Pronounced Trgovishte – This city of around 100K will be our training site for the next few months! Here are some fun facts about the city from none other than Wikipedia.
- Dâmboviţa County Capitol
- About 40miles north of Bucharest
- First Attested in 1396
- Trial and execution site of Nicolae Ceaușescu
- Twin city of Miami, FL
- Known for its PC gamers? WTF?! They even have counter strike dedicated server?!?!
And now some of my self discovered facts:
- The roads are awful…I was told that this can be said for most of the country. It is rare to find a local road without a stretch of potholes every 100 feet or so.
- There are more dogs than people. Romania is known for its stray dog population. some dogs have tags on them that the city is using to track but there are still many more out there.
- The dogs are not bilingual and therefore will not respond if you yell at them in english.
- Property value is non-existant. on 1 street, you can see anything from mansions to shacks all build side by side.
- Huge range of old vs. new world. There are horse drawn carriages along with bmws
After the group spent most of the day sitting inside the hotel’s meeting room participating in orientation, we got to wander around the city for the rest of the night. The majority of the group decided to visit one of the local bar/restaurant/cafes while about 5 of us decided to walk around and see the city first. The city is small but very quaint. There is a nice amount of greenery with a cellphone shop on every corner. We took a walk through the park and got to know each other a little better as well.
The day started off with an hour and a half language lesson that actually went much better than I had anticipated. We went over money, numbers, and basic greetings. After our lesson we had a short meeting about our homestay experience. We were given the basic do’s and don’ts when it came to living with our host family and what the expectations were from us and from them as well.
After lunch, we went back into the meeting room where we waited for our host families to come and pick us up. I was extremely nervous and hoping that someone in my family would at least know a few basic sentences in English. A lady and two teenage girls came up to me and introduced themselves as my host mom and sisters..IN ENGLISH! I was ecstatic! Maria, the mom, doesn’t know much English but can understand a lot more. Denisa(19) and Izabela(12) were more conversational. Denisa is fluent in English and Izabela is conversational. They told me how I am their 3rd volunteer so they are very familiar with the homestay program.
When we got to their house, we hung out in the kitchen a little bit, talked, and I got to meet their dog Bijou. Bijou is a feisty chihuahua/jack russell mix that loves to bark and you gnaw on your fingers and toes. After about a few hours of attempting to befriend, Bijou, he finally accepted me and stopped trying to bite my toes off. When my gazda(landlord) dad came home, we ate dinner and I was told there was a “surpriza” in store for me. It was a cake that Maria had made that had “WELCOME!” written on it and tasted chocolate and fruit mixed heaven in my mouth. When dinner was over I told my host mom “Sera muna pentru masa” which literally means I kiss your hand for the meal which is a HUGE compliment. She was so surprised that I knew what that meant and went on to wish that I grow even taller and more beautiful. Thanks to one of the PCVLs (PC volunteer leaders) Zach, for teaching me how to kiss ass 🙂 While talking with the family, I learned that Denisa is graduating highschool in about a month and has applied to go to college in the U.K. and Denmark. She goes to the bi-lingual highschool in the center and knows French and Latin as well. Here are a few pictures of my accommodations: