Aviva In Poland

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Snow Continues to Fall...

The snow continues to fall and life in Warsaw is continuing despite it all. Things in Warsaw are very busy with work, sorting out the washing machine saga and with starting to look into my future as I am realizing that my work in Warsaw will one day end.

I have been swamped preparing Purim programs. I am laughing again at the fact that a one day holiday has turned into a week of programs, but what I am working on is great. I will tell you briefly and next week share how it all turned out. My office(the Volunteer Centre) has mobilized the community and we are working with them, the school and the youth to organize the purchasing of products, packing and delivery of Mishloach Manot(Purim Packages) to over 200 Seniors who are community members and our clients. It is an incredible amount of work, organzing list of seniors and calling them, recruiting additional volunteers(including the Lauder school students), shopping for it all and making sure that it will be a nice experience for the volunteers and the seniors receiving the packages. My nightly shopping at Carefour(our local Walmart) has become a laughable experience and figuring out if it is wiser to include vitamins or pill boxes in the packages-it is for seniors, in addition to how many hamentashen can be baked. This project is emphasizing the community building work which is so important.

In addition to that I am planning the Senior Club Purim party-we will be decorating masks and those premade masks don't exist in Warsaw, so I am becoming a good mask cutter outer. And finally I am working on a new program idea-we have a group of people that we assist called our "Families in Need Program" and for Purim I have pushed a new idea, to bring the children who live in Warsaw and the area to the youth programming which they have not been exposed to, and before that, to come to a special hamentashen baking party at my apartment. So the parents and children will have a full day and I am hoping that programming like this can continue and happen in other cities as well.

Sooo it is very busy and in the middle of these days I am spending time taking lunch to an old woman who used to come by for English lessons but has gotten very sick. I am so happy to be seeing her and visiting with her for a bit. Winter here is hard, I have been gone for a long time and I am so busy. But spending half and hour (and the 1hour trek)with my Josephina amidst it all is a great refreshing breath and really warms my heart. She is the kindest wisest woman and the illness that her and her husband are dealing with is so sad. I will share with you the sweetest thing-despite what they are sick wtih she wanted to go for a short walk with me so she put on her shoes with a shoe horn and since she cant bend, he appeared there the moment she was ready and tied her shoes for her, it was the sweetest thing to see.

Next will be the test of our ability to accomplish big things and pull these programs that we have put so much into. I am looking forward to a weekend with my first visitor to Warsaw, my friend Mollie a fellow JSC volunteer who is spending the year in Kiev. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I will share at the end of it all how the programs went and maybe one day I will be able to also share that I have a working washing machine
Sending warm hugs from Warsaw
Love
Aviva

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