Together in Zakopane
Sunday November 20th, 2016
Monday, November 1. A warm morning, marvelous landscapes, majestic mountains and this silent, friendly and so beautiful town – Zakopane. The Ukrainian team – Mariana, Natalia, Katya, Andriy, Bohdan and Ostap – fascinated by the beauty of Polish nature and full of pleasant expectations are walking along Harenda street and looking for Willa Jozef. This is not a very big green house with three floors and a basement. There were several rooms on each floor where we lived. By the way, before the arrival we knew we would be settled in different rooms and each of us would have at least one roommate from another country. First we were a little scared because we didn’t know how people from other countries would behave and whether they were friendly. But after an hour of communication we were well acquainted with them and all together went for lunch.
A dining room was located in the basement, next to a room with table tennis. After the lunch we came back well-fed and happy. Every day we had very tasty breakfast, lunch and supper and also every day we had at least one meal with potato (we didn’t even know that the Poles liked potato so much!). But we liked it too and we were never hungry during that week. Weather was changing every day – sometimes it was sunny and warm, sometimes it was snowy and cold. But it didn’t prevent us from enjoying these unforgettable moments during only one week in Zakopane. But that week was one of the best in our lives.
The name of our project was “Religious tolerance in the face of emerging crisis in Europe”. All the participants became friends immediately despite the language barrier and different levels of English. Sharing the tasks gave everyone an opportunity to reveal themselves and to get to know each other better. In general, during our project in Zakopane each participant received an unsurpassed experience. After all, not everyone has a chance in life to meet such great people of other nationalities and to dive into their culture. Every day was filled with various types of objectives and discussions on interesting topics. Every national team presented their country at a high level, so that the other participants could learn many new and useful information about foreign countries. The main goal of the project was to erase the boundaries between people of different nationalities, religions and fundamental beliefs. Everyone could express their views on global matters which were discussed without being afraid of condemnation for their opinions. And of course each of us greatly improved their level of English during that week and gained invaluable experience in dealing with people.
Well, we can speak about our adventures in Zakopane for a long time, but it can’t be described in words – you just need to see and to feel it by yourself. Almost everyone was crying on the last day because we didn’t want to leave that incredible place. But there were tears of happiness because we were very lucky to be a part of these unforgettable moments with unforgettable people. I hope it was not our last project and we will meet again all together. Perhaps in Zakopane, perhaps in some other corner of the Earth. But I’m sure we will!
Once Erasmus – always Erasmus!
By Ostap Danylykha