Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Paste Fericit

Hello to everybody again. Well this is the third day of Easter in Romania. This was probably my favorite holiday here. First we went to the church the night before, and we listened to the ceremony and lit the candles. The "high" priest of valcea was there, he is 96 years old. I was really surprised to see him. Also about 200-300 romanians there and it was so interesting and amazing to see.

This is the church I went to for Easter
This is the second high priest of valcea


In Romania they play this "choc" game where you get two dyed eggs, and one cracks it against the other. The person whose egg doesn't crack wins! I have actually lost, a lot! Oh well. This is my second week of break and I am loving it. Although the weather isn't exactly lovely, it is nice to have a break. Also my father comes in two weeks! I am excited to see him.
Making brownies with Martha

My Easter Eggs
The second day of Easter, Monday. I went to my host parents house and we ate more food. So much food!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Christ is alive!

Well this is the week before Easter, and lets just say Romania had been very busy. Today is Good Friday, but the Romanians call it Big Friday. Well it has been an interesting week. The week starts out with Flower day or Palm Sunday. First off, on Palm/Flower Sunday anybody with the name that has to do with Flowers is celebrated, including Floryn. That is the only name I know that has to do with flowers. Also we got to see the priests of Ramnicu Valcea "march" or "parade" however you would call it around to all of the different churches


The guy with a crown on his
 head is the Main priest of Valcea
Other than that though I didn't get to see much of the church services offered throughout the week. I also went to a Catholic celebration of Easter. I didn't get any pictures of that, but hey it's the same as in the states, however there were the cutest cats outside the Church. 

My God those are the times when I want to steal one and bring it back to the states :D

Also, this week, I have a lot of times to hang out with my friends here which is awesome. Yesterday, I got to make brownies with one of my friends Martha.
Yummyyyy. They turned out great! I did this with no measuring cups and not all of the ingredients. I am so proud of myself. This week has been pretty great actually. Everything is going normally, and Valcea is as pretty as ever. Tomorrow I begin the Easter cooking, which I am excited for! Although all of the cakes have already been started. I know traditional Romanian food for Easter is sarmale, mamaliga, and lamb. Sarmale (which I love) is meat cabbage roles. Mamaliga is polenta and is usually served with some sort of cheese/sour cream mixture. For Easter it is tradition to sacrifice a lamb, however not all families do this. They sure do love to eat it though! Wish me luck with this weekend I might be so fat, I cannot get on the plane.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Having the Time of My Life!

Well it is exactly three months until I leave today. The weeks are going by faster and faster. Each passing day I want another to stay. Everything has been great lately. Making new friends, eating, and school nothing to much. This week in Romania they have a "different week of school." This is where the students plan a week of fun with their teachers. Granted most of the time we're just confused, it has been fun.

Spring is Here!
Since I haven't given an update since I switched host families, I would like to say that I love them very much! They are a very kind understanding family. They have two kids which are in America and in Switzerland now.

The week of fun
boys playing football
Another weird fact is that in the United States I know all of you are enjoying your time with break. Well here Easter is exactly a week later. I am very excited for Easter. The biggest religion in Romania is Eastern Orthodox. For Easter the people go to churches and light candles. I am excited, but I don't know the details. Another little thing I have picked up on is that they love to eat lamb... not too excited about that.




Also on the last day of March it was Earth Day! It was very fun because from the hours 8:30 - 9:30 they turned the lights off in Valcea. A lot of the youth gathered in the main square to light candles. Interact and the Europe Direct put this on and there were some entertainment. It was all great fun :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Springtime is here

Well Spring is in the air, and I love it! Though sadly, this is the week I  switch host families. I can not believe that 2/3 of my exchange are completely gone! Everyday I spend here I wish I could have five more. Well lately not too much has been happening just living normal life. I went to a party on Saturday set up by Interact called, "Step Up," Was a dance contest in which a ton of talented performers danced mostly hip hop. I had so much fun there! I'm always impressed by the things that they do at these dance competitions!

Spring is in the air and there are puppies everywhere!!!!!
It makes me soooooo happy. They are so darn adorable, here is picture of some that live by my old host families house!


