Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day 4 in Warsaw

Hello again,

Well today is our last full day in Warsaw and we wrapped up our workshop with the other teachers. We had a great discussion with 5 other Polish teachers who just recently finished doing cultural exchanges between Polish and Israeli youth. We brainstormed ideas on how we could emulate this program in some way here. I think we made some great progress and I can certainly see us connecting in the near future.

After our session ended we went to downtown Warsaw to the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising. Very moving and powerful museum built in 2004. The noise did make the museum discombobulating.... but I think I could have spent a lot more time there. After that we took a tour of old and new town in Warsaw. After the failure of the Warsaw uprising...the city was all but destroyed (85%) So most of the buildings have been rebuilt. It was still amazing and I hope to get pictures up of today sometime tomorrow.

Tonight we bade farewell to our new Polish and Israeli teachers as they go on their way. I think we got a lot out of them...I am not sure the same is true of us.

More will come in later.


Barb said...


We miss you! Sounds like a wonderful education. There will be plenty of ice when you get back, even inside the building! Brrrr!

Take more photos. I want to see more! :)


Drew said...

Hi Rob--

I've been thinking about your comments on identity--the distinction between "Pole" and "Jew." This reminds me of what Thomas Friedman reported about his experience in Lebanon, where people would ask him his nationality and not be satisfied with "American." Yes, yes . . . but what is your nationality? (Italian? Jewish? Arab?) Americans think that means citizenship, but much of the world thinks in different terms. Tod Shepard recently published a book called The Invention of Decolonization that argues that the Algerian War in the late 1950's ended any chance of an Enlightenment sense of the common Frenchness of all French citizens. Algerians became non-French after that, including any children and grandchildren who might eventually be born and raised in Marseilles or Paris. Sadaharu Oh is Japan's greates baseball star--"but of course he's not Japanese," any more than Okinawans or Ainu are Japanese . . .You'll never be Japanese if your grandparents are from Korea. Tribalism defines Poles, I guess. Glad your trip has gone so well.


Justin Ngo said...

Wow. After finishing reading all your posts, I have to say I've learn about a lot about Poland. In my opinion, it's pretty sad how the buildings in the city that was destroyed was rebuilt. It would've been great if we could still see the past and examine the destroyed buildings. That way we can still learn about how the uprising failed and how the city came about as the result. Oh well, it is still pretty neat that they rebuilt the buildings and tried to recreate what it looked like before the uprising. :D

Can't wait for the pictures and see you back at school tomorrow!