Whew-where to start?! This last week has again flown by! I received my site, had my first weekend of sickness, and have been preparing for our Counterpart Conference, which is this coming weekend. Lets back up though-I GOT MY SITE!! We had a huge “Site Announcement” ceremony last Wednesday. The RO country director was there and we were lucky enough to also have the US Ambassador in attendance! He came with his family and spoke to us about our role here in Romania. He is a big PC advocate and even invited all the volunteers to his house for Thanksgiving dinner! Now, unfortunately, I cannot post my exact location or village name on this public blog, but I can tell you a bit about where I’ll be. If you want to know the exact location, please email me or shoot me a Facebook message and I’ll let you know!
I can say that I will be in the Western part of the country, which borders Serbia and Hungary. I am located close to the bustling city of Timisoara, which you can find TONS of information on online. I’m really, really excited about being near a large city while still getting the small village experience at my site. My site has less than 9,000 people, which will be quite a change from the over 1 million in Fairfax County!! I will be teaching 9-12th grade, with three 4th grade classes thrown in. J My pupils will consist of Romanian decent, but I will also have Croatians, Hungarians and Roma. I will most likely teach secondary classes such as American culture or American history in addition to my English classes. There is so much more information I could write here but I’ll wait until I get to my site and get a better idea of everything before I add it! One last little point is that apparently I will have Internet, phone, and cell service at my location---WAHOO!
I will be traveling to my site next Tuesday, but first we have our Counterpart Conference this weekend. A Counterpart is a Romanian teacher from our respective schools (in our cases, another English teacher but native Romanian) who has been assigned to work with us and lead us in our new sites. They work with us on lesson planning, community integration, and hopefully will be one of our first friends at site. This weekend we will meet our counterparts for the first time and get to know them through a series of training and cultural sessions. Once the conference is over, I will go with my counterpart to my site and will be there until next Friday, the 23rd. (My Dad’s birthday!! Happy Birthday Dad!!)
I am nervous, excited, anxious-so many emotions all wrapped up together at this point. This is what I’ve been waiting for. The last 3 weeks are the final steps in this whole training process and then we’ll be ready to head out on our own. I am sad to leave my friends (who have quickly become my Romanian family) and professors who have tirelessly taught us Romanian in only two months. The PC training has been intense, yet intensely rewarding. There are moments that dragged by, yet now I can’t believe that we’re almost on week 9 of 11. My trip to site will be amazing. Finally, after a yearlong application process, and 11 weeks of training, I’ll be able to see where I’ll be serving for the next two years of my life-incredible!
More to come either this weekend or when I’m home from my sight visit. More pictures to come as well. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." William James