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Thursday, October 28, 2010


Part of me tells myself to cut ties from this blog entirely. That chapter in my life is over. I’m no longer living abroad but much to my surprise, living back at home…I often find myself in a foreign land, amongst a foreign culture and yes, even amid foreign languages. It is wonderful to be back with my amazing family but there are enough days that I’m nostalgic for my life in Romania. So 5 months after being away, I’ve come to the conclusion that part of me will always be Lost In Transylvania. Something will always be lost in translation (despite no difference in language), and at any given point in life…I will be lost.

But I don’t want to live life always seeking, for seekers never see what’s right in front of them. However, writing allows me reflect on this “lostness”, more so what is often lost right in front of us…the little aspects in life.

Starting entirely over in a familiar place has its advantages. There’s people you still love, there’s people who still love you, there’s people who you no longer have anything in common with other than a past, you see old parts of life with new eyes and remember how much you treasure certain aspects, and there’s some parts that you can’t quite grasp why you ever enjoyed it so much before. It’s invigorating, it’s exciting and it’s emotional.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Surpriza Ciobănașului

Post #70…my final dispatch from the land of Romania. It’s my second to last night in Cȃmpulung Moldovenesc: so many goodbyes behind me and yet, the hardest ones are still ahead. Although I’ve been giving away my things like they were the hottest items on the market since the Beanie Baby, I haven’t been able to make the jump to the actual packing stage – and anyone familiar with my superior dilly dallying skills knows that I could easily fill my last 48 hours doing just that. While it’s still not entirely clear to me what I’m packing for, I realized it needs to be done if not for the sole reason that it’s on my To Do list. Finding a pauza from my distractions, I finally began the daunting task of packing my life back up into 2 bags…but of course not before fac’ing my very last foc and turning to my bestest and most consistent friend…Europa FM, which is conveniently playing The Final Countdown as we speak…she never fails me.

Obviously I’ve stayed focused on the task since I’m now writing but I’ve already painted my toe nails and was running low on procrastination antics. But as the ole saying goes… “Procrastination is a lot like masturbation; in the end…you’re only fucking yourself” …so… I’ll keep this short.

One of the aspects that I have enjoyed the most of being in Romania is the pure spontaneity…that element of surprise that never once missed a day. At least once a day, something (good or bad) made me ask myself if this was really happening and in the end never failed to bring a smile to my face. Aside from the wonderful friends I’ve made here and the breathtaking landscape that I got to wake up to each morning, I will bar none miss the flabbergasting shenanigans the most. The constant exposure to newness creates an amazing stimulation in life. Just yesterday, 3 days before I depart my home in Bucovina; for the very first time in my life I heard a real live Cuckoo Bird and used a tampon without an applicator! You see…they’re not always huge affairs, in fact they rarely are but they are simply new and with the right frame of mind (or perhaps a catawampus one)…quite exciting!

I’m not sure if it’s been merely the fish out the water phenomenon, the Peace Corps experience or Romania but I’d like to acknowledge all three and thank everyone who has crossed my path along the way – I’ve truly had the time of my life. Baga mare!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Of all the times I could have publicly cried…the tears came today. I didn’t expect it nor could I fight it. Today was a hard day of goodbyes, not only to the people but the way of life.

Although much time has passed and I can now pick up the general direction of conversation, I found myself unconsciously blocking out the foreign sounds of the language as I did exactly 2 years ago when I first attended the cenaclu. Ironically, I might have even been wearing the same outfit (yes, I’m looking forward to new clothes). My mind wandering and thought hopping as it attempted to address the mental disarray; particularly…what have I gotten myself into this time?

At the end, the members thanked and presented me with a traditional homemade cloth; and that’s when I suddenly realized that this would possibly be the last time I would attend an activity…the tears began and despite my best efforts (and trust me they were, as much as I hate talking in front of people I hate to cry in front of them even more) they wouldn’t stop. Regretfully, I was not able to compose myself to say more than Vă mulțumesc.

The situation was slightly awkward because the majority of the people in attendance today were new patients from the hospital that I had never met before; and although the members I did know were saying kind words, I knew they weren’t feeling the same intense sentiment as I but that’s easily because I’ve gained so much more than I was able to offer.

Also in attendance was the curator of the local ethnography museum; he shared some of his experiences and upon finding out that I was leaving presented me with a wooden spoon (fairly traditional to the area, and remember, Cȃmpulung Moldovenesc does host the largest wooden spoon museum in Europe…if not the only!) I’m not sure if I was more in awe by his pure generosity or the fact that he just happened to have a large carved wooden spoon in his briefcase.

Afterwards, some of the students who I’ve spent the most time with came to the Blogging club and gave me a thank you note that they had all signed. One girl who’s in the process of slipping through the cracks and hasn’t attended any activities in almost a year came today…her mere presence impressed me but then I read what she wrote;

“Să nu uitați niciodată că mai aveți o familie și în Romȃnia.” -Andreea

“Never forget that you also have a family in Romania.”

What more can I say…today it was hard to say goodbye.