This week has been an absolute whirlwind of events and emotions. I have barely been at home and have been hanging out with everyone as much as possible. I got to say bye to most of my students and was given some amazing presents including a homemade crystal, jewelry, a traditional Romanian shirt, books, a big pink bear, a t-shirt with all of the teachers on it, dozens of flowers including a HUGE 45 rose bouquet from 9A, a personal serenade to my favorite song “Mi-e Sete de Tine”, a traditional Paunita, and the opportunity to milk a goat.
Friday during the end of year festivities I got the privilege to say a few words as the closing which started my emotional day of crying. The teachers planned a party for me afterwards which lasted for about 8 hours and where I got the chance to address and thank all of them individually, milk my goat, and was also given an absolutely beautiful cake.
My experience here has been absolutely amazing and I am so happy that I got to share it with so many wonderful people. Today is my last day in town and I am finishing packing up and then I have a birthday party to go to that I would not want to miss for anything in the world.
Once I get done with GLOW camp (which has been a barrel of stress planning for all of us) and return home i’ll post the pictures of these past few days.
This past week was the most emotional week for me in Romania. I’m sure I’ll cry more when I leave, but as for now, this week takes the prize.
Thursday I had my last English class with my favorite class which is XIIA. I gave them each a memento to remember me by, a dollar bill with my favorite Shel Silverstein poem stapled to it, as well as some brownies. The rest of the class we hung out, they sang Gaudeamus to me which is a song that all the seniors sing during their last class with a teacher. It is a very old Latin song that has been stuck in my head all week long since that is all i’ve been hearing.
Friday was a day full of festivities. At 9am, the seniors were walked around to all of the classrooms in the high school as well as the general school and sung Gaudeamus to all of their younger colleagues. This was followed by the graduation ceremony that started at noon in the courtyard of the school. The seniors walked in singing Gaudeamus while the whole school watched on. My director opened the ceremony and then the diplomas were given out. They started with the afternoon classes from the technical school then with D,C,B, and finished off with A. After all of the students from XIIB received their diplomas, they took the mic and not only thanked all of their teachers individually, but also gave them a present. Luci and Crina were the ones that presented me my flowers and present and naturally I cried because I wasn’t expecting it since I hadn’t taught them this semester and was just very touched. After B came A. XIIA is the only class in the high school that has a 100% graduation rate and all of the students from that class will be taking the bacalaureat exams that start in a few weeks.
After the main part of the ceremony was finished, my director spoke again and this time, to my surprise, asked me to address the senior class. I was overcome with emotion and could barely speak because I am so sad to not only see my kids leave, but know that I am leaving as well within the next month. I am told that I made most of the audience choke up but I did not notice through my own tears. The professors finished the day at school with a trip across the street to the cafe where we had some drinks and hung out before we all went our separate ways to get ready for the banquet that night.
Last night at 8pm, the Senior banquet was held for all of the graduating seniors and their professors. The night was tons of fun and I never imagined that not only would I not shed a tear, but also that I would see some of my toughest students cry like babies. It was a great night being with everyone for one last night. The times that all of these students will be able to be together and celebrate this are few and far between so I am happy that there was such a nice turnout and that everyone had fun.
Here is a video of XIIB singing Gaudeamus:
I took a ridiculous amount of pictures and you can view them all at the link below:
This is for all of you back home. A fellow PCV came across this article that was written by a former Marine Corps officer as well as Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. His take on the similarities is really interesting.
Today, April 28, 2013, marks exactly two years since we stepped foot onto Romanian soil. Little did we know that we would become a family of 3o-something crazy PC Volunteers. I just want to say congrats to my fellow PCVs today and that I love each and every one of you. Thank you for being there for me through the good and the bad, sharing in the amazing moments that will be memories for the rest of my life, empathizing with me during my hardships, and rejoicing with me during my successes. Each of you has impacted me in one way or another and I am a much better person for it. You are all going to be in my heart forever.
This past weekend I met up with a group of my fellow PCVs to cheer on 4 members from our group in the Cluj Marathon. They ran as a team so each runner took one leg which was 10k. We had a great time at the race and were very proud of our team “Rompin in Romania” when the last runner crossed the finish line with a total time of 4:17. We followed it up by divulging in none other than American style hamburgers, fries, onion rings, and liter sized beers at a local brewery.
This was the last time that I am going to see several of my closest friends in Romania which means that my waterworks were flowing quite hard. It was difficult saying bye to these people that I have such a bond with and that are the only ones that know exactly what I have been through during my service. I was even emotional most of the 4 hour ride back to site just thinking of how much has happened in the past two years and some of the crazy memories that we have made. I know that I will consider every person from my group as a lifelong friend. I’m also very jealous that many of them will be close to Washington D.C. and will still have each other while I’ll be across the ocean but I know that our paths will cross again sometime.
So the main reason why I decided to take a week off of school is to celebrate the wedding of two very special people. After a total of 12 hours on a train and then another 2 or so due to a freak blizzard, I finally arrived to my aunt and uncles house Friday around 1am.
Despite my long travel, it doesn’t compare to other wedding guests’ such as the bride’s dad’s whom lives in Austria and was on one of the buses that got stuck in 3 meter snow drifts for about 20 hours in Hungary during the very same blizzard. Thankfully, he did make it in time for a quick shower before all of the houses guests were due for the wedding.
The day was very beautiful and sunny although quite cold and most of the ground that wasn’t covered in mud, was still covered in a layer of snow. Luckily for all of us, there was plenty of rakija to go around and keep us all warm throughout the day.
The reception was one of the best that I have ever been to. It was a fairly young crowd and everything from the location, decor, program, and music were just spot on. The newlyweds did a great job planning the wedding and we all had a great time helping them celebrate their special day.
Today is Mărțișor which is celebrated as the first day of spring in Romania and I think it’s an awesome holiday just because of the promise that spring is right around the corner even if that corner is over a month long. That’s okay. Last year I wrote a post about this holiday that you can read here. To read more about the traditions you can also read the wikidpedia page here.
The weather, in fact, has been getting warmer and hovering in the low 40s this week with a forecasted dip back into the 20s this weekend. I’m really hoping that by next week I can pack away the parka and snowboots.
Dear awesome friends and family. The time of year when I ask you for your help has come back around. We have just launched the PCPP grant to fund our very last PC partnered GLOW/TOBE camps that will take place this summer. It is very bittersweet to know that PC will no longer play a part in this amazing camp for teenagers but I know that between the amazing people at our partner NGO Scoala Pentru Viata and all of the great participants from last summers Training of Trainers Workshops, I know that the GLOW and TOBE spirit will not die out in Romania.
Please click on the link below and donate anything that you can to help me finish my service and Peace Corps finish it’s service in Romania with a bang! Plus, it’s tax deductible!
For those of you who haven’t seen my Facebook post or are not friends with me on facebook, I would like to announce that I just received my first acceptance letter to graduate school. It is from The University College of Dublin in the field of Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict. I am beyond ecstatic considering this could not have come at a better time. I have not been myself lately and have been having many personal issues that all just boiled up yesterday and I had an absolutely awful day. One of, if not my lowest day in my entire service.
I am so happy that a huge stress has been lifted off of my shoulders and I now know what I will be doing with my life after July 2, 2013. Those of you that know me, know how huge of a planner I am and the fact that yesterday, I had no idea what I was going to do 4 months from now was stressing me out greatly.
Anyways, just wanted to let you all know that I will be staying in Europe for at least 2 more years.
Thanks to everyone that has believed in me. You are all absolutely amazing!