There are so many things I’m excited about. I am excited to go to this country, to learn more about it, its people, and its history. Even though I’m a little nervous about trying some of the “interesting” Polish cuisine, I’m also excited about it. I relish opportunities to try and experience new things!

I’m curious to learn more about the Polish culture, as well. Before this whole experience, I knew very little about Poland. I never really thought about it. I suppose I was another self-focused American… not really taking the time to see what else is going on in the world around us. Now, though, I’m beginning to wonder just how much in this world I don’t know. There are so many people in this world. We are all different, and yet, at the same time, we are all alike. The more I learn about Polish culture and beliefs, the more I become introspective and begin to examine my own culture and my own beliefs. It makes me wonder why we do certain things. For example, why is it that Americans, on average, know so little about their country’s history? In class, Dr. Clark was explaining to us how Polish children learn about their country’s history from the time when they are just toddlers, at their mothers’ knees. I wish our culture was more like that… it would have made my U.S. History classes a lot easier! Really, though, I want to be more familiar with everything that happened in our nation’s history, as well as in the histories of other nations around the world. I think that by studying our history and the history of other countries, we learn more about ourselves as human beings, and how we interact with and influence each other every day. Maybe, if we look at the trials and triumphs within history, we will take a look at the world around us, and discover a way to support the people within it. One of my greatest wishes for this upcoming trip is that I will not just let this be another trip. I pray that I will take this experience, this newfound understanding of the world around us, and I will be inspired to use this knowledge that I have gained to serve others.

Anyway, I continue to look forward to the day we fly out of Amarillo and thus begin our journey to learn more about Poland, its people, its history, and its incredible endurance through the Holocaust.

-Janelle Gross

Published in: on February 14, 2008 at 2:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

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