Sunday, November 11, 2007

Live- from Warsaw!

Hello my friends, we made it safely over the ocean and arrived in Warsaw yesterday morning. We had some really long flights, but the one from Chicago to Warsaw was the most fun. People were festive and chatty, excited to be going home. When we finally touched down, everyone broke into applause.

Anna and Marek, Kuba's parents were waiting for us as we emerged from customs. The coolest thing, is that I now have a stamp on my brand new passport! We nervously greeted each other, and they took us to our hotel. After we crashed for a few hours, they came with Kuba to collect us and take us to their house for an authentic Polish dinner. Their flat was so cool. They have it painted in vibrant colors with original art hanging all over the walls. They've travelled everywhere, and there are books from all over crammed in shelves. Lewis and I were practically salivating to just touch them all and look inside.
I got to help Anna make, count them, FOUR different kinds of pirogi! They were incredible: mushroom and cabbage, potato and cheese, meat, and sweet cheese. All but the sweet pirogi were topped by one of the seven deadly sins, succulent and flavorful bacon grease. I loved it, and I'm really glad I've had the chance to do a lot of walking. I think I'm going to need to run all the way home to work off all the Polish love I've been tasting. We got a chance to catch up with Kuba and really appreciate his hard work cleaning his room just for us. We knew what a sacrifice that was for him, and were very grateful.
During WW2, Warsaw was 80% destroyed. That's such a tragedy, because their architecture is stunning. Anna and Marek took us to the old town, surrounded by an ancient castle wall, where the buildings had been rebuilt to close to their former splendor. The wind was bitingly cold, but I was so transported by what I saw, I hardly noticed it.

Walking down the cobblestone streets, you feel like you've stepped back in time, hundreds of years. Every other building or so has a plaque on it memorializing the violent deaths of Poles the Nazis killed at that location. War memorials are everywhere. It made me feel so grateful that although America payed a heavy price during WW2, it was nothing to the suffering of each and every Pole. This morning, after a wild ride, we made it to the one LDS chapel in Warsaw. Lewis was beyond excited to be back where he'd spent so much of his mission. He saw all kinds of people he knew, even one man he'd been a missionary with. The Polish members have to be so strong, I really admire their courage.

Here we are with a ton of missionaries serving in Warsaw. Lewis had a ball telling his stories of when the mission had barely opened.

After church, we made it back to the center of town, where of all the luck, they were celebrating their independence day. We loved meandering through the crowds, drawing funny looks because we look WAY American.

We had some more Polish food, that is beginning to stage a protest somewhere in the vicinity of my vitals. Not serious yet, mind you, but there is a vague ominous feeling of an impending digestive doom. We came back to the hotel, where we promptly fell deeply unconscious and woke up ready to take on the day at 10pm! We're having a fantastic time, and I can't wait for tomorrow's adventures!


Jenn said...

This is my third stinking try to leave a comment on this blog. The other two were really good, sorry you missed them! Sounds like you are having fun and learning a ton!

I read your old blogs about me and Kristy. They were so nice! I had forgotten about some of that stuff.

Jenn said...

Yes, it worked!

Home of the Muddy Kids said...

Looks like a lot of fun! I'm so glad that you brought your blogging materials with you! I hope you guys have a blast!

Allison said...

What a fabulous way to document your amazing trip! I'm so happy for to be there and be having so much fun already! I'll be waiting for the next update! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! (I hope your stomach adjusts soon!)