YouNxt welcomes guest blogger Paulina M. Abramowicz to the fold. Thank you for sharing your Poland in the Rockies experiences and thank you Paulina and Kasia Kaminska for the great photos.
We ARE Polish and Proud!
For those of us fortunate enough to attend Poland in the Rickies (PiTR) 2010, it was an experience we shall never forget. Some even described it as “life altering”. I questioned what this meant only to realize that a mere 12 days can catapult one’s confidence. A mere 12 days can also realize one’s hopes in understanding our complicated, painful and distinguished past (without a PhD in European History, Political Science or Literature).
For those of us, 1st 2nd, 3rd or 4th or no generation Polish, PiTR filled a void. A void where we felt “free” to comfortably ask difficult, non-popular questions without risk of judgement or ridicule. We learned why being “Polish” burdened so many of our predecessors with a befuddling, and seemingly deeply rooted sense of shame. Just check out a sample Wikipedia page.
And there, amongst the most breathtaking mountain views and invigorating fresh air, we learned, we asked, we questioned. By the end of the 12 days, all of us walked away with a deep sense of resolve. A resolve to stop living in silence and carry ourselves PROUD. For those of in a quest for answers – we received a cornucopia of them – too many for us to absorb… all in one seemingly intense moment of our lives.
We left, heartbroken, that it was all over. However, with an uplifted hope, along a deep sense of insight. Even if, for all of Poland’s complexity, not everything was crystal clear in our minds, one thing was surely clear in our hearts– of who we are and how we want to shape this, our future generation. The only thing we remain left with – is more to read, more to do, more to ask, more memories to cherish and more friendships to keep.
Everyone who came was positive, open, welcoming and warm. Everyone smart, motivated and accomplished. For all of us, these were sleepless, exhilarating, and deeply special 12 days. And there are two very special people we are forever indebted to – Irene and Tony – thank you with our collective, sincere and deepest gratitude!
For more information on Poland in the Rockies please visit the PiTR Website.
Written By: Paulina M. Abramowicz
Photos By: Paulina M. Abramowicz and Kasia Kaminska