Other than that life has been quite boring. Lexi and I even went prom dress shopping. Well Lexi did all the trying on and I took the pictures it was still so much fun.



And Valcea is just as wonderful as it has been. Pretty and everybody is doing great!
Lexi trying Schweppes haha funny
just Valcea!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dragobete

Sorry for the confusion of switching urls I swear this blog still exists.

Photobombing Level: Lexi
After a very crappy month, things are starting seem brighter and brighter. The snow is melting and people are generally happier. Valentines day was about a week or two ago, but Romanians don't celebrate Valentine's Day they celebrate Dragobete. It's the same idea except celebrated on the 24th. The exchange students and me went to a Rotary party for Dragobete. It was very interesting except we paid 10 lei for water O_O Water is usually like 1 lei haha oh well. There was a live band playing eighties music and there were plenty of people there. I can say we all had a good night....I think haha. Who couldn't have fun watching drunk Rotarians dance around to Jump haha. Also only on Dragobete can one get married for a single day! The mayor came by our party and married a bunch of the people there, it was soooooo sweet.

Also now in the center of town there is a market for Martisor. Martisor is a Romanian celebration where boys give girls these cute little pins in honor of spring coming! It also has a lot of cute valentines day stuff there. It was nice to see people out and about again, after being frozen in the snow!



That is my Valentine's Day Tree

One of the cutest puppies in Valcea

Friday, February 10, 2012

"I'd like to fly. Then I wouldn't have to wait in airport security lines," Jim Morris

"I'd like to fly. Then I wouldn't have to wait in airport security lines," Jim Morrison

I actually strangely enough love airports, I don't know if it is the exciting feeling that comes with them or just the fact that you can people watch people from all over the world. I just recently got my tickets for my return flight to Durango and lets just say I am excited. I leave on July 4th and arrive in Durango July 5th, so I'll just barely miss my countries independence day!

I leave Bucharest July 4th at 6:20 am and will arrive in Frankfurt at 7:55 am. 

I leave Frankfurt at 12:45 pm and arrive in Chicago at 2:40 pm.

I leave Chicago at 5:00 pm and arrive in Denver at 6:38 pm.

I leave Denver, July 5th, at 8:20 am and arrive in beautiful Durango 9:30

Now this isn't set in stone but I think I will keep it like this or try. If I do then there is a fairly good chance that I will be flying with my good friend Lexi all the way to Chicago! Also I can meet up with one of the mexicans, Marco, in Frankfurt. 

I calculate my entire travel time though and it will be about 36 hours O_O
As long as I can find either a Tacos place or bagel I will be fine.....

P.S. Tacos and Bagels I miss you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH! I AM SO STOPPING AT STARBUCKS when I find one... hey I have three four airports I'm sure there is one

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Half Way...

Casa Toscana wondering what on
earth is happening behind us
Today it has been exactly 5 months, basically my half way point. Even though I don't know my leave date yet.

Well these have been the most interesting 5 months of my life I think. I am almost getting tired of "learning experiences" haha. I have gone through every emotion on the planet, and still I never regret coming. One really never knows how life will play out, but it's strange to think of the choices that got you to a certain point. The choices that got me to sitting in my room in Romania writing a post to inform all of the people in America that I'm still alive... SURPRISE!!!!


Well these last ten days have, sadly, I have been putting forth effort for my return to America. :(
I now I am signing up for classes in the states and lets just say my schedule doesn't seem fun, in fact, knowing I have to do everything when I get back is kind of scary. I take the classes AP english, AP franceza, AP US history, trig and functions, chemistry, and hopefully free periods! None of this is for sure, but I really really hope that, that is all I am taking :D

I also am planning my plane ticket back, but I have no idea when I will be going back yet.

The muppet dog
SO CUTE
I never thought I would EVER say this, but I really do miss the States. I have come to realize that just because it is amazingly uninteresting where I live, there are things that I love. I love my friends, my family, my animals and I am excited to see them again, but not that excited.

I see what you did there
hahaha
Although I am excited to go home, I am not that excited I still have a half a year right! Overall things have been going pretty well, this weekend is the birthday of one of the exchange students Liz. Everybody wish her a happy birthday!

