Blogs from Warsaw, Masovia, Poland, Europe


Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw May 23rd 2019

Rain, rain, rain! from the moment we arrived and at almost every crutial moment. Although maybe I am being a little harsh as we had some thankful breaks in the clouds. We couldn't check in until 1pm and arrived at 6am, so sat in a cafe at Centralia until 10am and then risked the weather for the 10.30 am old town walk.   Together with the long walk from Centralia we gave up before it finished and made our way towards the airbnb. Warsaw's Old Town has been completely reconstructed from old photos as it was completely bombed by the Nazis as punishment for the Poles in Warsaw trying to protect the Jews. Everywhere you go in Europe there are reminders of the horrors of World War II. Weronika and her huge dog Peggy greeted us ... read more
Warsaw Old Town Square
Street Art in Praga, across the river from Warsaw
Old Town Alongside the River Praga

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw May 21st 2019

The road to Warsaw is indeed mostly road (I had expected motorway but there are only chunks of motorway appearing randomly along the way). Hence the 184 mile journey takes over 5 hours. It’s not very scenic and I’ve finished my book, so it’s a long 5 hours. We stop briefly in a Lidl to buy brunch and get attacked by old ladies brandishing shopping trolleys like lethal weapons. By the time we reach Warsaw, it’s mid afternoon and raining and the city is masked by a cloud of smog. It takes another hour to fight our way into town (I can understand now why we had to pay an excess to bring the car here – the drivers are batshit crazy) and find our way to the hotel car park, which is in a courtyard ... read more
Palace of Culture and Science
View from Palace of Culture and Science
The Sail

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw July 26th 2018

We breezed through breakfast and met Robert outside for this morning's devotions/reflection time. He found the definition of "family" on Google and shared that family can consist of your own family members, a household, and even the servants of a household. Closest to you are the members of your immediate family and then, this week, our collective family of volunteers. Family means to feel secure, to have someone you can count on, and someone who shares your problems. But it also means to have respect and responsibility for each other. And so we can also count the family we're working with as our family, too. They are part of our global village! Our photos show the progress we are making on our various tasks, and they also show how we are coming together as a global ... read more
Heading to the jobsite.
Asia and Zygmunt

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw July 25th 2018

This is Day 2 of our build project, and some of us have learned we used muscles yesterday that might have been sitting dormant for a while. But no matter, we are excited to get started and continue working on our assigned tasks. Lissa shared a quote from HFH's first board chair who said, "Love is not confined to words or pretty things. It's action." She reminded us that we are the action and how a group of strangers from different places, backgrounds and experiences can come together out of the same spirit of love and of action and work together as if we have known each other forever. She gave us each a small key as a symbol of what our actions are building -- not just a house, but a home. These photos demonstrate ... read more
Lissa and Shea
Stucco plastering team

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw July 25th 2018

As the team gathered for this morning's devotions/reflections time, it started to drizzle. In flexible fashion, we boarded the bus, and Randy shared several passages that demonstrate from scripture how the attributes of loving, serving and giving are inextricably linked, because they all come from God and reflect His character, and we reflect His image when we exercise the same. The rain didn't last very long and, by the time we arrived at the site, the clouds were already starting to clear. Our hotel chef prepares our lunches each day and we take them with us to the jobsite. This convenience allows to quickly and easily break for lunch when we are at good stopping points. No two meals have been alike, and the chef is enjoying preparing a variety of salads, soups and sandwiches for ... read more
Right side of the front of the house.
View of road from the front of the house.
Move it, move it, move it!

