Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Wonderful Weekend (Warning this is going to have a lot of photos)



I know this is hard to see
We started in Ramnicu Valcea
Went to Brasov
Went to Sigisoara
Passed through Medias
Passed through Sibiu
And ended back in Ramnicu Valcea
Well that was my amazing weekend. First we left in the morning around 8, we picked up all the others. Liz was sick so she had to stay home :(. We were on our way. It was very cool to drive through the rural areas and see the farming community. It's seems very different to us because it's very traditional. When I say very I mean very. I was talking to a couple of my classmates and it really is the more stereotyped Romania. It was very beautiful there. Then we went and saw a Monastery in Curtea de Arges.



I didn't take my camera, and I your not allowed to take pictures in the monastery so I found these on the internet. I was amazingly beautiful, and it the legend was very cool. Look it up because I could not tell it as well, and that would take up a lot of space :)

After that we went for a VERY VERY long car trip. Not that long probably four to five hours. It was beautiful but the road was horrible, romanian roads are not for the faint of heart or stomach. It was gorgeous though, it looked like the set of Lord of the Rings. If the shire wasn't in New Zealand and was in the mountains, thats where it would be. 


After that long drive we ended up at Bran Castle! We sadly didn't get to go in, but we will later this year!

We ate lunch their, my host family said it was a snack. So all of us tried to get small stuff. They said no. My host mom ended up ordering me a bowl of tomatoes? Oh well, they were good tomatoes. I think it was a confusion language thing.

After we left their we went to Brasov, where we didn't actually stay long. My host dad has a work project their, and there was something he had to take care of. We maybe stayed for 20 minutes.



Another 2-3 hours worth of driving after Brasov and then we were in the magical city of Sigisoara, which we still can't pronounce. 




It was too amazingly beautiful! We got explore a little bit on our own. We walked through the town, and the cemetery! After that we went around with my parents. That when we discovered that they were shooting a German independent film their about the nazi regime in France. It was very cool, we're going to watch it as soon as it comes out. We went up the clock tower, which was BEAUTIFUL and GORGEOUS.
This is the clock tower
it had all of these for all the major cities
O_O
After that we went and ate at Vlad Dracul's house! I'm not joking, I swear. He lived in the house for four years of his reign as king. I got this really delicious dish, that I don't even know what was in it. Polenta was!

We went back to the room after dinner and then Lexi, Shelby and I had very interesting conversations and probably didn't get to sleep until 1 am........ I was tired haha


We woke up and explored a bit and we saw these interesting people.....they were very nice, and very interested in the fact that we were American.

After that we left :(



We went to the fortified church, I have no idea where it is (in a very small town) but it was a very cool church. It was like a castle!
Then we were on our way home...but then we stopped and got more food!

The button that called the waiter

My bread soup

And dessert
Well we got home safe and sound, but two hours later we had a rotary meeting. yay! We got to meet these awesome british people. In fact I now know the coordinator for youth exchange in London and I am friends with her on facebook! I feel special when I know people. It was all fun, but it lasted till midnight, and the next day we had school. I wasn't very awake for school on Monday. Though on monday I got to go meet a lady from the embassy and peace corps members. We're having a Mexican food night this thursday and I cannot wait!
The most gorgeous view on the drive back
This next weekend I get to go to Arad to meet all of the other exchange students! You have no idea how excited I am for this!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Buna! Ce Faceti?

what it looks like when I walk to school
Buna! Ce faceti?

Hello! How are you?

That completes my romanian hahaha just kidding. So it's been awhile (not that long) since I made a post but since I'm leaving this weekend I thought I would.

For this weekend Shelby, Lexi, My host family, and I are going to Sighisoara and Brasov! I'm very excited about Brasov it has two of the castles I have been DYING TO VISIT!!!! We'll see if I get to.

So a little on my life....it has been pretty great. I have gone to school everyday learned new things, I actually have a romanian friend. There are others who talk to us, but we've realized they don't feel comfortable talking with us. Many of the exchange students that I know have the problem that they can speak english and make friends and learn their host language later. Here even if you do speak english you still don't make that many friends. I cannot wait till the day I speak romanian!
A fountain in my town
As you can tell these pictures
have nothing to do with the post

School is actually very frustrating. Shelby made a great analogy for how we feel, "You know when you switch the TV or radio to a station that only has static, thats what we hear all the time." It's so true, and it gets really frustrating not being able to understand. It makes me feel rather stupid.

Another Analogy that I made up, "Being on exchange is like being pregnant. Your emotions are everywhere, you have cravings, and you're getting fatter." I never really know how I feel anymore because this is the first time that I genuinely hate school, but I like my classmates. There is always something good to counteract the bad.

One bad thing though is that I feel like such a pig today I bought oreos and these little star chocolate things. Yesterday I ate chocolate, chocolate croissants, and pumpkin bread covered in chocolate. I'm going to be fat O_O.  Also I eat soooo much with my host family.

This is pasta with nut dust. I don't know how to call it but it's really good! Then the picture on the right is ketchup, sweet and spicy. Weird huh? They eat it with pizza, it's actually really good.

