Aviva In Poland

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring is Coming.....

Dear Friends Family and Readers
I didn't realize how long it has been since I have posted some news from life in Warsaw. Time is flying here, a lot is going on and best of all the sun is starting to shine and the weather is getting warmer. Since the last time I wrote we managed to pull off wonderful Purim programs. For a holiday that is a day and half,, for me it went out for about 2 weeks with all the programming that took place around the holiday. My office, together with the community, the JDC Youth Club and the Lauder School put together wonderful Mishloach Monat for 200 seniors in the Warsaw area. The Youth Club kids contributed the cards, the school hamentashen, members of the community volunteered to help pacakge and deliever and my office and our volunteers did just about everything that needed to be done. In the end we had full beautiful packages, fufilled volunteers and happy seniors. I also organized a Purim Party in the Senior Club which was soooo much fun. Around 40 seniors came, the Rabbi's spoke about the holiday and we sang, danced, decorated masks and the seniors enjoyed Mishloach Manot. I also had a special program that weekend for some of our Families in Need prgoram-they came to my apartment for hamentashen baking and then joined the Youth Club for their Purim acitivies. There was also a special program for the parents, which my boss Ewa facilitated. All of these activites were amazing, so much happened and I know that the participants got a lot out of them. The different facets of the community also worked together and contributed so much to the programs. The week after Purim when I had finished sending out Thank You notes, cleaning up the mess and sorting out the receipts I joked that if I never see another hamentashen it won't be too soon. The truth is I know that I will never have another Purim like I have had here. The messages of survival, of taking care of one another and of celebrating were highlighted to me this year. Anyways Purim is no long gone and many other things are on the go.

I am working on big program for Pesach, together with the Lauder School Students and I hope some other young people I hope to have what I am calling a Pesach Circus in the Senior Club where the seniors and the young people work together on several small activities, share their different stories, questions and insights and create some art, thought provoking questions and stoires, that in which ever way people celebrat Pesach, these things can be shared.

With the nice weather, a lot of my old ladies have been very excited when I have and we have been able to go on walks together. For some of them, it is too hard to walk far alone so they are very happy for the air and a walk. I am so appreciative of their stories, advice and questions that they always have. There are so many things that I can not wait to share in person with so many of you. To write them here-does not do justice to how they are told.

This weekend I am attending another Madrichim(counselor) training seminar just outside of Warsaw. I have worked on a program to educate and model different Shabbat rituals and traditions. The hope is that this summer all of the madrichim will be able to not only participate in these rituals, but to lead them and to teach them at camp-well see how it goes.

With all of these things going my apartment problems have continued to the point that I am moving by the end of the month. I told my boss that I could write a book on apartment searching in Warsaw. I do believe I found something that will work well, hopefully by the next time I write I will have moved. It is funny how your standards totally change once you move to another part of the world and what was once important and essential no longer is. I will keep you updated.
So I have been busy and continue to amazed, challenged and inspired by my life here. It is also very weird, that I am more then halfway done my year, time is flying!
Lots of Love