3 June 2017

last week i went to poland with my good friend Nadia. it has been a trip we have been planning for a while now. i wanted to visit her country and get to know where she comes from. being an immigrant myself i know how often you miss that part of the life of your friends. you don't get to know their childhood friends, their family and their hometowns. and what a great thing to share with each other!

we visited warsawa guided by nadia and all her wonderful friends. i saw a city full of life (and lots of vegan restaurants!).
the photos i took are mostly from the old town (the last one is from the gardens of the university, which i loved!) but the real warsawa lies beyond the charming historical center in a dynamic mix of old and new buildings and different generations living side by side. wish i had stayed a bit more!

after warsawa we went to płock. a small town 100 km north of the capital, where Nadia grew up. i feel tempted to say that having lunch with her parents was the highlight of the whole trip. we couldn't really communicate except with smiles, but the warmth was just wonderful and difficult to put in words.

another day another destination. to kraków we went! 85% of warsawa buildings were destroyed during second world war, in kraków on the contrary much is still preserved. we wondered around the city to discover it's beautiful buildings and a very relaxed vibe. my camera's battery was dead most of the time so i couldn't capture the city in images.

it's been difficult starting to write again on this blog. especially when it comes to deeper feelings. and what comes next is just about that. 
one of the reasons we went to kraków for was because it lies one hour away from auschwitz and birkenau. we spent one day visiting both camps. it's quite difficult to put in words the feelings visiting such place provoked. 
i touched the walls, the wood, the floor of a place where more than 1 million people were murdered, starved and tortured with immense coldness and intent. on one side my heart felt numb and i couldn't relate to all the people that once lived and died here. but my head was awake and i thought of the present. of how many atrocities are still being committed. how we treat each other. how fear, ignorance and money command. can it be changed? has it ever changed?

and then i looked a bit further and watched the trees dancing in the wind. there they stood for centuries. and life continued.

i shall continue to live my life practicing empathy. and that remains the most powerful value i live by.

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