22 December 2008

Katie is going to Krakow?!?; a filler post.

It's been too long since I've updated, but all my blogworthy goings-on lately connect somehow to the holiday season. I'd prefer to let that wrap up before I start summarizing and describing, so until then, here's a post that needs posting to tide you over.

Sometimes, life happens in mysterious ways. You find connections in two seemingly unrelated parts of your life, and those connections reinforce that your life might actually make sense after all.

An example? My winter break trip to Krakow, Poland.

As you all know by now, I'm working at Fu Xing Primary School in Kaohsiung city. Kaohsiung is to be the host of the World Games in July 2009, so the city is making all sorts of preparations to show the world that it is an international, developed, tourist-worthy city. Every elementary school has "adopted" a World Games country. I'm not sure how and why the countries were assigned as they were. My roommate Dan's school has a really strong English program, and its adopted country is the United States. Makes sense. My roommate Vicky's school has adopted Uzbekistan. Why? Who knows. One of the schools up north has adopted Cuba. And my school, Fu Xing, has adopted Poland.

Before the boyfriend Jonathan ever got a job offer to work in Poland, I was spending at least one period a week teaching in a room with a huge map of Poland on the wall, and cardboard cut-outs with traditional Polish clothing. I've translated messages for banners and posters to welcome the Polish World Game athletes. In case you don't believe me...

Wall-sized Polish map with cultural tidbits in Chinese:

Polish cardboard cutouts. The dude on the right is our English Village postman... obviously.

So even though planning a Lunar New Year trip from Kaohsiung to Krakow was neither easy nor inexpensive, the fact that I'll be spending my only school vacation in Poland actually, somehow, makes sense. My principal even wants to give me a stipend to buy cultural and educational souvenirs to bring back for the school.

Now, I leave for this trip in about a month. This is the first time I'll be going to a foreign country where I don't speak the language and/or don't have a native speaker contact in the area. So let's get your Poland/traveling/Europe/learninganewlanguagereallyfast tips rolling!


glennie said...

you realize that this is what i will spend my entire day working on, right? long post with my research on poland to come.

Briana said...

Merry Christmas, Katie!!!

Susan said...

Merry Christmas!^^

Anonymous said...

i can say two things in polish. i will tell them to you if we ever manage to talk on skype. merry christmas/happy new year. i miss you TONS. -Lauren