Cieslinski has two younger brothers, 15 and a two year old. His parents work together in the landscaping business. They enjoy what they do as each day is different from the last.
His first observations were found to be the different vehicles driven here. Poland has Fords but according to Cieslinski, they are different models. They also purchase many French, German and Italian cars to drive.
Another difference he noted are our homes. They are bigger, most have entrances and separate kitchen and dining rooms. In Poland, the two rooms are combined.
Cieslinski's most notable pleasure here is the solutions we have to dealing with situations. Life is made easier due to technology. One simple example is the packaged food products. In Poland, most food is cooked from scratch. It takes a lot more time to get a meal on the table in Poland. He noted they also eat more vegetables and smaller portions of meat. He loves spaghetti.
"We have pizza but not the wide variety you do here. It is cheaper in Poland. Hamburgers are not a routine item on the menu and pop isn't consumed like it is here," said Cieslinski.
As in other European countries, their school system is different from ours. The first six years of primary education is the same for all. Poland has three years of middle school, and then two to three years of high school. The last three years can be filled with college prep classes or three years of technical prep classes for work or college or go just two years of high school before entering the work force.
"I plan on going to college and will need to pass college exams before attending Warsaw economic school. In Poland I take all my classes with the same group of students. There are usually around 30 students to a class. I am taking history here and learning about the Civil War. It is interesting. I'm also taking freshman English and advanced math which is going well. The instructors here are very good. They are better than in Poland as they explain clearly for better understanding," said Cieslinski.
He is out for basketball and hopes to be out for track and most of all, he'd like to play baseball---the all-American sport. In Poland as in other European countries. Sport clubs are the way to enjoy sports---not at school. They do have choir in schools though.
Teens get together in Poland by meeting in their homes or going out to eat together. They can't drive until they are 18. Cieslinski noted the driver's test, written and driving, are more difficult in Poland.
Poland also supports the U.S. involvement in Iraq. Gas in Poland runs from $4 to $5 a gallon. Most families have just one vehicle with some having two. Although many travel by rail there, the railroads have experienced some bankruptcies. He didn't think Poland was any colder than what Iowa is.
He hopes to make it through the holidays just fine. He will speak with family but will miss seeing them in person. He is having a good time with his sponsored family, James and Lisa Mayer of rural Marcus.