In the News

Exchange Students Arrive From Mińsk Mazowiecki.  "Witam do Lacey"

The 2014 Student Exchange is under way.  Our guests, Iwona Rojek (teacher/chaperone), Marcel Daniluk, Marta Czerniec, Mirek Bogusz, Zyzanna Samson, Aneta Cabaj, Barbara Fracz arrived from Mińsk Mazowiecki on February 1st after a long flight of 15 hours.  The were met and greeted by their host families and members of the LMMSCA at SeaTac.  The next day, which just happened to be Super Bowl Sunday, a welcoming lunchen was held.  Yes, they all made it home for the game.  

The host families are all NTHS band members who traveled to 

Mińsk Mazowiecki last spring.  So on Monday they went to school and began learning about American Education.  

One Wednesday our guests were taken on a tour of Lacey.  They met with former Mayor, Virgil Clarkson and Lori Flemm from the Parks and Recreation Dept.  They then toured Lacey's Library and were introduced to the concept of the Timberland Regional Library System.  They then toured the Police Department.  They even got to feel what it was like to be placed in the holding cell and got to sit in a police cruiser.  The next stop was our State Capitol.  The last stop that day was at Twisties where they met the students from Lacey who are planning to travel to Mińsk Mazowiecki next fall.  Questions were asked and answered.  

Their visit is just beginning.  Their host families have plans to show them the sites of Western Washington.

Band Trip: An Interview with Dennis Longnecker, a band chaperone.

Leszek Siporski, "Wirtual Mińsk Mazowiecki": During your stay in Poland you have visited some of the famous polish places like Salt Mine in Wieliczka, National Stadium in Warsaw, Auschwitz concentration camp in Oświęcim, Polish kings' tombs in Kraków and others. Which of them made the biggest impression and why?   

Dennis Longnecker: The Salt Mines in Wieliczka were very impressive. While touring them, I was overwhelmed with the detail and craftsmanship involved in making them. It is hard to believe they were hundreds of years old and mainly built by hand. Each new place in them was breathtaking. And to think I only saw 1% of them. I am very glad efforts are being made to preserve them. During our official tour of the Warsaw Royal Castle and Old Town we didn’t get to see very much because of the snow. During a free day our host family (the Okrzeja’s) took us back there. Most of the snow was melted and the markets were open and lots of people were out and the musicians were playing for money. We toured the inside of the Royal Castle and it was very beautiful inside. We even sampled some of the food from the merchants on the street, which was tasty. We weren’t rushed and got to see the area on our own time – it was wonderful.  Siporski:  And about our city Mińsk Mazowiecki – what was most interesting? Were there any places you liked in particular?

Longnecker:  We spent some time in the schools. Everyone was friendly and the schools were nice and clean inside. It surprised me that everyone checks in their coats at school as that is not done in the US. I’ve never seen handball before and we were able to watch a game of that. We were welcomed well at the schools which made me happy. We were also served a lunch in the lunch room. I thought the lunch was very good, and they even used real plates (not trays). We also toured the Cavalry museum in Mińsk Mazowiecki. The curator did an excellent job detailing out the history of the Cavalry and how important they were in some of the wars they fought in. I really enjoyed looking at the photos and paintings of the soldiers. We met most days at the swimming center. We didn’t get a tour of the facility, but saw pictures of it. Having a place like that to swim, skate, or just play is an excellent community resource.

Siporski: I don’t know your menu, but you probably tried some of the polish dishes. How was it? Longnecker:  Have you visited any restaurants/pubs/fast foods in Mińsk/Poland? Which ones? Are they similar to the ones in your country?  I came to Poland with the mindset that I was going to try everything, and I did. My host family fed us well! In the US we have two or three meals a day…it seemed like in Poland we were having five! I took a picture of every meal and shared the picture with my family at home. I think my number one favorite was Pan Fried Pierogi. Steamed (or boiled) was good, but cooking it in the pan pushed it over the top. I really like the Sausage (Keilbasa’s) I tried and would like to try more. The most unusual thing I tried was Tartare and it was good. When we went to the big mall in Warsaw, there was a Food Court on the 4th floor. It had the KFC, McDonalds, and Subway and the menu looked similar. I went to the Subway and it was exactly like a subway here, I was able to order my favorite sandwich without any problems. One thing I did notice was that in US most drinks are cold served with ice. Nothing beats a tall glass of Coke with ice. In Poland all the drinks were either hot or room temperature. I usually drink about 60 ounces of cold water a day, so I had to get used to “warm” water.   

Siporski:  People of Poland. What impression on you made the citizens of our country? Was there something that disappoint you? Can you describe the stereotypes of Polish people that you know of?

Longnecker:  Everyone I was in contact with was very friendly and kind. Everyone was very proud of their country and community. Everyone was concerned that I was enjoying myself and doing okay. As far as stereotype, for the adults I was in contact with, they worked hard and enjoyed their family…which is how I feel most adults in the US are. All of us were living with a Polish host family. I think it was very kind of the people to open up their homes to people they did not know. I was responsible for seven band students. Every day I would check on them to see how they were doing and if they had any problems. And they would say they were doing great and having a marvelous time. The hospitality given to us was first class.


Siporski:  How will you remember your trip to Poland? If there is such an opportunity in the future, will you consider revisiting our city?

Longnecker:   I will remember the wonderful food, the beautiful cities, and the friendship given to us. All of our days were very busy and planned out with tours and things to do. I regret not being able to spend more time with our host family. Our host family Agnieszka, Krzysztof, Karolina, and Mateusz have invited my family to come back anytime, and that is something I would like to do.

Więcej na:


Polish American Chamber of Commerce
Businesses owned or operated by individuals of Polish heritage can belong to the Polish American Chamber of Commerce. The organization promotes business relationships between the US and Poland as well as networks with local, Pacific Northwest businesses.  Check out their web site at .  Local businesses can also contact Paul Perz at






Upcoming Events
March 7, 2015
Ethnic Celebration
Saint Martin's University Pavilion
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

For more info, visit:

Community Market, Date TBA

Community Market, Date TBA

Community Market, Date TBA
Polish Bazaar 

Fall Exchange to Minsk Mazowiecki
 Any student interested in traveling to our sister city, Minsk Mazowiecki, in the fall of 2014 should contact Terri Long.  This trip means you would attend schools there, live with a host family, and see Warsaw and other sites.  
Terri's email address is 

Association Seeking Members

Want to learn more about your Polish heritage and culture?
Want to see students from Lacey's sister city in Poland experience American culture?
Want to see American students experience Polish Culture?

If you can answer yes to any of the above questions, you are a good candidate to become a member of the Lacey Mińsk Mazowiecki Sister City Association.  As a member you will be involved in furthering knowledge about Polish Culture by participating community events.  You will help students from both cities travel and experience the others culture.  It has always been a goal of the national sister city program to foster citizen to citzen diplomacy there-by establishing a better relationship between countries around the world. Join us in our efforts to increase understanding between United States and Poland and between Lacey and Mińsk Mazoweicki.  

If interested, contact our association President, Mary Kirker, at