XVIII. Goodbye

by valerie shultz

July 24, 2011

1305 hours

We just got in the van, leaving Jelenia Gora to head back to Krakow.  Oh wait, the van just made a u-turn.  Joanna called and said we left a bag at the parish house.  I don’t want to go back.  The goodbye was so very emotional.  I thought I’d be so anxious by now to get home (which I am!), but it never occurred to me I’d have such a hard time tearing myself away from this place.

The only reason I didn’t totally lose it saying goodbye to Joanna is because she came in last night and added me to Facebook, so I know I can visit her virtually any time I want.

And Kuba – I will miss Kuba very much also.  He is eighteen but a junior in high school because children start first class (they do not call it ‘grades’ here and actually get offended when you say it that way) until age seven.  But he asked for my email and promised to write.

Today in church I was engrossed in the sermon, which Dave delivered and Joanna translated, but found my mind wandering during the Polish parts I couldn’t make sense of.  I kept wondering how  a language, which is spoken in one country the size of New Mexico, has survived everything this country has been through, with the Germans invading and settling here for hundreds of years, and Russia trying to do the same.  I want to talk to Joanna about this and research this more when I get home.  I can’t help but think the language was very resilient, which must reflect the people here.  And I thought it must have been the same for the Lutherans in this country; for two percent of the population to keep a religion alive is pretty surreal.

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