I was born and raised in a small, remote village in Communist Poland. I didn’t even know about what life could be like in other Western countries. Since the local shop’s shelves were almost always empty, my family had to rely on our own little piece of land. My father, a worker on the Polish collective farm, grew with my mum our family’s own fruit and vegetables. The community relied on a lively exchange of goods and services. Necessary for survival, this concept of sharing was more than just caring. It was how we lived.
I remember sitting on a rock, daydreaming about life outside Poland. Some days, I could see airplanes high off in the distance. I’d imagine where they were traveling to; who the passengers might be. I thought to myself: Would I ever see a plane up-close? Maybe one day I, too, could hop a flight somewhere; anywhere but here.