By: Tomasz Paciorkowski, Work and Travel Summer 2014 Ambassador Scholar

Tomasz is a Work and Travel participant from Poland who volunteers as an English teacher and hopes to inspire his future students to have experiences like his own. He plans to help his host community by mentoring younger children.

Okay, so it seems that today I’m supposed to tell you a little bit about my host community.

Let me put it bluntly; it’s going to be a neck-breaking challenge for me. There are many reasons…

It was very difficult for me to decide who should be included…just the people living in Beaver Creek? Maybe Avon? Colorado? The United States in general? I honestly didn’t know, and I hope I’m not going to insult anybody by not including them.

Let’s talk about the Beaver Creek Village first. We can’t learn a lot about the history of the place from Wikipedia, which usually is extremely helpful.

The Beaver Creek area was settled about 1951.

beavervillageThis is literally all Wikipedia has to say about it. We can learn much more about this area if we’re interested in the Beaver Creek resort. It was established in 1980, though truly, it is guessed to be as early as 1950. The base elevation of the resort is 8,100 ft. which translates to 2,500 m for us, Europeans, and for others who believe that tip-toeing is a rather awkward way to measure anything.

Nonetheless, it’s quite high. This altitude has some effect on numerous things, however, the very first one you notice is – lack of oxygen. Due to it, you very frequently need to make difficult life choices: to breathe or to think, to speak or to think, to eat or to think. There is just not enough oxygen to do both…

Just kidding. It’s not that bad. All you need to do is drink a lot, and I mean a lot of water. It contains oxygen, and that way you’re making up for the deficit of it. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. Constantly.

Not many people live in Beaver Creek Village itself. It’s far too expensive. Many, however, work there. They constitute to be the most important part of my host community, because I spend a lot of time in the village.

village

There isn’t much to say about these people, apart from the fact that they’re all awesome. You’ll be really hard-pressed to find an unpleasant employee who works in Beaver Creek.

Apart from that one guy. Oh, he knows who he is… All I want to say is – just please, stop staring. It’s creepy.

Sorry for the inadvertent detour.

Coming back to the topic, you can see some of those amazing people in the video I recorded. It’s just one click away… Step… Into… My… World.

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRfppMMdAsI&w=560&h=315]

Did you watch it? Cool. We can carry on then. You didn’t? Oh, well. I’ll think of the way to punish you. Next time, beware.

People who work in the Beaver Creek Village are helpful, supportive, open, and they will go out of their way to make your life easier. I’m not even being sarcastic. It’s all 100% true.

Additionally, there are numerous benefits for those who make their living so high up in the mountains. Anyone who works in the village is entitled to discounts. The standard one is 10% off, but it depends on the place. Some will give you 20% off, and Starbucks will sell you coffee for 99 cents. Pretty sweet, right? It’s so good to be able to actually afford Starbucks every single day!

Because of the discounts, I sometimes indulge in some delicious dishes offered by local eateries: hamburgers, pizza, more hamburgers, and some more pizza. Oh, I know.

The motto of a very good pizza place in the village goes like this:

Life is short. Eat More Pizza.

It’s just impossible to disagree with them.

You need to know, however, that it’s not all peaches and cream though. Sometimes those places will confuse you, and be amused by your bafflement. I went into one of hamburger places, read the menu, made my mind up, ordered, and was taken aback.

The menu said: hamburger + chips. I really felt like having some chips with my hamburger, so I was quite pleased with what I ordered, or what I thought I’d ordered. After a short wait I received my meal. There was a hamburger there, no chips though. Instead of them what I found on my plate were crisps… I wouldn’t have thought that you could serve hamburger with potato chips though. Apparently it’s quite common in the United States. I need to say that I enjoyed the burger, and I, of course, was granted my discount.

I also, want to say a thing or two about my co-workers. They’re simply amazing. Without them, it wouldn’t be so nice to work here. There’s nothing more to say, really.

Okay, maybe one more story. Once, I really wanted to go to the ice skating rink which is situated in the village. Dressed rather summery, I went into the store just to say “Hi” to everybody. After a short conversation, I informed my colleague that I really wanted to go ice-skating. Her reaction was quite priceless. Oh, just to give you some heads-up, I was wearing shorts. The exchange looked more or less like this:

You can’t go to the ice skating rink. You’ll freeze; you’re not wearing any pants!

– I’m quite sure I’m not going full-commando.

What?

icerink

It was confusing for both of us. I stood there, rather taken aback by the fact that my colleague could suspect me of not wearing any underwear, and she just didn’t know what I was talking about. Fun times.

I think that would be it. I realize that this post could be not as entertaining as the previous one, so just to finish it off and leave you guys satisfied, I prepared a joke for the occasion, it’s a lame one though:

Why did the man throw butter out of the window?

– He wanted to see a butterfly.

Thank you . 🙂

thank-you