Everything began in early January when I came back to Poland from wonderful Austria where I went to spend winter holidays. It was my very first working day when I got a long message from one of the CWM /coordinating organisation of my EVS project/ staff members. She asked me to take part in “Wielka orkiestra świątecznej pomocy 2018” /Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity/. In spite of the length of the message and the noise caused as a result of children’s vivid laughter, I read it for a few times trying to understand as deep as possible about my role in it. Some minutes later arrived the last message from her: “Almira, would you like to participate in an auction, the winner of which will get a special prize: meeting with you over Armenian cookies and coffee”?
Magda /the author of the message/ is the kindest, brightest and the most positive person I have ever met within my very first days in Poland. Really I managed to love her a lot and didn’t want to disappoint her. But her suggestion was a weird one at least for me as a person being brought up in a very traditional society and family. To meet a person whom I didn’t know at all, to make something Armenian for him/her and try to be nice with him/her… I was thinking so thoroughly about its all possible outcomes.
And now a few words about the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. It is the biggest, non-governmental, non-profit, charity organization in Poland. The GOCC aims to support health care in Poland by purchasing medical equipment for Polish hospitals and clinics. The foundation supports pediatric and geriatric wards, furnishing them in both complex medical devices such as MRI scanners, and providing long-term care units with anti-bedsore mattresses and beds.
I read a lot, watched a couple of videos about this event, finding out that there had been so many Polish celebrities who took part in this auction offering self made dinners to the ordinary people who were ready to donate. Finally, after hard hours of thinking, I made an important decision to take part in it. After all I agreed to have my own little contribution to a very thankful and important deal. The next day Magda posted a small ad with my photo wearing an Armenian national dress. My photo was well chosen which made everything very special and mysterious. Good job… and the next step was waiting. This process took a couple of days. On the very last day a big concert took place in all cities of Poland and everywhere you could meet people wearing a special distinguishing red heart either on their clothes or on their faces.
So, on the 28-th of January on-line auction was already over and the winner was known. He was Pawel Osipov, a person who bought a meeting with me for 365 PLN.
Now it was the hardest moment ever… to get ready myself for a meeting. When I knew his name, I thought at once that probably he was Armenian. But my EVS friends told me:
-Almira, don’t imagine such things, almost every Polishman’s name is Pawel.
But I was right: he was Armenian living in Gniezno, 300 km far from Gdynia. He messaged Magda telling her that he really felt sorry for not being able to come to Gdynia to meet me. He wrote also that he highly valued my participation in “Wielka orkiestra świątecznej pomocy 2018” and he conveyed his greetings.
I was happy and sad at the same time. For sure, you already know why. The only thing I could do was e-mailing him expressing my deep gratitude. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive any reply from him since then but it’s not important any more…
Thank you, Pawel! May God bless you and your family.