So much has happened since the last time…

I was involved in a project called, ‘Let’s Do It Romania’, which was the national clean up garbage day in Romania.  My friend picked me up early and we went to buy garbage bags and gloves at one of the hypermarkets, aka a supermarket, and made our way to the meeting place.  We signed in at the booth and waited for the others to arrive.  They had maps printed out with our cleaning location here in Timisoara. All over the country people were assigned to areas to clean. This day was to raise awareness about the environment and how to preserve it.  It also was a way for thousands of people to be involved in a volunteer project that they might have never participated in before.  The seven of us found our location and put on the dishwashing gloves and went to town on the forest floor.  I was climbing through what felt like the jungle to pick up endless amounts of garbage.  All I could think about was the way different items disintegrated and the layering of trash.  As soon as I would pull a parcel of clothing from the ground I could see the second and even third layer of trash that built up over time.  I thought it would take 2 full days of 100 people working to fully rid the forest of ALL the garbage when I first saw it.  As we worked and progress was made I really thought we had an impact. All and all, the hardwork and my stiffness the next day was well worth it.  We did it Romania!!!

The night after the clean up I was invited to the opening night at the Opera in Timisoara.  This was the first time I have ever been to the opera.  I found some appropriate clothing to wear because knowing how Romanians like to dress for such occasions I had to look the part.  Thanks to a fabulous box sent from home I had a skirt, blouse, and heals to wear.  The seat I had was not with the others because my ticket was bought late. This was just fine because I was only one row back and a couple of seats towards the center.  I sat through the first part just in awe at the theater and performance.  There was a short intermission in which we walked around the Opera House and overlooked Timi from the balcony.  It was a lot of fun to people watch and to observe the surroundings.  Everyone was very opera chic.  We were walking around looking at all the showcases of past performances after visiting the balcony and cocktail area when I came across a mirror.  What I saw was completely typical.  My skirt had been tucked up under my purse exposing my bum and nylons the entire intermission. I thought it was pretty funny and George and I laughed a lot.  The second part was about to begin.  George came to join me since there was an open seat next to me.  He explained all the meanings behind the murals and writings on the walls and ceiling.  He was also pretty happy the songs were going to be translated Romania.  This was helpful for me because I had some chance of understanding.  I think I got about 40%. Afterward we had a delicious dinner at George’s and I was very content with life.  First Opera equals a hiccupped success.

As a very busy weekend ended, I prepared for my 4 day trip to Hungary and elsewhere in RO.  My school invited me to be apart of a Euroregional youth project.  We went to Sczentes, Hungary for 2 days and came back to Romania for 2 days.  I went with 17 students and my counterpart, and met about 20 Hungarian students and teachers.  The goal of the project was to share and learn about the culture and history in both countries. We went to museums, local parks, monuments, the mountains, Peştera Urşilor (Bear’s Cave), monasteries, and restaurants.  We spent a number of hours on a huge coach bus, which in a way was my favorite part. We played games, listened and sang to the latest and greatest pop songs, watched movies (in Hungarian), studied flash cards, and just looked out the windows.  I had such a great time getting to know the students and seeing so many wonderful things in Hungary and going to parts of Romania I may never go to again. To see the picture album check out Facebook.

Random story from the trip…

Night 3 we stayed in a hotel near Beius, Romania. The day was filled with lots of travel, touring museums, and hiking in the rain to a waterfall we never found.  By the time dinner was over and I showered, I was ready for exhausted.  Since my counterpart and I had to be split up among the students, I was sharing a room with one of my 7th graders.  She was out of the room when I was going to bed, which I had no problem with since it was only 10ish. She came back around 10:45. I was still awake and watching TV. She showered and by the time she was out I was sleeping. All of the sudden at 2:30ish in the morning I sat strait up in bed because I heard knocking at the door.  I woke my student when I sat up.  I asked her if she heard it too. She looked at me as if I were crazy and shock her head.  I fell back asleep.  At 3:45ish I woke up again to the same knocking sound. This time I went to the door and opened it.  There was one of the 8th grade boys with huge eyes looking at me. He started to spat something off in Romanian and I was so out of it I just looked at him.  Then the 7th grader woke up and she came to the door. Was there a something horrible wrong? Why would you come wake the teacher up in the middle of the night?  So all 3 of us made our way upstairs to his room.  I had no idea what was going on.  He opened his door and my stress level was at its max.  All I could think was ‘how am I going to fix whatever!’ As he opened the door I peeked my head in to find another one of the 8th grade boys sitting on his bed just as happy as can be.  They turned on the TV and they told us to sit down and hang out.  I was so confused. It was 3:45 in the morning and they just wanted to hangout.  Nothing was wrong and no one was injured.  I turned to them and said I’m going back to bed. I knew that one of the boys and the girl were playing that dating game thing you do in junior high.  As I was walking out of the room I smiled at them and said to her to keep her clothes on… jokingly.  I went back to my room and 10 minutes later she came back.  The next morning I didn’t know if I dreamt the whole thing or if it really happened.  I thought it was just funny they would come knocking (not just to joke) and they were serious about hanging out in the middle of the night.  Is this normal?

Well I just remember when I was in junior high there was no way I would want to hang out with one of my teachers in the middle of the night, or for that matter school taking us on a trip like that, and then to let us stay in hotel rooms with friends, never.  So I just chalked it up to something I will laugh about later. The students were really well behaved and there was no funny business going on.  You could definitely tell how tired they were the next day…

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