More Warsaw

Thursday, January 22, 2009
Warsaw, Poland
Experiencing Warsaw, Poland has been unsettling. What happened to humanity here over the centuries, especially during World War II can certainly not be forgotten. It's scar is evident not only in the completely destroyed and now rebuilt city, but in the hearts and minds of the population to this day. This has been sobering. Warsaw was 90% destroyed in the War. It began with the German blitzkrieg in 1938, then an uprising in 1943 and the Uprising starting on August 1, 1944 which destroyed whatever was left. Three major destructive waves. Again, it has been most sobering being here and absorbing what had happened.
My father was born in what was Poland in 1924. I remember him talking about the Polish Administration of Volyn, his Polish Province. I have gone back about three times to visit the Kubik family in the same region that is Ukraine in the past 12 years.  
What I have found is that Kubik is not really a Ukrainian name, but Polish. The Kubik's had most likely migrated there from more the native Polish territory. When we attended the Feast of Tabernacles in Krakow, Poland in 1984 with Don and Colleen Erickson, we found many Kubiks in the telephone book.
Karen Lee, Bev and I headed for downtown Warsaw this morning. First, we visited the Royal Castle where the Polish kings used to live. There was a lot of art and historical artifacts. There were even some Rembrandt's.  
From there we visited the Old City. This is an older section of town similar to what you find in Tallinn, Estonia or Riga, Latvia. But, it was completely destroyed in World War II and completely rebuilt to be exactly what it was before its destruction. I was amazed how Warsaw has been rebuilt after such complete destruction. You first have to clear the rubble and then start from scratch. Huge churches were rebuilt.
We walked around the main square in Old Town. It was colorful, cheery even on this gloomy winter day. Karen, Bev and I then had lunch at a Polish pub. It's been good spending this time together and getting to know one another better.  
In the afternoon we picked up Karen's children at the American School of Warsaw. We also got a tour of the K-12 school that has upwards of 1000 students. It is a state of the art school that has children from many nationalities attending. There were Americans, Russians, Malaysians and more. The hallways abound with diversity.
We came home. Andy Lee has been very busy in his year-end 2008 accounting work. We had dinner at home and spent the evening talking. We have thoroughly enjoyed being with Lee's and to see them adapting to this environment. It is not easy to be isolated week after week from friends and church community. We admire them very much.  
Bev and I stayed up until 1:00 am with a number of emails to send back to the USA along with other chores. Tomorrow morning we leave for Riga, Latvia and the Robert Schultz's!  
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It's definitely a very interesting country, with an equally interesting history. Thank you for sharing.

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager


Re: Poland.
Thank you for your kind comments and thank you for following us on our journey, Louise!