Sunday: The last day in Dobrzyn

January 12, 2014 • 2:09 pm

It is my last day in Dobrzyn, and soon it will be back to the big city: first Warsaw and then Chicago. But before I leave, Andrzej wanted to show me the theater/playhouse he had built for the children of the town over his garage.

The upper floor was converted into a large space accessible only by a ladder, which of course made it even more fun for the kids.

Andrzej was loosely affiliated with the secondary school in Dobrzyn, and played a large role in expanding the children’s lives: getting them computers, finding ways to make their education fun, and, above all, inviting them to their home and the theater in the summer to interact, put on plays, and learn. As a result of his and Malgorzata’s efforts, a number of poor local kids, who would have otherwise have been doomed to dead-end jobs in the town, have gone on to university and become lawyers, writers, and scientists.

It all started in the building below. Sadly, Andrzej’s health doesn’t permit him to run the theater any more, and so it sits abandoned, waiting for another good soul to come along pick up the cudgel:

Theater outside

Here is the inside with the stage and curtain (“My best linen!” said Malgorzata), decorated by cohorts of kids. There’s a dressing room off to the left.

Theater inside

“Klas 1A” on the curtain below refers to the first grade of secondary school, which included kids about 13 years old. Children would come to the theater and the surrounding garden every day in the summer, and about once a week during the warmer months of the school year.

Most of the time they would play, do fun educational things (e.g., talk about evolution, listen to Andrzej discuss local history, etc.), and, of course, put on plays, including “Romeo and Juliet,” with the swain standing in the garden below and calling up to his inamorata in the attic.


The remains of the curtain: here is Justyna’s signature from about 12 years ago (she is, if you’ve been reading, now a student of primatology in Warsaw).

Justyna signature

The students also decorated the surroundings; here’s a grazing cervid of some sort:


It is sad that the room no longer rings with the happy cries of children. A few signs of their presence remain, over a decade old.


Dinner was a luscious dish of beef tenderloin cooked over scalloped potatoes, served with a nice Chianti (srsly). As Malgorzata reminded me, this was the first dinner she made for me when I visited here last fall. Now it is the Last Supper. 🙁


Of course, I can’t forget about the Most Famous Cat in Poland, who posed on top of her famous perch:

Hili on canisters

. . . as well as on the wicker shelf on the porch:

Hili on shelf

Sadly, Hili has been out much of the day, so I have been cat deprived. But it’s only right that I let her spend some time with her Official Staff:

Malgorzata and Hili

And I’m sure you’ll all be fascinated by this video of Hili having her crunchies (yes, Ben, I know you frown on this).  But listen to that cat chew!

17 thoughts on “Sunday: The last day in Dobrzyn

  1. That is a beautiful building. I like the pictures of the theater. Nice story about Andrzej and Malgorzata.

    1. It is quite a simple salad: tomatoe, cucumber, red peper and iceberg lettuce (all cut in cubes) plus corn from a can. Covered with dressing made of 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon mustard (whipped together), 1 clove of garlic, black pepper, and different spices (oregano, thyme, rosmarin, basil). Sprinkled with sunflower seeds.

  2. (yes, Ben, I know you frown on this)

    Yes, but I also firmly believe that any indulgences should be heartily and unapologetically enjoyed — which is clearly the case with Hili.

    I’m sad this marks the end of this round of vicarious enjoyment of Poland. Please tell us it won’t be the last, and that the next will be soon!


  3. I will miss seeing the photos from Poland, but will look forward to the next trip! Andrzej, Malgorzata and Hili are so gracious letting us enjoy their home, food & walkies vicariously.

    My cat Ernie likes his “crunchies”, too. He will not touch canned cat food with a 10 foot pole, even the fancy stuff. He loves his crunchy Science Diet!

  4. Hili’s nose gives in to an adorable wrinkle at times!

    Jerry’s adopted home is a sweet place. Kudos to his hosts for all the wonderful, creative, kind, wise, and generous aspects which fill their daily life. 🙂

  5. I too have much enjoyed the vicarious vacationing. Lovely place, amazing friends, delectable looking food, and an adorable cat all depicted through lovely pictures and posts.

      1. Yes…may they live long and prosper. Hili too! 🙂

        Hope you visit Poland again soon, Jerry. Reading your posts made me feel like I was there!

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