At home, many are just ending a normal Saturday night. Here in Poland, we’re on a bus, on a 4-hr drive to Auschwitz & Birkenau (the extermination camp of Auschwitz), to immerse there today. The silence on this bus full of normally chatty teens is as much of anticipation and nerves as it is fatigue (we got up at 5:45, and the intensity of these days is exhausting). I’ve been to these camps twice before, and the butterflies in my stomach are just as active as theirs, but maybe weighted a bit differently- knowing what we’ll see, haunted by the layers of it I’ve tried to comprehend over the last 6 years since my first visit with another very special group of Cincinnati teens I’ll forever be connected to in sharing that first experience together, and palpably aware of the responsibility that goes with being some of the few in the world who will ever come to this place, or attempt to understand at this level.
Deep breaths, as today will be difficult and challenging (two different things), heavy, immense, and… incredibly important.
-Sarah Singer-Nourie, trip co-lead/chaperone