Wednesday, September 30, 2009

1 year & 10 months

3:45 a.m. Bucharest Otopeni International 2 hours and 15 minutes my journey back to the States and more specifically to Grand Blanc, Michigan begins after 1 year & 10 Months abroad!

To the journeys...

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How does a lamp burn?

"My Bucharest" in bullet points:

- Discovering all sorts of new places, cultures, foods & people

- The authentic Lebanese restaurant 10 mins from my apartment is so delicious and even affordable on a Peace Corps Volunteers budget, not always the case here in Bucharest...they also have hookah (tobacco water pipes) which is great for digestion after a meal of hummus, falafel, tabule and lintel soup.

- Titan park, 2 blocks from my apartment is my weekday morning, before work running spot as well as my weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of Bucharest streets.

- Division of my labor between the Peace Corps office and MaiMultVerde is about 60%/60% thus I sleep well at night!

- I continued my streak of making it to the Black Sea coast each of the summers I have been in Romania...this year was only for a few days and for a conference but I still made it into the sea for a swim and caught some rays on the beaches.

- Romanian culture is so diverse and varied between its different geographical regions...granted the part of the country I spent my last two year in the village is incredibly unique and Bucharest is definitely a different part of Romania than the rest of the country...I think that is so cool.

- Time is flying even faster since moving to Bucharest than it did the last two years...hold on tight!

- I had forgotten how much I enjoy the hidden beauties, chaos, confusion and fun large cities have to offer...I see myself sticking to them for the next couple of years at is just trying to figure out which ones...that is the trickier part.

- An old woman who lives in my block apartment steals all of our mail and then hand delivers it to our door, ha ha, it is pretty funny and I kind of like it...I do have all of my personal mail sent to the Peace Corps office however. I am still not sure how I will explain to the electricity company though that the reason I am paying the bill late is because "grandma" gave me the bill after the pay date, although I would bet they have one of those "grandmas" at their apartment block as well!

- I finished "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoevsky...brilliant and timeless

- I will be making my 1st trip back to the village this weekend...I am really excited to see all of my friends and family up there, a little concerned about all the food and drink that I will consume Friday, Saturday & Sunday and will be bringing along a separate piece of luggage specifically for all the horlinka I still have up there to bring back down. I have maintained phone call communication with Ion, Angela and the boys on just about an everyday basis since moving down to Bucharest....even my Mom, Dad & Sister in Michigan communicate via email with Angela and the boys, I cant get away with anything, I have eyes watching me all over the world!!

- October 1, 2009 at 15.50 I will be arriving at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan for a one month visit! I am so excited to see my family, my friends and eat all the foods I have missed for the last two years, deliciousness such as burritos, turkey sandwiches, turkey burgers, sushi etc. I am anxious to see how it will be adapting back into life in the states...I used to kind of laugh at the idea of "reverse culture shock" but now I kind of get it.

- Click on these links below...something to think about:

- Lastly I will leave you with a passage given to me by true inspiration...

Do you think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary? What we need is to live without getting tired.

How does a lamp burn? Through the continuous input of small drops of oil. What are these drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things of daily life: faithfulness, punctuality, small words of kindness, a thought for others, our way of being silent, of looking, or speaking, and of acting. These are the true drops of love.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies
- Mother Theresa