Wednesday, May 4, 2011

First Impressions

It's hard to believe we've been in Târgoviște for only six days. It seems like much, much longer…in a good way. We've moved in with our host parents, Gabriel and Mioara. We have a nice room in a separate building from them. We eat at their house and spend our evenings with them while we study. Here are some first impressions:

Things we love about Romania:

1) Our host family is so generous. They insisted on buying our phones for us. They were $15 each plus an additional $15 each per month for service. While this doesn't seem like much, we only have $70 to our name, so this would have wiped us out.

2) To say you're full, you say m-am săturat. Literally translated this means I'm saturated. We have eaten so much! On Sunday we ate a huge lunch with soup and a main course. We then got up from the table and immediately went to a picnic next door where we were expected to eat more! It turns out it was a national holiday similar to our labor day, and families traditionally grill meat called mici (pronounced "meech").

3) We have met great people! The other trainees and the staff are wonderful. I feel completely confident in the language lessons we're receiving, our pre-teaching experiences, and medical care. Two more choice quotes from Dr. Dan: "Be careful what you chew on." and "If you put a cork in the muffler, that's not good."

4) Learning Romanian isn't impossible. Our language classes are conducted entirely in Romanian and we do our best to talk with our host family only in Romanian. It's amazing how much we already understand and can say. This is due mostly to the fact that language lessons are in groups of five, for four hours a day.

5) Our host mother thinks we're crazy for wanting to eat raw carrots and doesn't believe that there is such a thing as banana bread.

6) Theron loves that a double shot of espresso is $.40.

7) Today is Man's Day, so wish your favorite man la mulți ani de ziua bărbatului and buy him a beer!

Things we're still getting used to:

1) The bathrooms at school lack soap, toilet paper, and toilet seats. Romanians are afraid some will steal them.

2) We're eating a lot of "hot dogs" for breakfast.

3) We don't have the freedom right now to choose what to eat, how much to eat, where to go, or how to get there. Either our host family decides, or we're following our schedule at school (9-5, five days a week).

4) The showers here don't have curtains or glass. It now takes me twice as long to shower (even though I use about 1/4 of the the water). I have to be very careful to keep the water in the tub. We haven't mastered this art yet.

5) It has rained every day since we've been here.

6) Our host family's 25 dogs, which live outdoors. They also have one very special pup named Molly who lives indoors.

Here are a few pictures of our room. We live by ourselves in this giant building that used to be a hotel and restaurant (we think). It has all kinds of passages and rooms we have yet to see.

This picture shows our favorite (very creaky) doorway, which we pass through to use the internet.

We'll post some pictures of the outdoors when it quits raining!

Finally, here's a picture of the view from our hotel room, where we stayed for our first two nights in Târgoviște.


  1. Heather MartindillMay 6, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    Thank you for posting pictures, I was wondering what it looked like. It sounds like things are going pretty well. So is this your permanent location for the next two years or just another somewhat temporary place?

  2. Awesome! You need to upload some audio so we can hear you speaking Romanian. Or maybe not ... ;)

  3. I went on Bing maps and looked your location up. There was also information about the city and a few pictures. A city of 90,000, so not too small. We have had records highs here at the beginning of the week in Omaha 90+ and the last several days have been very cool and rainy. Hopefully we will all see the sun soon:) FYI Bapi made it home on Friday the 13th. No superstitions here. He's doing great!