Greetings from Poland!
We come back to you in the beautiful month of October, when leaves in the Bieszczady mountains turn all shades of red, orange, and yellow. Autumn is in full swing and even when the rain eclipses the colors for a while, they burst out again as soon as the sun is back.
In this special setting we continue our journey alongside our Ukrainian guests, trying to make our centers as close to homes as possible, always remembering that it is made possible by kind and generous people with open hearts: which means YOU! ☺
As we mentioned at the end of our last report, our renovation project involving Skorodne has been replaced with a much more advantageous no-renovation project of Zatwarnica! This former tourist hotel allowed us to open the door to new refugees immediately, as well as move our people staying in Polana. It proved to be a great idea as everyone liked the new place very much.☺
By acquiring this hotel, we’ve acquired much more space. There is a large room well-suited for meetings, and its usefulness was tested soon after the new inhabitants had been installed. The test was certainly positive.☺
Let us now give you a few more glimpses of our new reception center. Just as soon as our guests were settled, we continued with one of the most important activities: teaching Polish.☺ Other than its obvious advantage in the process of finding a job, knowing the language also means feeling less isolated and being more independent.
A group of Polish volunteers visited us to provide some entertainment for the youngsters. Many of them, after a brief crash course, became quite expert at architectural design and carried out their own building projects. One of them turned out to be a church.
Thanks to the constant presence of our volunteer doctors from America, we could organize another meeting with our guests to promote health awareness, especially as regards vaccination.
The most special event in the story of Zatwarnica so far took place at the beginning of October. Our Metropolitan Archbishop Adam Szal visited our parish church in Dwernik and then also the chapel in Zatwarnica. He celebrated the Eucharist in both places. Later, he also accepted the invitation to our reception center. Here are a few glimpses from those two exceptional days.
After those eventful days one of our doctors, exploring the area, proposed a trip to the nearby small zoo. Those who wanted to, could go pony-riding or rabbit-chasing.
Anyone interested in learning how to milk a cow could actually try their hand at it…
…and even grab a chance to feel like a farmer riding his tractor!
Still, nothing beats an ice-cream cone after the adventure.☺
Dr. Brian Lisse flew back to his home in the US soon afterwards. We were very grateful for his service, especially since it was already his third visit with us!
In the meantime, the Polish Red Cross offered our children a vanful of school backpacks which were gratefully received and put to good use almost immediately upon their arrival.
Other fun activities in our reception centers last month included more lessons (even in astronomy), coloring, reading…
…and walking in the breathtaking scenery of autumn woods.
While the colorful leaves are splendid to marvel at when they pave the paths in the woods, we had to remove some of the self-installed carpeting from our deck in Przemyśl.☺
In our Przemyśl reception center, preparations for winter continue, but current cooking engagements keep our ladies busy as well.
Winter is not of such concern in Sicily, where we have just resettled a new group of Ukrainian refugees. They received a very warm welcome from Don Alessandro, our Italian friend and cooperator, and had their first Italian dinner together. They are getting to know their new environment which includes a beautiful coastline.
One of our team members made a collage of the photos sent to us by other residents resettled to various countries.
Just as we were drawing to a close with this update, the very sad news of a series of coordinated attacks on various Ukrainian cities reached us from the media; they were confirmed by our friend Sister Małgorzata who is in Kiev at this time. We continue to pray for peace in Ukraine from all the places where we are present with our Ukrainian guests.