that morning.
Hannah took this picture from the other side of the plane.
Not quite sure where on the flight this was, because, like I said, my eyes were doing the 'international traveler's involuntary closure' move. When we got to Warsaw, we met Bob and Vera, one of the missionary couples we worked with. They had rented a van, and we drove about 2 hours from Warsaw to Radom. Bob is standing up on the left. We got to Radom, and dropped Tim, Greg, and Andrew off at Steve and Bernatka Snyder's apartment in the middle of town. The Snyders and their kids, Veronika and Daniel (ages 13 and 10 I think) were the other missionary family we worked with. Then we drove another 20 minutes or so to Bob and Vera's apartment, where Lee, Hannah, and I stayed, and Linda, another lady on our team. After getting settled, we took the bus back into town to meet everyone for supper at a restaurant called Smok. The big thing at Smok is their nalesnikis, which is basically a crepe, but a really good one. They put two of these together and put all kinds of filling in between, like pizza ingredients (some of which are not what we would call pizza ingredients) or fruit. Hannah and I shared one with a sweet cheese and raspberry filling with strawberry sauce on top. Tim, Bernatka, Lee, and Andrew at Smok. Oh, and Greg is behind Andrew there. Hannah and I.Andrew and his nalesniki. I think it had apples inside with chocolate sauce. After supper, we headed back home for bed, which was a very good thing, because when we finally were ready to turn out the light, I calculated I had been up for 29 hours with just that 45 minutes of sleep. That's my record, and I'm not planning on breaking it any time soon.