Friday, September 3, 2010
Goodbye's, Hello's, and Juggling Acts
Lee left this morning and the apartment seems cold and quiet. We had a fine 3-week visit and he's planning to return in December. Our communication, of course, is very good with Skype and email, but they do little to keep my toes warm. ;-) How fortunate I am to have a husband who understands and supports my unconventional aspirations!******School bells are ringing all over Romania--but not for students, for the teachers. Here faculties ease gently back into the school year by meeting in non-rushed, coffee-enriched gatherings, a few hours a day for two weeks before the students arrive. It's a time to see just who is or isn't returning, catch up on pleasantries of inquiries about vacations and families, and to take care of the business of creating a schedule--for teachers first, and then for students. My counterpart had a chunk of the program yesterday, introducing me through a power point presentation on the Peace Corps and then helping me communicate to the faculty (after my few words of Romanian) in a Q&A session. They gave me a heart-warming welcome and had some interesting questions--mainly about what Americans know and think about Romanians. I was honest--Americans don't know much about Romania. But as my counterpart pointed out, that's one of my 3 PC directives here, and I take it seriously--hence my blog and posting of pictures and the email pen pals Karen Solheim and I will facilitate with our American--Romanian students! Overall, I'm feeling a great deal of trust and high expectations for my impact here, which, of course, scares the dickens out of me!***** As to the pace, I expect things will rev up a bit next week, but for now, I'm feeling like I used to as a kid wading into cold water. It's just fine to let the water inch up as I adjust and readjust to the situation. It's been 7 years since I've been on a faculty and this approach is mai bun with me. I was sent home today after I had dressed and walked my mile or so in chilly mist because the teachers were all taking a psychological test and they didn't have the English version yet. So I went to one of the local stores and bought a broom and cleaning supplies to at least feel industrious. Now let me tell you, it's not easy to juggle a broom, umbrella, bag of cleaning supplies, purse, notebook and extra pair of "professional" shoes. I did not look cool strolling back home through the village, but I buna-ed all I met, smiled, and acted like this was the most natural predicament in the world and that I was born to do it. And maybe that's true.