A good friend and I enjoying some down time during Pre-Service Training. This is just a glimps into my 3 months in Targoviste last summer.

Tuesday September 14, 2010

August 7th I was sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer with 43 others. These are some of the girls. What a great day and all of our hard worked paid off!!

Yesterday started at 8:25 am, yes I got to sleep in because I didn’t have to be at school until 10. I was up late the night before reading and watching movies, so I was really pleased with my late wake-up call. My morning consisted of watching CNN World for a couple of minutes only to realize I already have seen all the segments from the night before. I curled my hair in order to keep up with all of the beautiful Romanian teachers. Before I new it I was making a peanut butter and jelly clatite (Romanian pancakes) , which I made the night before because I had no bread or any breakfast food for that manner. I took my breakfast and started my walk to school. The dogs in my neighborhood are starting to get use to me because they no longer run to the gate and bark horrendously at me. I must say that there are some super cute huge dogs I come across here, but they live behind a gate which is just fine. On the way to school I listened to music and before I knew it I passed the same 5 guys who are building a new sidewalk, the magazine, the postal, George’s house, and then the stoplight. This venture takes anywhere between 17-22 minutes depending on my mood.

My counterpart Lavinia (L) and School Director Hajni (R)

The school I will be teaching in for 2 years.

At school I stopped by the cancelaria (teachers’ lounge) to drop my backpack off and say Ciao to the teachers and off I went to the clasa a patra A (4A) at 10. My counterpart, Lavinia, and I entered the class the students greeted us with ‘hello teacher’. Lavinia introduced me and I shared a few facts about myself (all in English). The students then had the opportunity to share their name and a fact. After we

finished with introductions we played a game called Facts & Five (thank you Ms. Marty). I altered the game to make it shorter as they are young and their attention fades fast. After the game was over we threw a ball around the room and shared about our summer break. Then the bell rang and I was off to another class with the other English teacher, Vicki. This class was very different because it was 3 pupils (students) from the Hungarian speaking class. We picked the pupils up on the 2nd floor (really the 3rd floor, but in RO the first floor is primul) and ventured to the 3rd floor to find a place to have class. We worked on some introductions, made an ‘about me’ grid and shared, then reviewed from last year. After the bell rang Vicki and I started to discuss our schedules and what the plan was for the semester. This was hard to do at the moment because we still didn’t have a set schedule nor the syllabuses for the classes. We made our way back to cancelaria to find Lavinia. While working on the schedule we were planning for Zilele Dumbravita (town festival). Finally after some time I made a preliminary schedule, started a list for a playlist, found out I will be traveling (with granted permission from PC) with the school to Hungary, and came up recipe for some American-like goodies for our festival on Friday. As Lavinia and I were leaving the Primar and Hajni (school director) came in and we were there talking with them for another 30 min. Just as you think you’re free something always sneaks up. And I took off for home around 3 pm. For my first real day of school I left very pleased.

The 2nd weekend in September I visited Ineu (3 hours north of Timi) for the Westside Weekend Party. We stayed in the guest rooms in the buildings to the right. The school was so amazing and they took such great care of us. We spent a lot of time exploring the building on the left. It is an abandoned fortress/orphanage/school.

The evening was here and my mind still felt like it was 11 in the morning. I had the pleasure of hanging out with one of my friends or PC would like to call it Host Country National. We went to the Orange store at the Mall to figure out my cellular device. The lady at the Orange store took very good care of me and recharged my cellular with all the necessary features I will need to get my through the month. George and I left the mall with tea in mind. We decided to head to the main square. Along the way I was flipping through a photo album containing old post cards of the famous buildings in Timisoara. George knew many facts locations of the buildings and he would point them out as we passed them. We parked his little red car along a narrow street and walked to the store. Walking in Timisoara is fabulous. There are so many little boutiques, coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. We came to a bookstore where we gawked at teas, music, books, and ceramic mugs. George ushered me up the stairs to a quaint and quiet tearoom. I ordered Cactus Fig tea and intensely watched George pour and fix his first glass. I am no tea connoisseur and of course I made a mess. He handed me a tissue because my napkin was soaked. George kept reassuring me I was doing it just right. The set-up was so classy I was afraid to touch anything. We began our 3 hour chat. George’s friend Mickey joined us. We spent time talking about a wide variety of things including: the history of bacon, teenage dress, the European Union, American international politics, Romania, college, mispronounced words, and it goes on and on. I had such a great time talking and laughing. I felt like I was at home with such good friends. As our teatime came to an end we stopped to look at the book selection, and of course George bought a tea cup to match the other ones he has. My awkwardness was evident when Mickey reached his hand out to me and I reached back for a good and strong handshake. He looked at me in shock and said “no, no, no!” I smiled as he repositioned my hand for a little smooch. It was very classic.

Piata Unirii. The book/tea store was on the other side of the buildings.

Now it was time for dinner. George’s mother made chicken soup and meatballs. This would have been just enough food for me, but I should have known better that there is no such thing as just one course. On came the pickles, sausages, cheese, clatite, jams, chocolates, and even frozen bacon (we didn’t eat it). I met George’s cousin and father for the first time. I learned that his cousin plays the trombone, like I did in the 6th grade, and his father is a huge fan of ping-pong. I sat completely stuffed and completely satisfied with life. I have many things to look forward to. In the immediate future there is the festival on Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday I will be going to soccer game in Timisoara, then in two weeks the trip to Hungary.  All and all Romania is treating me pretty well.  Here are some pictures of my adventures…

At the end of August on my was from one friend's site to another I was nervously standing on the side of the road waiting for a bus in Racari (8 1/2 hours from Timi) when one of my language teachers drove bye. I was so happy he stopped because I was going to miss my train. I was whisked to Bucuresti just in time for my train!! Right place. Right time.