First day of tour!! We left Gustavs at 7:30. Trip went well till the bus started smoking and we all had to bail out. Sat there for about 2 and a half hrs. till another bus came. Felt bad for the poor driver cause he actually bought the bus so that he could take us. Got to Bochnia round 4 and had a partial program in the town square starting at 5. So all 32 of us choir members changed in about 15 min.!!! AMAZING for a bunch a Mennonites!!! Program went well for as little prep time as we had. Ate supper at a little restaurant there in town, then drove about an hour to o our hostel. Arrived soon after 10 all pretty much exhausted. Please keep praying for us as we travel. Nate Stoltzfus
Ready or not- here we go! Our 3rd and final day of rehearsal is finally over. The rust is slowly giving way to areas of Polish and wonder(Thanks to Lloyd)! Departure tomorrow is an early 7:30. It’sbeen great to work together as a group- getting to know each other, balancing our strengths and weaknesses, finding ways to serve each other-just generally living in a communinty. We trust God’s spirit to continue to develope that in the next weeks. As a side note, Elaine Stoltzfus injured her foot playing a game of soccer late last evening. The swelling and pain were still considerable this morning so Laverne arranged for x-rays. Thankfully nothing is broken and it should heal, but pray for Elaine as she struggles with the pain and the restraintof her usually energetic style. Pray for the whole group as well, that we would allow God to empower us and enable us to serve. All for now- Titus Barnhart
Well, today we did what you’re supposed to do at rehearsal- sing! Those of us who thought yesterday we might avoid the effects of jet lag found out otherwise today. But we pulled through with the help of prayer and coffee (and chocolate covered coffee beans.)
We were privileged to have Marcin come for about 2 hours in the afternoon and critique our Polish. He was honest about our mistakes, but he had a good sense of humor about it all. We learned how to say “zh” like a vacuum cleaner and how to put our tongues in the “downstairs” part of our mouths, plus a lot more. J
Since Hope Singers is made up of a bunch of different people, I thought I’d let the populace speak for themselves about their experiences in Poland so far. The results of my poll are as follows…. P.S. Not all choir members were a part of this poll. (Sorry to those of you who missed the opportunity to let your voice be heard.)
Q- What was one of your first impressions of Poland?
– Light switches are outside the door. Dervin
– It’s beautiful and colorful- the houses, flowers, and people’s clothes. Jessica
– Different ways of construction- Kenny
– It’s a quaint. I like the sheep and cows and the homemade cheese. Melissa
– It’s my first time in Europe. I like the long license plates on the cars. Briana
– It’s fun to watch and see how many things are different than what I’m used to. Light switches flip the wrong way. Ketchup is thicker. Taxi drivers push their cars forward to the next space instead of turning them on and driving them forward. Nate W.
Q- What is your favorite Polish food?
– Pickle soup- Jewel, Gideon
– Chocolate spread- Elaine
– Kabobs- S.Mike
– Crepe things- Nate W., Phil
– Cabbage rolls- Nate
– Soups- Titus, Carolyn
– Pierogi- Matt
Now from our songs…..
Q- What’s your favorite song from our repertoire? (Subject to change at any time)
– Alleluia- Briana
– Cantate Domino- Crystal
– Nearer My God to Thee- Kenny, Melissa, Dervin, Maria
– Otche Nash- S.Mike
– Like a River Glorious- Anita
– Glory to God- Elaine, Carolyn
– Wana Baraka- Jessica
– Akanamandla- Jewel, Gideon
– Nie W Wymowie Slow- Heather, Esther
– If We Ever Needed the Lord Before- Titus, Janek
– An Instrument of Your Peace- Phil, Nate S.
– Barka- Tim, Candace
– Down in the River- Jacob, Dorcas
– Grace Be Unto You- Matt, Nate W.
Q- What’s your favorite Polish word? (Correct spelling not guaranteed)
– Oczywiscie- Jewel
– Bzhmial- Dervin, S.Mike, Phil
– Wzwyz- Kenny, Briana, Matt, Tim, Titus
– Wciaz- Heather
– Zbudz- Melissa
– Spojzalwes- Candace
– Wysmienita- Gideon
Q- How are you feeling about Polish diction by now?
– Discouraging. Anonymous
– It’s about to “break my tongue!” Monica
– I’m feeling nervous about diction, but it’s exciting because I’m getting there. Dervin
– Cool and fun. Candace
– It’s hard to get right, but once you get it, it’s fun. Kenny
– It is very difficult. Phil
– It’s coming. It actually can be done. Nate S.
– It’s tough, but it’s fun. Briana
– Dead easy. Janek Kleczkowski
Wednesday August 1 – To Poland to Poland jiggety jet lag! We’ve arrived safe and sound. Today we were busy making melodious sounds in English and tomorrow plan to practice our Polish. Tonight was a free evening. Some of us enjoyed walking the country side listening to the bleating of sheep and basking in the beauty of the day. Others of us had great fun playing ultimate Frisbee in the yard outback. The polish food is delightful! We’ve been savoring soup, chowing on cheese and sipping fruit tea. -Melissa Weaver
All 32 singers have arrived safely in Poland. The flights and arrivals went smoothly and a lot of tired singers are now getting some much needed rest. Rehearsal starts tomorrow!