Tag Archives: Bucharest

All Vol

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This past week I was in Bucuresti for the annual All Volunteer Conference/ My group’s Mid Service Conference or what we just prefer to call “All Vol”. After my “camp” In Singeorz, The group and I headed on an overnight train down south to hang out at Jeremy’s site (Valea Calugareasca) for a little bit before we were due in Bucuresti. We arrived to Jeremy’s at about 8am and headed straight to bed. After having a very long and much needed nap we set out on our main mission and that was to meet this infamous “Nicu”. Nicu is Jeremy’s very good friend who he randomly met one day when inquiring about the various colored 5 liter sized jugs in front of his house. Click here to read Jeremy’s post. We did not only go over to Nicu’s for the intention of meeting this legend, but also to buy copious amounts of amazingly tasting wine. After about an hour of touring the crama, tasting all the wines, getting to personally suck out the visinata from the barrel, we headed back to Jeremy’s house with a total of 25 liters of wine and 6 liters of visinata.

Sunday we arrived to the Rin hotel outside of Bucuresti at around 5pm and were buzzing with excitement of being reunited with the entire group for the first time since our In Service Training which was held in December. Since our hotel was in the middle of nowhere with no attractions other than a waterpark within walking distance, we needed to create our own entertainment and we sure did.

The conference was fairly interesting and I enjoyed the language and cultural sessions the most. I got to meet some of the new Peace Corps Response Volunteers who are former volunteers (usually served elsewhere) and have come to Romania on a short 6-9 month assignment. One of the PCRVs that I met is a social media guru and I am very excited to utilize his skills set in regards to the Train the Trainers and GLOW/TOBE topics. I’m hoping to be able to plan some regional based workshops with the NGOs and Schools that we worked with during the TTT conference to better their use of social media in expanding their reach and publicity.

One of the fun activities that we randomly planned was a makeup night. The guys were given the task of finding a girl partner whom they were supposed to makeup without any help. My partner was Anthony and he did a bang up job. Some of the guys made the girls look like clowns. We were not allowed to help the guys in any way nor answer any questions. When he started using eye shadow as blush and put powder on me after applying the blush, I was a little worried but in the end it turned out amazingly! We were all so impressed as to how well he did my makeup that we think he might have gone into the wrong profession.

Before

Look at that skill!

DONE!

Me and the artist

Marco and Lindsey

Robert making over Melissa

Grant’s finished masterpiece on Megan

After another excruciatingly long train ride back up north, I am here in Singeorz for the weekend. I have a full load on my plate of stuff to get done before I head out on my next set of adventures which will be going to visit Barbara in Drobeta Turnu Severin, visiting Meg in Odorheiu Secuiesc, hanging out at the sea side with Meg, Megan, and her friend from the states and then ending the summer vacation by supervising a young adult weekend long conference sponsored by PSI Romania in Predeal.

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Darcy and Joanna Take On Eastern Europe: Part 4 + Bucharest

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This is the final installment of Darcy and Joanna’s Eastern European adventure. After our very adventurous night at the Brasov train station, we finally boarded our train and headed down to Constanta where we were going to catch a bus ride down to Varna. We only had to wait in the bus station about an hour before we were headed to the wonderful beaches of Bulgaria. We spent a little over three hours on the bus that “had air conditioning” [Read: there was no ventilation] and were overjoyed when we made it to Varna. We found out hostel fairly quickly and our 3 day “beach” vacation started.

Varna is a very touristy city and the actual beaches that are within the city limits are small, cramped, and not all that clean. We did head over to Golden Sands which is the resort area about 20 minutes north of the city and spent a day at the beaches there where I proceeded to get one of the worst sunburns of my life. We took it easy in Varna and just relaxed and walked around. I wasn’t very impressed with the city because I figured if it was this popular, it should at least look like it. It was run down and it wasn’t the type of run down where you see old beautiful buildings that haven’t been restored, it was the normal type of run down. Most of the buildings seemed like they were from the last 20-30 years and haven’t really been taken care of all that well. Our hostel also absolutely sucked and the only good thing about it was that we had two great roommates. Our roommates were a couple of French boys that had just graduated high school and were doing a Euro Trip. They were hysterical and we had a fun time joking around with them in the hostel.

After two long weeks of too much travelling and an unbearable heat wave, the girls were definitely ready to head back to the states and I was ready to be back home, even though at the time I’m writing this post, I have still not made it back to Singeorz. We headed back to Romania on the afternoon of the 8th and after a half hour wait for our maxi taxi that we just happened to see by chance, we headed back to Romania. When we arrived in Constanta we took a train ride over to Bucharest and spent the night there before the girls flew out.

