Blogs @ Emporia State University

Visit to Zakopane

Jun 3, 2013

Tags: global leadership

By Chase Nichols

Just as most days of this trip have been, today's experiences and sights were breath-taking.  We got the opportunity to visit a beautiful city 2 hours outside of Krakow called Zakopane. When we first arrived we were going to receive a short tour of the city. It ended up being quite short however because we were all so enthralled to visit the small workshop of Jan, an extremely talented, self-taught wood sculptor. In his small workshop, we were able to see just a fraction of his work, and it was nothing short of amazing.  Jan had serving trays, decorative plates, detailed animal sculptures, nativity scenes, other religious objects, and many other types of works on display. We were so impressed with the quality of his work that every member of our group purchased at least one item, if not more.  As young future leaders, Jan was an important example of taking your passions and talents and turning them into your life's work.  Today, Jan's work can be found all around the world and is very highly regarded.  His inspiring example can help us all to find our passions and lead our lives in ways that enable them to flourish.

After some light shopping at the local market and a quick snack, we were headed to the lift-off point of cable cars to take us up the mountain range that separates Poland and The Czech Republic.  The view we had on this lift was absolutely worth the uphill trek it took to get there.  The lush forests and the winding river running through them, became but a portion of the vast scenery we experienced. It's difficult to explain in words the immense impact of this experience.  As we piled into the cable car, on the way up and back down, we all rushed in to get the best seats for optimal viewing!  When we got towards the top the cable car and surrounding areas were cloaked in a heavy fog.  It was a little disappointing to finally get to the top and to have a clouded view, but our patience was rewarded.  As we exited the port that the cable car pulled into, we noticed some stone stairs that led upward although the destination of this stairs was unknown due to the fog.  So of course, we began climbing.  Once we reached the top of the stone steps, the feeling was indescribable.  We each took our picture at the top of this peak and then posed for a group photo. This event was significant for us because it was our last group event together. This sort of experience was very humbling.  On such an immense mountain, you can feel as just a spec in the vastness of the world.  It's integral to realize though, as many of the experiences on this trip have taught us, even one person, one spec, can make a world of difference.

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