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I am the lucky one

My name is Kasia, I’m 31 years old and I am the lucky one.

I am lucky becasue although I was born in a country with a communist system, I don’t really remember much from those times, except climbing trees and playing blocks. The system fell apart when I was 5 years old – so it didn’t manage to force me to anything what I didn’t want to, like e.g. marriage below 18 years old – which is the experience of 1/3 girls in the developing countries or 1/9 below 15 years old. Like 76% girls below 18 and 28% girls below 15 years old in Niger [1].

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My Warsaw Book Club

One of the coolest things I have ever organized in life is our Book Club. I remember when I was invited by Agnieszka to participate in a Book Club meeting myself for the first time and I was feeling so stressed when going there. I was thinking whether I will be able to conduct a-very-intelectual-conversation-on-a-very-theoretical-level. All of my doubts and hesitations dissapeared the moment I came – I enjoyed the meeting a lot and we had wonderful conversations. The biggest discovery for me, however, was that you can read the book in so many different ways! And that was an amazing discovery, really!

The main difference between the Book Club I was participating in and the one I wished to participate was that I wanted to read more contemporary books. The one I was attending was amazing, with lots of smart and wonderful people, but the book choice was very different from what I was reading on a daily basis. And I really wanted to discuss the books I was reading myself. So – as John & Pawel posted recently on my Facebook profle:

I spoke with a couple of people around, all of them were saying that it’s an awesome idea and they all wanted to participate. So I thought “Ok, it’s a cool idea and it looks like it’s going to work” and for the first meeting we have chosen the book “Male lisy” (“The little foxes”) by Justyna Bargielska. Lenght: ca. 100 pages. I was sure that people should be up to read it.

Paula was the only one that came. And we were there, in the corridor, Paula was taking off her coat (it was October, so it was a bit chilly already) and she said that she had not finished reading the book. But she still wanted to discuss it – she added quickly. “At least! I thought – We will make it”.

You always have to start somehow. Maybe there are only the two of us, but let’s try it. And so we did.

I made a pot of tea and we started talking with Paula on my couch about “The little foxes”. For two hours or so! I made another pot of tea. At the end of the meeting we chose the book (“Niebko” by Brygida Helbig) and the date for the next one. Paula didn’t make it, but Gosia and Justyna came. And there was my couch and the pot of tea again.

This is how it all started. Eventually we have changed my couch into Wrzenie Swiata,as it was easier for everyone to reach. The pot of tea has always been there.

Nowadays our meeting are attended by approximately four people. We meet more or less once a month to talk about the book and all the book-related topics. We choose the book for the next month and we decide about the date.

I haven’t read one book so far (“Drach” by Szczepan Twardoch) but I came to the club to listen to the discussion. I have missed two meetings (the discussions about “Thinking is a form of feeling” by Susan Sontag and “Detroit: An American Autopsy” by Charlie LeDuff) – I was travelling in the Middle East back then. Today I’m also not going to participate in the meeting – I’ll be leaving Poland later on today. And girls will meet in the evening in Warsaw to discuss the book “Egypt: Haram Halal” by the Polish author Piotr Ibrahim Kalwas.

The Club is celebrating its first birthday today. 12th meeting. And I’m very proud of it! ❤

Czyzowice, 14 October 2015 (written in Warsaw on 2nd September 2015 – after the last Book Club’s meeting)

A desert is a place without expectations

A desert is a place where only the magic things are happening. And it turns out that the Jordanian desert is the next desert visited and the next one that seems to be my own little heaven on Earth.

Ahmad and me in Wadi Rum, Jordan
Ahmad and me in Wadi Rum, Jordan

I arrived to Wadi Rum to a little Bedouin camp (six double tents, two dorm tents, toilets, shower!) owned by Ahmad. This camp is not a regular camp – despite the fact that everything is so minimalistic and simple in here, it is very practical and comfortable as well. Everything has a place and is here for a reason. And the time passes so slowly in here.. Those moments I’ve spent lying down and stargazing – these are the ones I will remember for a looong time.

At the same time I’m planning my last week in the Middle East. Still ahead of me – today the desert (Wadi Rum), tomorrow and the day after tomorrow – Petra, then Amman and three last days in israel. And next Sunday I’ll be back to Poland. It still feels so unreal!

Wadi Rum, Jordan, 11 July 2015

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