I know this post is kind of random but it's a weird feeling being half way through. I feel like I am ready to go home and at the same time I feel like I need a lot more time! Although in the end I know I will miss the days of exchange a lot more than I miss the US right now. The time is going by way to fast, to fast to even think. January is already gone!

Exchange wish: BE SPRING I WANT HEAT!
Exchange wish: FLUENT IN ROMANIAN... haha
The pictures are just from the last week :D



This was my facebook add
ummmm.....
awkward...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Life in the fast lane

As you can imagine it was
 hard to take picturees
Well it's not actually that fast. Life is setting into normal... I can't tell if that is a good thing because I am becoming accustomed to Romanian culture or bad thing because it's a lot easier to get bored.Well my life still continues to be interesting most of the time. Hanging out with friends, going to parties, tea house the whole shebang. This weekend was actually fairly interesting. My friend Renata took us to a Glow in the Dark Party at a club. It was so much fun, we got to meet her boyfriend and dance.

Oana and Renata with the tower game
Earlier that day we went to Chez Marie with Oana and Renata. This was so much fun! Oana tried to teach us poker, I didn't understand. At least we can rule out a career in Vegas. They also played this game where you stack wooden blocks in rows of three and you try to take out a single one without tipping over the tower. I also lost at this game haha, It was so much fun, we also played many more card games. Later that night Lexi and I went out to eat at Toscanas yummmmmmmmmmmm.


The week however has been pretty boring. School is school. Although now I'm pretty sure some of the teachers just like to insult us most of the time, now that I understand more. We're doing gymnastics in gym, which I can't do so that is interesting. The most interesting thing I think that has happened this week is I got information about EURO TOUR!!!!!!! So excited. I didn't get very much, but now I know where the tour is going. 

1. Ljubljana, Slovenia
2. Venice, Italy
3. Munich, Germany
4. Strasbourg, France
5. Paris, France 
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
7. Berlin, Germany
8. Prague, Czech Republic
9. Vienna, Austria
10. Budapest, Hungary

I'm very lucky considering I have been to two of these places, but I am still just as excited to go! I just hope it isn't the same week that my father is here 0_0. 

Overall the past while has been pretty good. Hope you enjoyed this post! Here are some random photos...


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ninge!

Valcea
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.... well I little bit late for that. Yesterday was one of the first times I saw snow in Valcea. Now it would be great, however I'm walking a mile into town and a mile back home in slush. Gross. Especially when your boots are black and not water proof, I call it reverse Michael Jackson syndrome 0_0.

Haha well the last few weeks have been interesting. Not exactly the best, but you know it's life. One thing many people don't know about exchange isn't the most wondrous thing on the planet. After living here for almost 5 months, one tends to get bored.

Renata
School is interesting. Shelby and I now understand more in classes. Not really. We can usually pick up words and some what guess what they are saying. If we hear "Women", "Equality", "Start", "French Revolution" we have a pretty good guess that he's saying women's equality started with the french revolution. It's a lot harder sometimes cause you will get words that don't connect at all. Though there are classes that I can say that I don't like. I really really don't like. Some classes that I do like. Most of all though I LOVE breaks in between haha. I feel like my speaking romanian is really worse, and that I should be mute, but my understanding is improving. We also have a new friends in class. Sebastian (He's in Interact) and Renata. Renata is very awesome and she talks to us! Marta, Dre, and Teodora are all also doing well :)

The other exchangers are also doing well. The other day due to the weather we almost walked a mile about in  the rain. We were cold to say the least.

Well that was fun hahaha it was. Another fun thing that happened, we spend a lot of time at Chez Marie :)
Shelby at Chez Marie
Also I have run into some ADORABLE PUPPIES
Isn't he so cute!
Also I have waited on Lexi... a lot
Cohi and Lexi
I have also seen some of the most beautiful things I think ever

Life in Valcea people is awesome! Hope you enjoyed! Also I got a new app on my ipod so I can update my blog more often! Although I can't guarantee anything, but I will try!

Last note: I just noticed my post is about snow, and my blog background is summary haha

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Revolution in Romania!

