Saturday, December 8, 2007

Mid-Year Fulbright Meeting in Warsaw

Stalin's "Gift" to Warsaw: the Palace of Culture and Science, Poland's tallest building.

"Mid-year" is hard to believe! But we have been here 3 months now and have a little more than 2 months remaining. We took the morning train from Krakow (3 hours, $32.50) and arrived just in time for the noon meeting. It was fun to see everyone again and hear how their placements were going. There were many good experiences to share as well as some expected frustrations of adjusting to long-term living and working in another country. John's comment to me afterwards: "Sounds like we really lucked out!" Our apartment is nice and conveniently located, my classes are full and going well, Krakow is a wonderful city with lots to do, we haven't had any major problems resulting from our poor knowledge of Polish, and John and I have each other for company! (Loneliness was a sentiment expressed by several Fulbrighters.) After the meeting, we all went out for a nice (and very large) traditional Polish meal, courtesy of the Poland Fulbright Commission. Several of us brought books we had finished reading to exchange - I've started "A Spot of Bother" by Mark Haddon, a book I probably would never have picked up otherwise.

The US and Poland have just completed negotiations on a new Fulbright agreement that will double the number of placements in future years. Anyone interested????
Palace of Culture and Science in the early morning (on our way to the train station for our trip to Gdansk).

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