- July 13, 2012
9 contests in 3 days that is XXIV Touristic Rally of Poles in Lithuania
Friday morning. No clouds in the sky – the weekend forecast is very good. Quick review of necessary items: tent, sleeping bag, clothes, insect repellent, sunblock. And wellies just in case. We are ready. Let’s go to the Rally!
From 6th to 8th July another XXIV Touristic Rally of Poles in Lithuania took place.
The event which attracts hundreds of young Poles from all over Lithuania took place in szyrwincki Region for a first time.
The place over the Juoda River, near Zubiany village in Javniuny district delighted all participants – beautiful view from the camping site, place to play volleyball and the bathing beach in the valley. Twittering of birds and sound of the forest. Heaven on Earth! And the roads leading to the tracts are difficult to pass as they are boggy because of heavy rains. The first car on the road for brave ones needs help although there are those who are going well. And the road for “prudent ones” also has its obstacles but everybody gets in place with or without trouble.
Tents are put up, the first bath taken, dinner is ready, performance was practised for the first contest. Time to have fun!
Eight teams following their leaders like Napoleon army arrived to begin the “Pan Tadeusz” rally. No one is surprised by the words of Invocation spoken for another time, Telimena and ants adventure or love story of Tadeusz and Zosia told all over again. Teams are regulars: “Klub Wloczegow Wilenskich”, “Studium”, “Legion 32”, “Sokoły” from Biala Waka and L3KS and representatives of Bialystok University branch in Vilnius coming to the Rally from time to time and the new teams: “Guciawka” from Vilnius and “Barskuny Team” from neighbouring town. The last ones found out about the rally in the morning and yet they decide to start up a team and try their hands at the contest.
After beautiful Invocation to “The Rally history of 2012 written in nine contests” a time to have fun comes. Some of participants directly from the party go to clean up the area and others sleep tight in their tents untill the Saturday sense of direction race. Each team holding a map ran out to the forest. Some, happy and tired come back after 15 minutes. Others take their time and when they hear the fans calling “faster, faster” they just snap their fingers. The last ones reach the finish line after more than an hour. They point on the map the place where they got up. Indeed, they ran few kilometers too far.
The runners take a few minutes break when their team friends get ready to participate in the contest titled “Vilnius Region Knowledge”. Some questions about the Rally are easy, some are difficult, interpretation of several “Pan Tadeusz” lines, indicating of the Rally location on the map and other important points and you can move on. Time for relay race. Inspite of the heat each participant runs as fast as possible, kicks the ball as far as possible and fair but severe judges control everything to enable the contest to run according to the rules.
An attentive observer can notice that although the Rally participants remembered to take the sunblock creams, some of them forget to use it regularly.
“Red as crayfish” becomes a sentence of the day – face (especially nose and ears), back (especially a neck) or legs ( feet mainly) are sun burnt in an each second participant of the Rally. Taking a bath eases the pain partially. Someone begs the team cook for sour cream ( it helps apparently) but he refuses. The cooking competition starts in a minute!
One of the unknowns of the Rally is always an ingredient of the cooking competition. This year almost all teams are really suprised. Within 1,5 hour the two cooks have to invent something beautiful and as the commander of the Rally reminds -something eatable and made of …….cabbage! Bigos – stewed dish made of sauerkraut and/or fresh cabbage, meat and mushrooms, golabki – stuffed cabbage, chicken baked in a cabbage and even kebab – judges have variety of choices. At the same time the remaing part of the team creates like Mickiewicz “The Rally Poem” on the long roll of paper ( actually a wallpaper). Some write, others draw or stick sausages to the paper.
Everybody waits impatiently for the Saturday evening contest – “The Rally Miss” competition. Ladies did not fall short of the Rally participants expectations. There are two men dressed up as charming ladies among seven ladies and one of participants is a three headed (innocence, wisdom and wealth) Perfect Woman with one body. The winner is Alina from “Guciawka” team who is full of warmth. And the three-headed miss from the Klub Wloczegow Wilenskich is chosen to be The Audience Miss.
The Rally Miss and other misses are amusing with their companions untill the Sunday morning. Suddenly it starts to rain but after few minutes the sun burns. Organisers have no mercy and according to agenda, the touristic competition starts at 10. The best team needs 6 minutes to fold the tent, to collect all items, to run from the hill to the bathing beach, to canoe the definite distance, to come back at the camping site with the bowl full of water, to pour the water to another bowl and to put up a tent again.
The last challenge for the most persistent ones – “The best fence” and we are ready to hear the results. We are all surprised by the fourth position of “Guciawka” team which persistently participtes in all competitions. The winners are: 3th place “Legion 32” from Vilnius, 2nd place “L3KS” from Kowalczuki. Klub Wloczegow Wilenskich wins the first place for a fourth time, the team which seems to be unbeaten and stronger within each year.
The winning team strikes the Poles in Lithuania Touristic Rally flag when singing the Rally anthem. Although tired but happy that everything went well, organizers invite at the XXV anniversary Rally. People say that the next event will be full of surprises. They also say that old and famous teams are going to appear…
Tłumaczenie Dorota Szewczyk-Madejewska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Dorota Szewczyk-Madejewska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.