Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Training is coming to an end!

My 10 weeks in Ploeisti, Romania and training are coming to a rapid end! As long as I passed my language exam today, which was a 30 min. conversation all in Romanian, I will be leaving for my village on Sunday and will be there for the next two years. Friday will be a swear-in ceremony where I will become an official Peace Corps Volunteer. The US Ambassador to Romania will be the person who swears us in, so that is pretty cool. Life has been very good here in Romania, although it has been extremely hot! It has been in the low to mid 100's everyday for the last week and half, and obviously air conditioning is not at all common in homes here. There have been a lot of heat related deaths all through out Romania and the Government has placed the south of Romania on a "code red" alert, I am not to sure what that really means but it is pretty serious, especially for the elderly and young baby's. So needless to say, I am even more excited to make the 14 hour trip north to my village and hopefully to some cooler temps. One part of my Peace Corps experience is coming to an end and a new one is just getting ready to begin! I hope to have Internet access at my house in the village, however I am not certain when that will happen so I may be out of contact for a while, but please continue with all of the great emails, I will get them eventually and I love hearing how everyone is doing back in the States!

"Keep Smiling..."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"It is easy in the world to live after the worlds opinion, and it is easy in solitude to live after your own. But a great person is a person who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect Sweetness the independence of solitude"

Monday, July 2, 2007

"We will figure it out...."

I knew the Peace Corps would be a great fit for me but it has proved to go above and beyond my wildest dreams! These past four days have been amazing! This past weekend myself and 5 other volunteers from my group hiked 5,000 feet to the highest cabana, cabana Omu, in Romania! We started the Saturday at just under 3,000 ft. and ended the day just under 8,000 ft. It took us about 8 hours but we made it to the top where we camped out on Saturday night. It by far was my best weekend since I have been in Romania! At the top on Omu was a cabin where they had a small little kitchen and we enjoyed the best bowl of soup and cup of tea I have ever had in my life. Luckily, we had great weather and everyone in the group made it up and down the mountain safely. I think that offering of water last time would prove to be helpful somewhere down the road! There are many more hikes planned down the road before I leave training for my permanent site.

With my Mountain climbing high, still in full effect, I found out today where I will be living for the next two years. I will be way up north very close to the Ukraine border in a small village called Poienile Izei! It will not be on many maps but it is in Maramures county north east of Baia Mare, all of which is in the region of Transylvania. It is a village of about 1,000 people. I do not know any of the details except that I will be the only english teacher in a school of about 80 students, it is a large tourist attraction for the holidays and the closest train station is about an hour away! I will be visiting the village...about a 12 hour train ride from where I am now, next week where I will meet my counter part as well as the rest of the village. From what I have heard from my host family and my directors, Poienile Izei is supposed to be one of the most picturesque places in all of Romania. Also, the Carpathian Mountains are not too far way, which means I can continue to feed my hiking addiction this summer and fall and maybe get some skiing in this winter. I am soo excited for the opportunities I will have and realize too that there will be some major challenges ahead. I was looking for this kind of small village experience when I decided to join the Peace Corps and now it is about 3 weeks away!

"Aint No Mountain High Enough..."