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw July 23rd 2018

The first build day brings a variety of emotions: uncertainty, anticipation, curiosity, excitement and confidence! We enjoyed an excellent breakfast buffet this morning and then met outdoors for team reflections/devotions in bright sunshine and a gentle breeze before taking a 20-minute bus ride to our project in Redzyńskie. Our host, Marta, is staying at the hotel with us, and it is a pleasure to welcome her as part of our team. She is accompanied by long-time volunteer, Asia, who joined us at the site for the day. Construction supervisor, Zygmunt, was happy to see us and, in no time at all, he had organized us into five teams of four people each to perform several different tasks, assisted by instructors Mirek, Marek and Janek. Chantel shared a poetry reading this morning that perfectly set the tone ... read more
Grandma and Chuck
Team Redzyńskie!
Let's build scaffolding first!

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw July 22nd 2018

After a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast, our local guide, Tom, expertly led us on a walking tour of Warsaw's Old Town area. His easy-going style made history come alive as we walked from one end to the other, noticing the unique architecture and modern restoration of original buildings. We ended our tour with a delicious pierogi lunch followed by options of visiting the Polin Museum of Jewish History or wandering through Warsaw neighborhoods on our own in the afternoon. Some stopped for one last taste of Wedel chocolates and lody (ice-cream) before loading up the team bus. After an hour-long drive on primarily country roads, we arrived at Pałac Żaków, our hotel for the week. The Pałac Żaków was built by the tsarist general Alexander Stiepanov at the end of the 19th century, ... read more
Warsaw Old Town
St. Anne's Church
Amy kisses the bear to see if her prince comes alive (according to Polish legend).

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw July 21st 2018

It's official--Our whole team has arrived in Warsaw! Several folks arrived early and spent time in Krakow to see another part of this beautiful country, some have wandered Warsaw on their own for a couple of days (Tom has logged 50 miles on his pedometer!), and still others just arrived earlier today or just 2 hours ago. It is always a blessing that everyone is here, and their luggage, too! Following an introductory team meeting on the terrace of Hotel Gromada Centrum, we employed the unique head-counting style used for many years (thank you, Mo and Eunice!). Our team ages range across several decades, but you would not guess this. We quickly headed for the metro station, managed to all step into the same train car, and with Marta's encouragement, efficiently exited the subway without losing ... read more
Dobranoc from Team Redzyńskie!
Palace of Culture and Science

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw July 20th 2018

Bonjour à tous, Encore une journée à 0 km pour la voiture, mais 13.1 pour moi. Je ne serais pas loin de 15 apres le repas de ce soir. Ce matin la douleur musculaire qui me gênait depuis 2 jours à pratiquement disparu. Je ne voulais pas marcher autant aujourd’hui mais de fil en aiguille, une bâtisse un monument en appelant un autre, et c’est encore une belle journé, à Warszawa, avec une beau temps et 28ºcet après-midi. Varsovie, capitale de la Pologne 1 730 000 habitants, agglomération 3 340 000. Surnommée la ville Phénix, pour avoir réussie à renaître de ces cendres. 84% de la ville ayant été détruit pendant la seconde guerre mondiale. Elle regroupe toute une gamme d’industries et 70% des établissements supérieurs de la Pologne. La ville continue sont développement économique avec ... read more
Place Rynek
La petite Sirène de Varsovie
Plombiers polonais qui partent en France

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw July 19th 2018

Bonjour à tous, Malgré les cachets d’hier au soir ce matin au réveil, ce muscle tire encore. Petit déjeuner à 7h, ici les omelettes sont faites à la demande des clients, la petite serveuse bien mignonne et bien jeune m‘en propose une aux lardons. Autant demander à un aveugle s’il veut voir. Bien jeune, mais très douée pour les omelettes. A 8 heure la voiture tourne, je programme Varsovie. J’agrandis la carte, et je m’aperçois qu’elle me fait reprendre les 100 km, que j’ai fait avant hier en plus de 3 heures dans les travaux. Je n’ai pas envie de passer ma matinée dans ce trafic. Je regarde ma carte papier ça va être un peu plus long, tant pis je programme, Turun. Il y a 70 km d’écart. Je sors de la ville très facilement, ... read more
Palace of science and culture Varsovie

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