Monday, 14 July 2008
When I left for Romania and Peace Corps, I'd been packed to go a solid week before leaving. It is now less than 24 hours before I start my long journey back home, and I'm not packed at all. And I'm blogging instead.
I am drinking coffee however. And for whatever reason, I'm in the mood for an all nighter. So, I'll put all my valuables into 2 bags and call it a night...day...whatever time I finish.
Saying goodbye is so hard. Sometimes I try to philosophize myself out of it and convince myself that "good"bye can't be all bad. Maybe it's not, but it's certainly not all good either.
What helps me though is thinking of all the good times. Lately that's where I've been trying to steer my conversations and thoughts .."remember the time when....". Its kind of fabulous to do so because then the other person remembers things too, and you end up laughing a lot.
Last weekend I had a bbq at my place. Pretty good turnout and I think I got all of the existing traditional cultural memorabilia in my city as gifts from the Romanians in attendance. Such beautiful things. I'm having them shipped to me, so in 3-6 months (boat is the only affordable option for me right now) I'll get to relive my days in this region. I spread it all out on my bed today and got this overwhelming feeling of.... love and appreciation and joy. I've been so emotional lately that sometimes I start crying... but anymore I don't know if they are tears of saddness to leave, or tears of happiness that I've had a good 2 years.
Here are some pictures.
Here are American buddies at a BBQ the night before. The people that own the shop outside of the apt saw us and turned on the radio in his car for us to dance to.
All the sitemates:
Mmm...waiting for delicious meat:
No Romanian bbq is complete without 2 liter plastic bottles of beer.
Receiving presents is always a good thing too:
I've collected quite a few balloons over my 2 years here. We made good use of them.
There was lots of silliness had by all:
Like posing for what would be the cover of an awesome 80s cassette tape (note the shoulder pads)......
Over the past few days, I've been on many a juice date. Here are some collegues from work and I. I suggested making a funny face...but I guess I was the only one who took the request seriously
Well, I'm not sure when I'll post next. I can't wait to see everyone Stateside. I can't wait to get life updates and hang out with everyone. Life has been very good to me. I can't wait to see you all!
Ok, now it's time to actually pack.
Sunday, 29 June 2008
Thursday, 05 June 2008
Saturday, 03 May 2008
Well, I really should be doing something....planning for the future. But, alas, it's so much more fun to look at pictures instead.
2 weeks ago I went to the Republic of Moldova and the my groups Close of Overseas Service conference (COS). It was a lot of fun to reflect and celebrate with the other volunteers. Here are some highlights.
Here is Peace Corps Romania Gr 21 in May 2006
And here we are in late April 2008. We look so much less formal and excited, huh? Some of the transylvania crew made the sign that says "Mission Accomplised" (in Romanian, the s with a comma under it makes the sound "sh").
For your perusing pleasure, here are some more before/after pictures. The conference was in Sinaia, home of a place I visisted accidentally too many times during training. Here is a picture of 2 of Peace Corps buddies, circa July 2006, after accidentally spending the night in Bucharest at a sketch hotel followed the next morning by missing our stop back to our training city and ending up in Sinaia. We look happy anyway:
Here we are after 2 years of working in the field, showing off just how much we've culturally immersed ourselves...
The conference was swell. For every minute spent doing things like this:
There were an equal amount of opportune minutes doing things such as:
Taking ridiculous pictures with green birds...
Riding the regular little hotel elevator with friends
going out for drinks
kung fu fighting and tug o' war
The Republic of Moldova was a lot of fun. If you are ever interested in staying there, I highly recommend checking out this website: http://www.marisha.net/. We ended up staying in a "hostel", which was actually an apartment flat; and sense there weren't any other guests, my 2 friends and I had the entire apartment to ourselves for the price of just a bed. Plus they take care of tours, bus tickets, anything we could ask.
The first day we were there we went to the world's largest winery:
While this looks like it's a rather large barrel of wine it's actually ::SPOILER ALERT:: a secret passage way to a fabulous restaurant. It kind of reminded me of the Price is Right, where Bob Barker opens up a secret door to a BRAND NEW CAR. While anti-climatic in comparison to a new car, still rather stupendous if you ask me.
We were allowed to stay basically as long as we wanted, and the supplied us with more than enough wine for us to "taste". We cut ourselves off before having too much.
We literally had to Drive inside the winery. Every street looked like this.
History lesson. It was explained to us during the tour that Gorbachev wanted to rid the Soviet Union of it's alcohol problems, so he wanted to get rid of all the wine at Milesti Mici and (for whatever reason) replace all the space with vodka instead. Well, the people that worked there couldn't bring themselves to ridding it of it's wine, so they found a secret passage way (seen above) and hid the wine instead.
The next day we went with our tour guides Boris and Natasha (could I make that up if I wanted to?) to check out Orheii Vechii. There is a monestary built into the walls there. Here are some pics that don't really do it justice:
This is where the monks slept. Notice our head coverings.
Here it is from far away.
The wall outside of the monestary that you can put coins in for good luck.
A deep valley with a river running through it. I climbed around it and (get this) didn't fall even once.
On our last evening there, we walked around the capital city and just relaxed in the apartment.
We were all duly impressed by the icecream from a bag found at the local grocery store.
Ah yes, the most important reason I visited Moldova - to have a snap shot with all things Stefan cel Mare si sfant.
Ok, so maybe we have taken the bunica scarves too far. This one was at least in the privacy of our hostel. We are eating and showing off the ultra cool Russian soldier in an egg candy. Happy Easter, ey?
All in all, a fabulous trip and a great way to forget that soon enough the Balkan adventure would come to an end, and a brand new American adventure is awaiting just around the corner.
Saturday, 26 April 2008
I'm in the Peace Corps working with an NGO that does advocacy for people with mental illness, as well as working at a mental hospital. I'm an occupational therapist who loves people and is learning to love adventure!