Parting is... such a sad affair

Last night, we bid goodbye to Gosia, Julia, Martyna, and Jeremiaz.  Today, we said the rest of our goodbyes when Daniel and Tymo dropped us off at our Hotel in Krakow.  It is amazing how some people can enter our life deeply in such a short space of time, but the Masarczyk family certainly did just that, and it made parting quite sad, for us and for our wonderful hosts.  Rather than dwelling on that, though, here is a bit about our day.

DSC_0524Our final service project was more English language classes at another school where the four women from Malone did presentations for middle school students about education in the US and their hometowns and students practiced English with them through interactive exercises and games.  Dr. E. spent time with younger students, doing games that helped them practice basic vocabulary and  tenses.  Of course, being anywhere in Poland also means that you have to have a nice meal before you can leave, so the school provided us with a very nice meal of a grilled meat and potatoes and what we think was a red cabbage salad.
DSC_0528From there, we briefly visited a Jewish cemetary that sadly bears testament to the near-total extinction of Jewish people in what was once a very Jewish town. In 1939, at the beginning of the Nazi invasion of Poland, the SS set a synagoge of fire in the city, burning about 100 people alive. Durring WW-II, over 20,000 Jews from Będzin, along with 10,000 Jews from nearby areas, were forced into the Będzin Ghetto by the Nazi military forces. Nearly all of them died in Auschwitz. There is a nearby Roman Catholic church where Father Mieczysław Zawadzki hid about a hundred Jews, protecting them from deportation and death.

A few hundred meters away from the cemetary, we caught a glimpse of the city's early days as a military outpost, Będzin Castle.


In Krakow, we said our goodbyes, settled into our hotel, and enjoyed dinner and then desert at an amazing restaurant, part of a small chain that has been making and serving chocolate for a century and a half!  Tomorrow, we will see the beauty and history of Old Town Krakow and enjoy some free time, one last day in a place that has quickly become an important part of our lives.

[caption id="attachment_555" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Szczepanski Square Szczepanski Square[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_557" align="alignright" width="300"]Wawel Cathedral and Castle Wall Wawel Cathedral and Castle Wall[/caption]


Good night from Poland, Dr. E.


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  14. Here's a nice comment for the article:

    It's touching to hear about your goodbyes with your Polish hosts, especially the Masarczyk family. It's a testament to the deep connections you formed in a short time. While parting is bittersweet, focusing on the positive memories and the impact you made is a great way to move forward.

    Your final service project sounds like a great learning experience for both the Malone team and the Polish students. It's heartwarming to hear about Dr. E.'s involvement with the younger students as well.

    The visit to the Jewish cemetery and Będzin Castle served as important reminders of Poland's complex history. While the stories of the Holocaust are tragic, learning about Father Mieczysław Zawadzki's act of courage offers a glimmer of hope.

    Ending your day with a delicious meal and dessert sounds like a perfect way to celebrate your time in Poland. We're excited to hear about your explorations of Old Town Krakow tomorrow, and we wish you a safe and pleasant journey home filled with lasting memories.
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