My new Gazda family celebrating a very important birthday.

My first Romanian football game. HAI POLY!!

I just returned home from a night out with some of new RO friends. I swear I felt like I was back in Duluth walking in the dorms and around campus. The parallels are never ending. I enjoyed it thoroughly, I couldn’t help but think that there is so much potential in this country! The young people I have met have so many great insights and can see the hope. I did however hear a very interesting thing tonight, “Romania is like the United States a 100 years ago.”  I look at this gentleman with bewildering eyes. That is not true at all. There are so many great progressive things going on here. Yes, the mind set is different and there are major things that need to be worked on, like the environment, but RO is a land of opportunity. This is the second best thing I heard tonight, “Romania is the land of opportunity and freedom.”  I am grateful to be apart of this and to call it my home.

I was speaking with a fellow teacher today and we were discussing the hardships we all face. She made a great point: if we never fall to our lows we will never know what it is like to climb. Climbing is where we learn some of our greatest lessons. Trust your instincts and life will ‘take care’. This is what I am always told by my Romanians, “Take care, Katie.” This was said to me when I ran head first into plexy glass wall entering a restaurant, when my skirt was tucked into my nylons, when I almost missed the train, when I fell TWICE on my bike, when I totally fell on my butt trying to sit in a perfectly normal chair, when I pulling the door not pushing it coming out of the bathroom, and when I am feeling generally down. Take care. Take care of yourself.

As I sit here in my 3rd home, on the eve of another move, I am thinking of all the things I will miss and not miss about this apartment.

My wall of memories from USA in old apartment.


My blue table ;).

The first moment when I saw the apartment. I just pictured myself in the mid of winter lesson planning at my table.

My wall dedicated to memories.

The random concoctions I have conquered on my stove top. Tonight: spaghetti noodles, caramelized onions, garlic oil, fish sauce. To die for!

The screens I fac’ed (to make) for the windows.

The never ending bottles of cold water in my fridge, which is in a cupboard.

My winter blanket that I thought was a rug.

My amazing beside table with my life.

The plan of attack to organize such a place. My shoes have had 4 different homes.

The day I returned from Auchan with so much stuff it took 4 trips to the car and back.

The balcony overlooking roses.

My bedside table filled with everything possible.

My hands free shower head.

Being able to pronounce Strada Neptun.

My morning routine of making coffee, watching CNN world, and sitting in bed doing my make-up.


Having to unlock 3 different doors with 3 different keys to get in.

Not having screens or a fan in August.

The smell of the water in the bathroom.

Every time I get in and out of the tub I feel like I am going to kill myself.

White tile that shows every strand of hair.

The blinds that always break.

The paper thin walls.

No skyping in the kitchen rule.

Having to have the blinds closed all the time.

The knocking at my door.

Trying to get my bike on the balcony without noise.

The mental feeling of a cage.

I will look back and never forget this place…just like all the other homes I have had in my life (I think I’m in the 20s by now…no exaggeration). Romania is a land of new homes and start-overs for me. 4 moves in 6 months. I’m a pro!

I have a feeling that my decision is the best one. I will be moving in with a Gazda and my best friend here. I will gain a family and a real Gazda experience. I am not naive to potential problems, but this is what I think I need. Romanians to help me ‘take care’.