This week was so fantastic! I mentioned that we were going to start teaching English in the afternoons to 3 classes at a kindergarten here in Iasi. My teaching partner was Caroline, so all this week we spent about an hour planning lessons, and then we left to go teach half hour classes from 4 to 5:30. For the first half of the week Aislynn came with us to help translate, but the last two days we were on our own. Kate being the wonderful El Ed major she is came and helped us the last two days. Those kids were so stinking cute and so dang smart! This week we taught them animals, but we also reviewed the topics of the last two weeks, colors and fruits. Some of the girls found a song on you tube to help the kids learn the fruits. They all have it memorized and now, so do I. It has been stuck in my head all week! Caution – this will get stuck in your head.
I love love love the hospital, but it is really hard to be there. It was kind of nice to be in a place where children are developing normally and clearly loved by their parents. And I love their energy and their adorable accents. Here’s a pic of Caroline and I after lessons!This Saturday we had the awesome opportunity to go visit Marionella’s (our in country facilitator) family in the countryside. It was such an eye opening experience and they were so welcoming to us. They live simply on a small plot of land. They built their own house, and they have a garden and small vineyard. They are pretty much completely self-sufficient and so resourceful. From their animals and the things they grown on their farm, they are able to produce almost everything they need. Their life seems so fulfilling and so low stress, and as much as I am grateful for all of the technology that today’s world has to offer, I loved seeing the happiness that existed on that simple little farm that lacks many of today’s modern conveniences. We were fed a delicious little meal. When we got there, it was still cooking on the stove.For desert, we had honeycomb Mario had picked up from a nearby neighbor. It was so good!
I am getting really excited to be home, but I will also really miss Romanian things, so I thought I would make some lists!
Things I miss about America
- My family (and friends) – I am so excited to see them again!
- Air conditioning – It is so hot here. We do have rain sometimes, and that helps a ton, but when it is like 90 degrees with 85 percent humidity, I just miss air conditioning so much. Opening the windows in the apartment only gets us so far, and we have no screens so it also gets us a million mosquito bites.
- Not having to light my stove/oven with a match – it is kind of hard to do, and I am not always successful with the oven. At least I have Miranda to help with that! Also there is no temperature indication on my oven, so I just turn the gas on about halfway and hope for the best!
- Speaking English – Although a quite a few younger people here do speak English, this summer has been filled with lots of broken Romania and hand gestures!
- Being alone – for safety reasons, I am always supposed to be with one, but preferably two, other people. Sometimes I just miss going to the grocery store by myself.
- American food – Romanian food is not bad, but I am kind of over it. There is not as much variety here as there is in the states, and I am so excited for some café rio and chipoltle!
- Not having to buy water – I hate carrying home 5 liter jugs of water. Hate it. I just want to get a drink from the tap!
- Looking cute – there is just no point here. I do get ready on Sunday, but the rest of the week I am hot and sweaty with kids that are also hot and sweaty and sometimes sick as well. The kids don’t care if look cute, they love me no matter what! So for pretty much every day of the week, natural face and pony tail it is!
- Dryers – The washing machine we have is so hard on our clothes and then we have to hang our clothes out on a clothes line to dry. Unfortunately the humidity sometimes makes it take 2 days to dry, and by that time are clothes stink again and also get so stiff that they can pretty much stand up on their own. Dryers are beautiful things.
- Not being stared at – I feel like I am stared at all the time here. And unlike America, when you catch someone staring, they don’t look away. They keep staring. This happens most often at the hospital for sure, but it happens multiple times every day all over the city. Everyone knows we are foreign, even if we don’t speak. They just have some 6th sense or something.
Things I will miss about Romania
- My kids! I love them so much, I am so happy for the chance I have gotten to get to know them, and I will miss them so much! They have seriously made this experience and impacted my life in so many wonderful ways. I only wish I could know what their futures will be like…
- Pastries – A major weakness of mine. I am a little obsessed and I usually buy a few a week at least. But they are so cheap and soo delicious. My favorite pastry place is called Petru, and they have these things called covridogs. They are a sausage wrapped in a soft pretzel and so so so good.
- Chocolate – The chocolate here is significantly better than in the states and cheaper too. I will be bringing quite a bit back with me. That is all.
- The Piata! – This is the open air market, and they is one right in front of my bloc. Fresh fruits and veggies of all kinds are sold by venders for much cheaper than the grocery stores. My favorite things to buy are raspberries and cherries. I love them.
- Romanian music – Although I can’t understand a lot of what the lyrics say, songs are so fun and catchy here. I have acquired quite the list of favorite songs. Included with these are the silly little kid’s songs on a cd the orphanage has, they are just so catchy!
- No tax! – It is so great to buy something for 10 lei and not have to pay any tax on it. That is going to be hard to get used to again when I go back!
- Being in a place with so much history – America is such a young country. There is so much history here in this region. I have been able to go into churches and buildings from as old as the 1400s, it is just amazing to see the history here and I love learning about it!
- Taking Taxi’s – Although taxi’s are super sketch sometimes, they are fun, easy, and such a cheap and efficient way to get around. The most I have spent on a taxi ride is about 2 dollars, but more often it’s about 60 cents. It’s great!
- The wonderful Romanian people I have met this summer – there are so many people here who have helped to make this experience great. The branch members here, Mario, Teo, some of my orphanage workers and some of the doctors and nurses on the hospital staff – I am just so grateful for the chance I have had to know them. Like my kids at the orphanage and the hospital, they have impacted my life in a huge way with their kindness and friendship.
- Romanian outings with my fellow interns – Although living with 10 girls all summer has not been the easiest, I love all the girls I was able to have amazing adventures with all summer. We have seen some remarkable things, ate delicious food, and have been in some of the craziest situations of our lives together. This experience here with these great girls been priceless, and I will miss our Romanian adventures!