I had my first tennis practice yesterday, one way of getting in shape. I'm actually really bad, that's okay. Then today Shelby and I went for a run, although I'm sooooo out of shape. I do have to go up my stairs at least three or four times a day.

Weird facts about romania

-Walking down the street everything is a staring contest, they don't smile! When I do it, I get very strange looks haha.
-They are very interested in staring at the American.
-You have to buy plastic bags at the grocery store
-There are so many strays
-They are a very open culture. Nudity is not shunned. "No shirts, No shoes, No service" is completely true but in a different way. No romanian guys wear shirts, the gypsy's don't wear shoes, therefor they wouldn't get business if this was a rule.
-Stray dogs everywhere. Every morning on the walk to school other people are barked at by strays. Shelby and I smile at them and say hi (not touching) and they leave us alone. Sometimes they follow us, but not that bad.
-Everybody goes to the clubs (I have yet to go)
-Most guys have beer bellies cause they drink so much beer
-Their treats here are WAY TO GOOD
-Oreos taste like yeast and sugar put together
-Yeah I'm adding pictures now
Sorry that this post is with very little, the next one will have stuff about the weekend. Eventually I will take pictures of my class, but I would feel very strange doing that right now. :/


The public libraries ceiling
WHAT!

City Center Fountains at night

An ice cream truck
Some guys playing chess

I'll update you guys on monday about my weekend and maybe I'll have more pictures of my classmates and school :D Definitely about my trip :D

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sibiu!

Sibiu!!! AHH a most wonderful place. Este foarte frumos (it is very beautiful).  We left Ramnicu Valcea around 9:30 in the morning, but of course since nobody is on time in Romania (including myself), we got picked up around 9:45. It's around a three hour drive there, and soooooooo gorgeous. It's along the Olt River, and it's so gorgeous. The olt river, sorry i don't have any pictures, is huge. By huge I mean wide! The mountains were gorgeous also, they are big, but not as big as in Colorado. The drive was funny because I was listening to my music, Lexi was asleep, and Shelby just in the middle. We couldn't understand Dinu and Mihai's conversation. Dinu is my rotary counselor and Mihai is Lexi's host dad.



Thick Tower
This is Dinu, the one with hair, and Mihai, the one without hair. haha. They are awesome and very chill. Anyways, first Dinu explained how Sibiu was European Capital of Culture in 2007. Then we went to walk through upper town. It is a huge road, only you just walk on it, no cars. It was so gorgeous, and since we were there before everybody else there weren't that many people! First we went into Thick tower. Which back in the days was like the entrance to the tower, but now it's just randomly in the middle of the city. It was about five flights of HORRIBLE stairs that we were all sure we were going to fall down/up.

It was really cool cause in each room it would have something different like pictures or small tiny windows haha. Also they were playing rock music :). It was very cool, Dinu and Mihai just stayed outside and talked. In fact they never came with us, oh well! The view from the very top was gorgeous, the first picture was just one of the views.
It was very gorgeous as you can see. O_O.

I wish I had this view from my room haha.

All the buildings there are so old and majestic. When I got home I told my host mother that the city was, "foarte mare si frumos." Very big and beautiful.
She told me it wasn't a big city....it was to me
After that we walked a little bit and they pointed out the liars bridge. The liars bridge is a bridge in the middle of town, and a long long time ago men would take women there. The women would ask the men if they loved them, and the men would lie. Hence Liars Bridge.

Surprisingly we saw somebody getting married on it?  Not sure if thats where I would want to get married

After that we went to the Evangelical church in town, it was amazingly gorgeous and huge. No pictures inside the church but the outside pretty much explains the inside haha

AHHHHHH
Gorgeous and the inside is even more so! Trust me you have to go see it if you ever go to Sibiu!

After Church, we went to a museum of history. It was very interesting and different from our museums. First we went through the times of the cave man all the way to pre medieval times. Then we went to another exhibit and that had medieval times to renaissance. It was beautiful, but it was in romanian so we didn't understand it :(. Plus there were these motion sensors that kept going off, so the police guy stalked us for awhile.

After that museum we went to.....LUNCH! It was more of a local spot and OH MY GOD that was good food. First we had soup, we each got a different one. I got bean soup with bacon, yummmm. After I finished that, when I say finish I mean there was nothing left in the bowl! Then we split two main meals between the three of us. We got cheese polenta (Oh my deary goodness that was amazing) and smoked pork (yummmm). I was about to explode. Then we had to get desert! Ice cream dumplings with fresh pears! You can imagine how good that tasted. 

After that another museum, I found this one a lot more interesting because it was art. It's the oldest museum in romania! It's called Brukenthall! We got to see Austrian, Dutch, Modern, and Romanian Art. Plus some Greek sculptures. 
That is the original painting of Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, and I got to see it! AAHH

After that museum, we went and saw the main orthodox church of the area. When i say main it literally is the one they all follow in this area and it is huge and gorgeous. 
This is the outside of the church
O_O
This is the inside
I stole this picture from wicki
cause you're not allowed to take pictures
Isn't it absolutely gorgeous!!!!!  Magical, beautiful, exquisite, glorious, impressive. I could go on forever about this church!