Protest in Bucharest
Taken From "The Observer"
That's right there is a protest happening in Romania. "Revolutie in Rom─ânia!" is all one hears now days. With protester lining the streets at night, and the news being covered in gruesome scenes in Bucharest one really has to wonder what happened? Romania government is a Republic and it's chief of state is President Traian Basescu. Currently, right now, the Romanian Economy has had a downturn; the rate of
Protest in Bucharest
Taken From Good Morning America

conversion from a US dollar to a Romanian Leu is about 1 dollar = 3 Lei. The conversion rate from a Euro to a Leu is 1 Euro = 4 lei. On January 12th the revolution started with the resignation of a highly respected government public health official Raed Arfarat, also the founder of the Romania's Emergency Medical Services. The protest started in the capital of Romania, Bucharest, and now has lasted a week and spread like wildfire. It is all across the country, even in my small town Ramnicu Valcea. President Basescu was elected December 20th of 2004 he was a, "Man of the people," but now people are frustrated with the public wage cuts, slashed benefits, higher taxes, cronyism in state institutions and widespread corruption.
Bucharest Protest
Taken from "The Observer"
 By Sunday thousands of people were storming University Sqaure in Bucharest in protest. Over a dozen are injured and hospitalized including journalists, policemen, and protesters. The prime minister gave a speech about a new health-care bill after visiting a policeman who was hospitalized because a brick was thrown at his head. In Bucharest the protest has turned from a peaceful protest to a protest in which now the media can no longer cover it. The press was forced to leave University Square on Saturday, due to the violence.  The news is filled with very disturbing scenes of violence and fires burning in the middle of the roads.  Policemen throw tear gas and flares into the crowd. Things since then have calmed down. The Revolution in Ramnicu Valcea was significantly smaller and significantly more peaceful. The protester gathered around the main clock, or the city center square. They held signs and Romanian flags, and then they walked down the street.  Overall it was a very eye opening experience to see the revolution; it shows how much Romania has suffered in the past couple of years. They have only been out of communism for 22 years and are still trying to get their feet back on the ground.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

One week left

Now some of you guys might be thinking one week left until what?
School

Just hangin
Lots of you are probably thinking, "stop whining I'm already in school," but I still don't want to go! Three weeks of break have been so nice. So many hours spent at the tea shop or the mall. The holidays though were very interesting. Quick recap: Christmas all of the celebrating was done on Christmas eve, where I went to a party with my host family at a Rotarians house. I enjoyed but it was still very awkward. For about an hour the only interaction I had was them saying, "You understand romanian" O_O. Then after that they were questioning me about school. My bad, I don't know any of my teachers names. Christmas day my host father took me for a bike ride, it was nice bonding time, but awkward turtles were flying right
New Years Night
next to me. For the week after christmas I hung out with Lexi a lot. We spent countless hours at the Chez Marie (The tea house) buying probably 50 lei worth of tea. I also got to see a friend of ours, Ilinca. I also met some new people, including one romanian who I had seen before at the Talent Show. She was a contestant and a very good one. For New Years we went with my host family and a Rotarian named Fredi. Shelby told me we were all supposed to meet at Fredi's house at 8:30. Lexi and I made plans to meet at Mcdonalds (two blocks away from his apartment) and walk there together. I went there and she wasn't there. She got there at eight which is when I walked to his apartment. I rang up his apartment and I talked with him, but I stupidly enough thought he said, "9 o'clock" (in romanian of course) when in reality he said "etajul noua" which means floor nine. I walked around in the cold for a half an hour in which I went to the main sqaure and watched some traditional romanian singing. I came back at 9 o'clock to which I Fredi tells me he thought the elevator dropped me haha. New Years with Lexi, Shelby, and Liz it turned out to be an awesome night. There was karaoke, in which the adults found lots of entertainment with us singing. Especially Liz haha. Also dancing and a lot of drinking. Now for reasons untold I feel extraordinarily close with one particular exchange student haha. Now it's has been two weeks since and I have been going along in life. Getting three packages from home haha. Also I got to meet my future host sister Diana, who goes to school in Switzerland, she is very nice. I have been really just chilling and enjoying life.



It's a pig! (I think they follow us)
"Go to Jail" I always knew I would need to know how to say that in romanian.