Tonight I’m walking home from the train station after a great weekend in Arad. I am admiring the sun setting over the cornfields to my left, and straight ahead of me are the beautiful vineyards of Recas. I take a deep breath, drinking in the scents, the sights, the sounds…and I realize that fall is coming. For the first time in Recas, the air is crisp, goosebumps form on my arms, and I actually feel the cold coming. A wave of homesickness washes over me-for it feels like fall in Virginia-my favorite time of year. I think of apple cider, pumpkin patches, and the leaves turning colors, something that I’ll miss out on over here. I take another deep breath and think of my family and friends and my time away from the states. Homesickness really does hit you when you least expect it.
As I’m deep in thought, I turn the corner to cross a tiny bridge that leads to my house and WHAM-run right into a shepherd with his flock of about 100 sheep. I say “buna seara” (good evening) to the man and try to cross the bridge, but the flock has decided to pass at the exact same moment and I am trapped. The shepherd sees my problem and takes out his little whip to move the sheep out of the way. I wait patiently as some cross quickly, others dart into the water, and the rest run in the opposite direction. I make eye contact with one sheep, and he seems to say “stranger-who are you and what are you doing here??” I admit I probably look every bit the stranger with my backpack and Chaco sandals on. I start laughing, as does the shepard, at the absurdity of the situation. We exchange a smile and eventually I make it across the tiny bridge and wave goodbye.
Just another night in Romania..life is so sweet.