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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!

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NYE in Budapest

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Every time I go to a foreign city, it becomes my new favorite. I left Sara’s site at 7am and ended up in Budapest at 12:50pm local time. After walking around the train station for about 10 minutes, I finally found Kaitlyn and her friends. After exchanging some lei to the crazy local currency, we headed to kaitlyns apartment. We walked into to the cutesy studio apartment right out of an ikea catalog.

After eating some traditional hungarian food consisting of noodles, sour cream, and cheese, we headed out to see the sights. I usually am not a fan of Capitol cities but this place was beyond gorgeous! We walked through the main square which was packed with people visiting the local Christmas market. We then headed to the Danube where all the lit up buildings and bridges took my breath away.

Our night was fairly low key since we were saving our energy for new years.

Melissa got into town around 5pm on NYE and the festivities officially began. We headed back to the apartment to eat and get ready then went back downtown to ring in the new year. Vorosmarty Ter is the main square in the city and it was horribly packed with people. We found some awesome face masks, bottles of champagne and started to roam around.

After about an hour of roaming around downtown we randomly met a group of guys from Holland. We got to talking to them and I learned that one of them is from Mostar and his dad is from Glamoc which is village right next to my dad’s back in Bosnia. I always get so excited when I meet people from the former Yugoslavia. We talked for a while, wished them a happy new year and went back into the crowd of thousands of partying people. It was absolutely amazing to hear a new years countdown in about 10 different languages and then get covered from spraying champagne from every group of party goers.

After patroning a few more bars, losing an iPhone, and figuring out the public transportation system at 2am, we finally made it back to the apartment and called it a night.

We are headed to Prague tonight and I’ll update soon. Until then, I hope you all had a fabulous new year! Va pup!!!

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Just some rambling…

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As I’ve been counting down the days, I’ve realized I am getting more and more emotional. I was driving to the airport to pick up a girlfriend that was visiting and while driving I let my mind wander. Before I knew what hit me I was in tears. I was thinking about how hard it will be to say bye to everyone, some more than others, and how difficult it will be not being able to talk to the people who I converse with on a daily basis.

I always go through this before any big change in my life. I start second guessing my choices when it comes close to go time but I know that I made my decisions for the right reasons and after the initial shock of leaving and homesickness goes away, I will be happy with my choice.

I know I’m going to make friends in Romania and it will be an amazing experience that I will greatly enjoy but deep down inside, there is a part of me that is afraid that everyone is going to forget me. Out of sight, out of mind…right? My biggest fear is being forgotten. I know it’s silly but I can’t help it. So many things are going to happen in the next two years that I will miss out on and it pains me to think of that. My two good friends Danny and Kimmie are getting married in August which I will miss. Rosie and Luis just got married and might end up having a baby during the time I’m gone. My cousin is getting married soon as well. I haven’t even left yet and I already have a list compiled of the events that I’m going to be missing out on. sigh.

Thinking about these things is a huge bummer, I know that there are many many good sides to all of this as well, they are just very hard to focus on right now. Tensions have started rising within my household. My parents and I bicker about the most random stuff that doesn’t even matter because we are all passive aggressive and we all know why we are actually upset and just pretend it’s something else. I know I’m supposed to be using the last few months to enjoy time with the people in my life as much as possible but the tension is making things extremely difficult.

Welcome

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So it’s official…I’ve decided to start up a blog depicting my future experiences in Romania as a Peace Corps volunteer. After a year long application process, I will be departing for service on April 20th and I’ve never been as excited and so sure about something as this in my entire life. I’ve experienced a lot of opposition, confusion, and questioning with my decision but I’ve also gotten just enough acceptance to keep my hopes up about my decisions and ultimately the end results of my time abroad. I’m going to do my best and not make any assumptions about what is to come and go into with an open mind! Wish me luck!!!