" I implore you, my child; observe heaven and earth, consider all that is in them, and acknowledge that God made them out of nothing (ex nihilo), and that mankind comes into being in the same way..." 2 Maccabees 7:28

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A typical youth hostel.

Email sent Aug. 2 2005

HI ,everyone!

Still doing well and have not yet collapsed from electrolyte imbalance thanks to mass intake of Polish gatorade.

Sorry, Dad- I have not asked your average man on the streets his opinion on the current administration in America for 2 reasons- first, normal people don't begin conversations that way, even outside the US and second, because the average man- on- the streets speaks only Polish and I can't pantomime "how do you REALLY feel about the Bush administration? When you come to Poland you can give it a try.

I have been very interested in the way the Polish relate to Catholicism and it is clear, after a few days here that it is a bit more complex than I originally thought. They do seem to have deep ties to their faith, but it doesn't always look the way I would've thought. When POland was split up into various pieces and parcelled off to neighboring countries, a common faith was really all that it had to remind itself of who it was and that it still existed, despite all the turmoil. However, I was very surprised at Sunday mass to notice that out of a full church (maybe 150 people) only about 20 or so received communion- an extremely small percentage. In fact, it was over so quickly that I missed it. People don't come out and line up to receive as we are accustomed to doing, rather they just sort of move towards the end of the pew and the priest gives communion to the few interested, mainly the elderly. In fact, the priest doesn't even come into the second half of the church at all. It seems to be understood that if you are going to receive communion you would sit towards the front. I was sitting behind a whole family- mother, father and three young kids, and none of them made any effort to receive communion.

Well, the hostel is filling up now and I have a bunch of male roomates. Right now in the next room the guys are talking about where the best strip clubs are and how "hot Polish women are, despite the fact that they don't photograph well". What a bunch of pigs. The one doing all the talking is American, too. If he's my roomate, I'm gonna urinate on his bunk.

Well, I was gonna write a long e-mail but these dorks in the next room are breaking my concentration. I'll write later.

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