29 Jun

We started our day with a trip to a nearby castle that had an armory. The students had a ton of fun learning about the knights and their armor- swords, chainmail and muskets. Lots of opportunities for vocabulary building! They loved being goofy and pretending to be knighted, holding the swords and trying out the torture devices. 

Once we returned to the school, myself and a few of the other volunteers were interviewed by a local radio station about our experience volunteering with Ukrainian refugee children. We met the mayor of Koturi and the school principal. The mayor told about his efforts in their sister cities in Ukraine and the great effort to bring kids from those towns to Poland to learn English. He spoke about the conversion of a building in Koturi to house Ukrainian refugee families as well as the programs set up to give humanitarian aid to the sister towns. 

The rest of our afternoon was spent teaching in the classroom. Today's theme was transportation. We also played some of the favorite games from earlier in the week such as uno. We had some challenging behaviors in the classroom this afternoon which stretched our classroom management skills to their max. There was also some conflict between a couple of the boys this afternoon made even more difficult by the inability to communicate easily. With some help from the translators peace was mostly restored and at least cursory apologies made. As we learn more and more about the children's lives and the challenges they face I am humbled by their residency. The two boys who had conflict today had both lost their father's in the last 6 months. I can only imagine how raw their nerves are dealing with such big emotions and life changes. It's amazing they are able to come to camp with a smile most of the time. 

Today was our last day of lessons in the classroom. Tomorrow we are taking the kids on an all day field trip to see bison at a nearby game preserve. Then on Saturday we are planning and organizing a field day full of fun activities to celebrate the end of the camp. The mayors of all the sister cities in Poland and Ukraine will join in our celebrations. 

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