Just wait…

Big deal after one month

Since the very beginning, everything is so complicated, and you need to get used to it. It doesn’t matter, starting a new school or university, having new shoes or changing jobs. But when you change the country, living place and environment, it’s a really big deal.

Okay, let’s go back one month and start from the day I arrived in Wroclaw.

Saturday evening.

Strange city.

Cold, so cold.

Small, empty and a bit dirty house.


‘’I wish I could run away now.  Did I make a mistake?!.’’ – despite of you being so tired by traveling, you can’t recognize that you are standing in the room for about 15 minutes thinking, before someone opens the door.

Three persons come in. It’s so easy to recognize which one is a new volunteer, new flat mate – she looks as confused as you. One of them, dark skinned girl, is smiling. She gives you a hug: ‘’Heey, I am …’’ (I was always bad with names). The second seems more serious, shakes your hand, asks for your name and says: ‘’Oooh, the kitchen is really good, bigger.’’

Yes, man, the only thing I was thinking about for that moment, was the kitchen, thank you for encouragement…

I’m kidding, that person helped me later on and I really appreciate it.

Then they left.

Actually now you are not alone, but still feel so. Probably she -the new flat mate- feels the same, I don’t know. (But now I know, I’ve asked her and realized that she felt the same and even more SCARED).

Still thinking about the mistake you probably made, but no…

The first day in the city.

How can it happen without being lost, but finally you get to the destination – Semper Avanti office

Serious blonde girl, who looks kind, and is trying to make everything easier for you.


Many information together.

It makes you more confused.

Christmas market in the city center – very nice.

4:00 pm, finish work and it’s already night time – cannot believe it. Because before, it was sometimes your waking hour.

Perogies – ohoo, they are delicious.

The first attempt of shopping – failed.

Only Polish scripts everywhere. More confusion.

The second day and the first experience with Polish language: ‘’Dziękuję’’; ‘’Żabka’’; ‘’Biedronka’’ – letters look more or less familiar, but sounds… Mm… No idea how they sound.

‘’Just wait… It will take a while, but you will get used to it’’- everyone says that.

The first meeting with volunteers and some of them even don’t know where your country is.

Check the time – it’s just 6 o’clock and you feel like it is 10 or 11 pm.

Still thinking about your mistake.

Well, waiting…

The second week.

You really like the new city and want to see more, but the weather… It’s getting colder and it kills any motivation.

Some moments and facts seem very strange to you, but:

‘’This is a volunteer’s life’’ – you hear this sentence every day from old volunteers. Still cannot understand.

Everyone looks so kind and are trying to help you as much as they can. Seems hopeful.

Okay, still waiting?!

The third week.

Less problems.

Every morning you wake up and see clouds, you are missing the sun. This is the one thing that nobody can give you hope about: ‘’It will be the same for two or three more months’’ – it scares you.

New volunteers and new friends; traveling to other cities and workshops; movie nights; bars, parties and games – this could be a volunteer’s life?!

After a while ‘’Dziękuję’’ doesn’t sound as strange as it did before and even more: you already have other Polish words in your mind. Using them in ‘’Żabka’’ or ‘’Biedronka’’ stores and feeling proud of yourself.

After one month you don’t even need to ask yourself, but wait… Let’s do it just for demonstration:

Still waiting? – No, you aren’t.

Now cloudy days are not what you are afraid of, but the day when your project ends, and it is time to go.

Step by step you recognize that these people and those places have become part of your life and instead of running away, you now think about what will happen in one year, when it’s time to say ‘’goodbye’’…

Walid Jabrane Photo&Videography ©

Author: Giorgi
Photographs: Walid