Robin Patriquin (Miller)
It was about 21 years ago that I packed my bags and left Canada for a town in Poland that I couldn’t even pronounce. I’m still not sure if I pronounce it correctly. My boss Rafal and my new roommate Cara met me at the airport in Warsaw. Those first few days were a whirlwind of settling into my apartment, meeting new people, and getting used to the strong Polish beer!
Rafal and his wife Ania took great care of Cara and me. They took us to outdoor festivals and we spent many nights in Galeria. It was our home away from home- always lots of friendly faces.
Teaching at Golden Gate was scary at first but I had so much support from Rafal, Jacek, Ania, Dorota and Ewa. We were a tightly knit crew! In the classroom I was in awe of how smart my students were. They knew more facts about Canada than I did! They were dedicated learners and took the time to help me learn a few phrases in Polish. They went out of their way to make me feel at home.
Christmas was tough since I had never been away from home for the holidays. Our good friend Magda took Cara and me to her home where her grandmother made us the most delicious cabbage rolls ever known to man! We went to Mass on Christmas Eve with Magda’s family.
Cara and I got to explore Warsaw, Berlin, and Prague. I can’t begin to describe the beauty and experiences. The year flew by and before I knew it I was having a last get–together with now close friends.
I’m so glad I took a chance and answered a job ad to teach in Poland. I hope it’s OK that I now consider myself part Polish. I root for Polish teams in the Olympics, and I try to keep up on the political news. I love that my friends and students still keep in touch!
Did I mention that I met my husband in Poland? We now have four beautiful children. We often talk about getting back for a visit. Happy Anniversary Golden Gate! I am so glad to be a part of the School and the celebrations.