This week has really had it all: sports, culture, charity and the Christmas spirit. Check out the details and find out how YOU helped make one family’s Christmas magical!

Wednesday, December 13th. Could volleyball ever be a bad idea? Don’t think so! And the Sport Group knows it well as they initiated Volleyball Wednesday that turned out to be a great success. A number of Erasmus students came together along with their three friends form ESN – the Ambassador Joanna, Marianna and Marcin – meeting at the well-known sports hall in the Mlynska Street to play a few casual games. There were no referees nor points – it was all about good fun! The more experienced players teamed up with amateurs and an hour of action passed in the blink of an eye. The participants are already asking about a replay!

Wednesday, December 13th. This year Christmas started even earlier – on Wednesday… and what’s more – in a genuinely international environment! The hall of Collegium Historicum Novum filled with young people from all over the world. What do people from the Philippines serve for Christmas? Where do they decorate boats instead of Christmas trees? As soon as the presentations were over, the first star shone in the night sky. Here we go – the dinner is served! Ok, well, but what are those – the funny little things floating in that pot? Not all Erasmus students were brave enough to try borsch (Polish: barszcz). And some of them were actually frowning while eating a herring! It’s no wonder that we had the meal in a truly cheerful atmosphere. This is basically how our ESN family spent the last moments just before the winter break. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 14th. Do you remember sister Leopolda? She is impossible to forget. That’s why on Thursday morning we once again came with help to a canteen for poor and homeless people run by the legendary sister. A strong representation of Italian students and one representative from Malta rolled up their sleeves and served meals with a smile on their faces. We did spare some time for a lovely chit-chat with sister Leopolda, who was extremely curious for stories from her international helpers. It was our last visit at the canteen for now, but in January we're coming back with even more #SocialLove! Are you ready?

Friday, December 15th. Friday afternoon was a real treat for all art lovers. They had a chance to visit the Zamek Culture Centre and admire the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera work exhibition. The display surprised them with the diversity of presented works – it comprised not only paintings but also photographs, manifestos and short film projections. The most intriguing element of the show was a photo of one of the most famous Frida's paintings, La Mesa Herida (The Wounded Table), and the story surrounding it – the painting mysteriously disappeared without a trace during an exhibition in Poland in 1955. After the visit to Zamek was over, everyone agreed that it was so worth it to go there and see it all!

Remember Erasmus Date Auction? It’s bringing real results! With over 4000 zlotys we managed to collect during the event we helped a struggling family through a national charity project called Szlachetna Paczka. We were able to cover all family’s needs, dressing them from top to bottom in winter clothes and shoes, fill their kitchen shelves with a huge amount of foods, stock them up on enough fuel to keep their house warm throughout the whole winter and make sure the house’s (brand new) equipment runs on all cylinders. Well done to all who contributed!

Here is what the family’s mother has to say to you:

“I would like to thank you very much for all that you’ve done for me and my family. I will never forget it. May God repay you for this.”

This is how the family’s assigned volunteer remembers the moment of passing the gifts:

“It was quite a challenge to set all the presents up around the room. It took a while for us to convince the mum, Magdalena, to start opening the gifts. With each present, a smile lit her face. She was very happy with a winter jacket she got, but it was the shoes that made her tear up! Then two pairs of shoes for her sons and a jacket for the older of the two – these brought her a lot of joy. It was clear one of her dreams has just come true! When she saw all the food and cleaning supplies, tears rolled down her cheeks. Surprise and joy became even larger when she noticed a Christmas card among the presents. She said she had never received so many presents in her lifetime...

You are amazing people who, I believe, forever changed the life of this family. The effort you put into making this gift a real Christmas present… is incredible!”

Tuesday, December 19th – Paint the Carols

Tuesday, December 19th – The House of Bernarda Alba – theatre play