Varna City Beach

One of the many fountains within the city 

we found Ronald in Bulgaria!

This is where the trip ends for us and my time in Bucharest starts.

I have been in Bucharest for a total of 4 days and will be staying tomorrow as well because I need to get some physiotherapy done on my right ankle. I’ve been going every morning and It has helped a lot and I experience next to no pain at this point which is great news!

Monday, while at the PC office, I ran into Anthony as he was waiting for two of his friends to come in from the states. I decided to go with him to meet up with them and little did I know, this was going to be a great choice. Mirza and Doug came in around 3pm on Monday and I have acted as their personal Bucharest tour guide since. Anthony had to leave Tuesday morning so he couldn’t stay with them any longer but the three of us hung out for the past three days and it was a blast. I got to know them fairly well and have had an absolutely awesome time showing them around and exploring new and random places of the city that I have never been to. During my time spent in the office I’ve also gotten a chance to see Sara, Matt, Grant, Aran, Whitley, Dave, Veronica, and Ellie. Since I don’t really see many of them very often, it was nice to catch up with each of them and to catch up with all the PC staff.

I’m in town for one more day of therapy and I head back to site tomorrow night which I can’t wait for. It has been almost three weeks since I’ve been home and I am in definite need of some R&R and clean clothes 🙂

Until next time,

Va pup!

CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES!

The Start To a Very Busy Summer

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So my summer vacation started off with a nice trip to Bucharest to visit Good ‘ol Dr. Dan. I think i have previously mentioned how my ankle has been bugging me more than usual lately and I needed to finally figure out why. I arrived in Bucuresti at about 8am to find out that it was going to be another hot as hell type of day. After cooling off from the early morning heat and hanging out in the PC lounge for a while, Lili, the medical assistant escorted me to get an ultrasound done. A short half an hour later, I was sitting back in Dr. Dan’s office while he was telling me that he wants me to stay off of it. Needles to say I laughed at his advice and told him there is simply no time for such a thing. The next plan of action is physiotherapy. GREAT!! [read: shit!]. apparently I have tendinitis along with what looks to be a possible cyst on my ankle and the sooner it gets taken care of the better. Please note my 20 free days this summer have now gone down to 15 due to the therapy which will require me to spend several days in Buc.

After a delicious Mexican lunch with a group 27 PCV Sara, I headed to Targoviste to visit none other than the best gazda family EVER! I walked in and was immediately greeted with hugs from the entire family and got to meet Denisa’s college roommate, Arletta, a 21 year old spunky Polish girl with a badass British accent. I spent Friday night catching up with the family and being in great company.

Saturday the girls and I headed off to Bran Castle so Arletta could experience some Dracula lore firsthand. We left hot and humid Targoviste and after a two hour car ride arrived at Bran only to be caught in the middle of the worst rain storm I’ve seen in country. We tried to wait out the rain for about an hour at a caffe but decided to brave the storm and head up to the castle. We got to the castle completely soaked and shivering but this was not going to stop us from having a good time. After touring the castle we headed back down the hill and that was when the hail started. When we got into the car we looked like we had just gotten thrown into a pool. After laughing at our misfortune we decided our best option was to strip to our bare essentials and slowly start on our way home. Most of our trip was driving through Arges county which is absolutely gorgeous. It is serpentine roads passing through mountain passes and quaint villages nestled next to flowing rivers. Since we were at such a high altitude we were driving through nothing but hail for over 2 hours. By the time we made it towards the end of the storm, we were passing former green pastures that were now covered in a sheet of white from the little ice balls of fury. 4 hours later, we made it back home only about 45 minutes before the storm.

Sunday was spent celebrating Iza’s birthday. After spending a majority of the morning and early afternoon getting ready and packing up everything that was needed, we headed off to Mamitica’s (grandma) house for a gratar (BBQ). We spent the day enjoying each other’s company over food, drinks, and later in the night some very… colorful folklore music.

This post finally brings us to today. I said bye to the gazda fam around 4 pm and hopped on a train to Bucuresti. I am now on my overnight train to pick up the girls in Budapest and can’t wait to reunite with them and show off the country that I have fallen in love with over the past year.

Total time spent on train this weekend: 18 hours, 11 more to go!

Until next time,
Va pup!