Discovering Wroclaw

>> vineri, 18 noiembrie 2011

After I read and heard such positive words and stories about Wroclaw - the city with the most beautiful architecture from the entire country of Poland - I decided to join my friends in order to explore its fascinating belongings.

My trip began last week, on Friday when I took the Polski Bus around 8 AM. It was very cold outside, and I had to wait almost one hour to enter the bus and be ready for the departure. When I reached my place I was really pleasantly surprised. It was too comfortable for the price I paid for the ticketJ; if my eyes were closed I could have been sure that I am in the plane (I heard the same welcoming from the on board voice that you usually hear while flyingJ). After 7 very long hours, my friends and I arrived at the destination point, accompanied by our huge luggage.
We settled in a very nice youth hostel situated near the city center, at our friends from Wroclaw; they were very welcoming being also our best guides during our stay there (especially Andy from England).
On the first day I didn’t manage to do so many things, because I arrived in the evening, but I managed to attend one of the most dangerous manifestations that are taking place every year during the national day of Poland, in every big city. I went there ruled by curiosity; I really didn’t know that it would be so violent. All around you could see fires flying in the sky and going down in the flock and a big number of policemen. It was horrible, but I could feel the adrenaline running in my veins…
On the next day I, Diana, Marie and our unpaid “guide” Andy started to explore the beauty and mystery of Wroclaw. We visited many interesting touristic points such as: Rynek (Market Square), the Solny Square, the Cathedral Island, the University of Wroclaw, the covered market, the National Museum, and a lot of beautiful churches. On Sunday I and Diana also visited the Hala Ludowa (Centenary or Centennial Hall), the Japanese Botanical Garden and, of course… we had some shopping time :P (our passion J ).
Besides the city discovery, I also experienced once again some more traditional Polish food and, finally, hot bear in some nice places recommended by our local friends.
I really don’t have any regrets that I had with this trip: I met new interesting people, I experienced new positive feelings. I enjoyed it hugely… but… in the end, I missed my life back in Warsaw J.



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About Hippotherapy

>> luni, 7 noiembrie 2011

As I mentioned in the previous article, here at Helenów, during the week are in progress many types of therapies (where the students are attending with regularity) as: arttherapy, musictherapy, kinetotherapy, hippotherapy, hidrotherapy, etc. Today I would like to speak about the therapy through horses (hippotherapy). For getting more information about this topic I had a nice conversation with the physiotherapist Dorota Brzeska, from the Helenów.

According to Dorota’s knowledge the first experiences of the hippotherapy at Helenów started in April 2003, following the idea of the physiotherapist Agnieszka Kozlowska and that of the manager of the institution – Zbigniew Przgrowski in cooperation with the master of the Polish Hippotherapy Association - Anna Struminska. After discovering this great plan the next step was to search someone who would have practice in working with horses, so they found Dorota as the first Helenów hippotherapist. Afterwards, there was purchased the first horse (Kindzał) from the Polish Hippotherapy Association that started to work with the students from Helenów in June 2003. During the summer holidays Dorota purchased the second horse, Mała Mi, a beautiful mare, that started to work, along with Kindzał, in September 2003. This activity subscribed a magnificent success; many kids were interested in hippotherapy activity, this fact leading to be acquired more horses like: Irys and Jaremcza, in the same year; and after 3 years – Koral and Las Vegas.
Dorota informed me about the role of this kind of therapy as well. First of all she mentioned that due to the great horse-human connection this therapy is a very fascinating way to exercise the body, especially that of the students with physical disabilities. This practice is considered to be very interesting because during the sessions there is a continuous cooperation between the students and animals. At the beginning of their activity pupils seem to be afraid to be close to the horses, but this emotion disappears very fast; after some regular contacts, they become brave and more relaxed.
I also felt this human-horse connection after riding (for the first time in my life) and taking care of the horses. It is spectacular to see how intelligent can be these animals. If they want they can easily make you feel loved and desired, or if they have some doubts about you they can let you try to win their trust.

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My host organization in Warsaw

>> duminică, 6 noiembrie 2011

Some words about the host organization wherein I am volunteering…


It is a complex of institutions providing education, treatment and welfare for children, youth and adults. The scope of the host organization activities includes the support and rehabilitation of disabled people at different ages as well as the training of specialists to work with disabled and socially excluded people. The Centre specializes in treatment of children with Central Nervous System dysfunctions and cerebral palsy among them.
The organization is situated in Miedzylesie, which is a quiet suburban district in Warsaw. Location in mostly residential area with forest just behind the fence and convenient communication with the city centre makes it a very attractive and comfortable place to live.
The Centre consists of the following institutions:
- Special Education and Treatment Centre of the Society of Children’s Friends (Specjalny Osrodek Szkolno-Wychowawczo-Rehabilitacyjny TPD);
- Specialist After School Centre of the Society of Children’s Friends (Pozaszkolna Placowka Specjalistyczna TPD);
- Autonomous Special Secondary School of the Society of Children’s Friends (Niepubliczne Liceum Ogolnokszta TPD);
- Autonomous Health Care Centre (Niepubliczny Zaklad Opieki Zdrowotnej);
- Prevention and Developmental Support Centre (Pracownia Profilaktyki i Wspomagania Rozwoju);
- Group of Public Special Schools (Zespo Szko Specjalnych);
- Graduate Club (Klub Absolwenta).
All units of the Centre cooperate very closely and support each other to provide complex care to children and young people under its charge. Currently in the framework of the host organization there are about 130 pupils and 34 technical workers. All staff members are adequately educated and experienced.
In present this organization hosts 4 volunteers (2 from Moldova, 1 from Portugal, and 1 from Germany). The work of the volunteers is divided in many sectors in order to be given the possibility to the volunteers to experience their work in all the departments existing in this area like: hippotherapy, graduate club, PPS and different kind of therapies. Till now, after some small discrepancies,  there were made some proper changes in the volunteers’ working schedule, everyone having now, more or less, a desired place and program of working.
What I like the most here is the wonderful relation between me and the students and teachers. Everyone is open-minded, all the time ready to help me and share experience and good disposition. My students are my best Polish teachers, everyday teaching me how to pronounce correctly some words, some phrases in Polish, demonstrating a great patience towards my language mistakesJ. Now, after 2 months, due to them, I can understand pretty well Polish, and I even can speak being understood. My heart is full of positive emotions when I am doing my voluntary work in the framework of this organization.

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