This is Julia and today, I am here to tell you more about a very important part of my project: the time I spend at the amazing activity center for seniors called “Dzienny Dom "Senior-WIGOR" Miejskiego Ośrodka Pomocy Społecznej w Pułtusku", or more simply “Senior Wigor”.
I have been going to Senior Wigor for more than four months now and it is genuinely a pleasure to spend time with the seniors and the people who work there! They are kind, funny, energetic, open-minded and welcoming. I am learning everyday with them and I could never thank them enough for making me feel like home!😊
It is of course not always easy to communicate and understand each other, as I did not speak a word of Polish when I arrived. But this has been a great motivation and help for me to learn the language of my host country. The seniors and the workers are always willing to teach me and encourage me and I feel like my Polish has improved thanks to them. And of course, I have Ola, who works there and who speaks English, willing to help me at any time!
This project is of course about the reciprocal discovery of each other’s cultures, customs, languages, the intergenerational rapprochement, etc. But there is also another million of little things that come to my mind when I think about my time at the centre: the smiles of the seniors and the “Juuuuulka” that goes with it when I arrive in the morning, discovering more about their life through their photo albums, managing to have a conversation in Polish about a topic, their enthusiastic “merci” when they leave my French class, our dancing sessions, the numerous cakes, sweets and teas we share, the kindeness of the staff, creating Christmas decorations together, learning new skills from them and so many more anecdotes.
When you do not speak the language of the people of your project, it can sometimes be frustrating, intimidating and you can feel held back by it, but that also pushes you to be creative, to improvise, to mime, to find resources you didn’t even know you had. To learn. I really enjoy volunteering with the seniors and I hope to be able to offer them more new and diverse activities in the future!
Stay tuned and na razie,