After that we left :(. I had a wonderful day in sibiu, and I discovered that Dinu sings! haha

Wish me luck with even more school tomorrow! Hope you enjoyed this post!

More pictures of Sibiu 



:D



Friday, September 16, 2011

School Uh Oh!

Well I have started school.........................................
I think that pretty much explains itself
I have learned that I speak three languages: Sarcasm, English, and Confusion.

Well actually it has been going quite well, all of my classmates are nice and explain everything. I was proud of Shelby and I we finally had an hour long conversation with two awesome girls today, without any awkward silences. That happens a lot here. Break down of school here. First of all you don't have the same classes everyday here. You switch, and you don't know until the day before :/ . Also the teacher switches classrooms not you (awesome). Break down of classes.

Geography- only had once, but was awesome. Teacher seemed very interested in us. I feel bad though cause we don't understand him.

History- teacher nice, but it's awkward because he translates stuff for us in the middle of class. O_O and everybody stares.

Math- scary

English- awesome

Technology- awesome we didn't do anything

Art-Awesome we didn't do anything

Sociology- I wonder if I've ever heard a teacher talk so much.

Biology- I don't know what happened during that class haha.

French- I don't think the teacher likes us.

Romanian- Shelby and I try and translate the notes. It doesn't work :(

I'm getting used to school now, and to being confused haha. Oh well!

Today afterschool Shelby, Lexi and me had an awesome day. Well first of all I did get to see more of the city, YES! First we went to Chez Marie, the tea shop, and i had a delicious French frappe. After that we ate at my house because Buni made food, we still didn't finish it all and there were three of us.  O_O. Then we went shopping! Every girls dream. I bought a pair of sandals because flats here are way to hot. You are thinking of turning on the heat, we are thinking of shade. Amazing thing the shoes were 9 dollars! Then we went to Zavoi park! It was very nice and we went on the swings. It was there that Lexi tried out her Dog Repellent, and it didn't go so well hahaa.


After that we went to ANOTHER park, which was so much fun it had so many statues and a beautiful fountain. Just somethings we say today, be jealous haha.



Then Shelby and I walked home and got pictures at the school. Who are dorks? WE ARE!



BWAHAHA it's the teachers entrance. Students and teachers have different entrances here. Also student and teacher interaction is different.

On a personal note, I'm getting really used to people laughing at me/looking at me strange.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Exploring the Unknown.....DUH DUH DUHHHHHH

The city :D
So many things have happened in the past couple of days, many of which I don't have pictures of sorry. I just always feel weird pulling out my camera, it makes me feel like a tourist. :( Anyway so for awhile I hadn't really been anywhere, but last night I had a Rotary meeting at in which I got to meet the other exchangers! YAY. It was at one of their host parents house and we get along very well. There is Shelby, Liz, Lexi, and Moi. They are all from the East Coast, America. I discovered Shelby just lives up the block from me! First of all this was nice because they helped with the language (ughh), and they know what I'm going through too because we're all going through it.


They took me and Lexi around the city today!!!!! Shelby and Liz have both been here for two weeks. First they took us to the tea house. It was so delicious and we're going back tomorrow because we don't have school until Tuesday!
Liz drinking tea

We got Savanna tea
Yummy
It's a citrus tea





Next we walked down the main road and we say the court house it's the most beautiful thing. First you walk through the courtyard of fountains and then at the very top you find a statue. There are some stairs close to that that lead you up to another statue. After that we went on a little hike.....The hike was somewhat long and somewhat difficult. We were all wearing flats or some sort of inappropriate shoe. It was so beautiful though, and it was nice to know that we could go hike and be outdoors. At the end we were very tired though. Plus there was some man sleeping next to the path...


  



Above is the mall, it's huge it has four stories and SOOO many stores. We went and ate there, mall food isn't much better there oh well. I got pizza! Romanian pizza is quite different. We also went to a technology store, a book store, a shoe store, and an accessory store. Excluding food I only bought one thing and it was 10 lei so it was like 3 dollars. Oh and the tea was like a dollar for each of us haha. Love it here! It was a hair accessory  After that we went down to this amazing park! It's called Zavoi, and it was absolutely beautiful, why can't we have parks like that in America!



Then after that I went to dinner with some of my host families friends, and they were big into joking. Jokes that would have been pretty strange here, and pretty "not okay" with my host parents because I'm a "child."

On the good side I'm starting to understand/speak more Romanian. Simple stuff like Mi-e somn (I am tired) or Interesant. And now I can usually order in ROmanian perfectly fine, and get whatever I need. Such as a left over box or a bottle of water. At the dinner though I barely understood anything 0_0

Wish me luck at school I start on MarĊ£i (Tuesday). Tomorrow I'm going shopping with the other exchangers.

Also I learned that at the end of the month I get to go to a Rotary Meeting in Arad. I'm very excited!