Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cinderella, Cinderella...

I just finished scrubbing all my floors on my hands and feet, hence the title of this blog post. I guess I could have bought a mop, but I'm kinda strapped for cash this month so until we get paid from Peace Corps, I will continue cleaning without one. With some Eminem (don't judge! I always clean to hip hop) blaring in the background, I scrubbed and cleaned and my knees now hurt but I feel so much better. Who likes a dirty floor? "Cinderella, Cinderella.."

I have to admit I'm in a bit of a funk. Recently I've been hearing comments about Peace Corps Romania. For example, we get the "Oh, that's POSH Corps over there, you have everything!"  I've been made fun of for having a TV. I've been told that my job as a teacher isn't a real PC job-I'm not "roughing it" enough.  I've been told that because I am able to find brown sugar at my grocery store I'm spoiled.  Where is this negativity coming from?

Just like every other Peace Corps Volunteer out there I decided to give two years of my life to service in another country.  I also said goodbye to family members, friends, loved ones.  I sold my car, said goodbye to a nice paycheck, I paid off all debts before I left, and threw myself into another culture, language, way of life.  Yes, I have a TV, and yes I can get the Discovery Channel. But that is if my TV is actually working, or the channels are coming in clear.  Yes, my house has heat. But even with the heat it can be freezing here!  And yes, yes I do have a washing machine.  But my clothes still air dry on a line inside my house, and that can take days, and days, and days this time of year.

I have worked hard to be here, and I am continuing to work hard here in country.  I have learned Romanian. I know how to cook Romanian meals. I have integrated into my community, and become a better teacher with better lessons and practices. All of this hasn't been easy. I guess what I'm saying is that it strikes a nerve in me each time someone tells me that PC Romania is easy. No, we don't live in huts in Africa, we don't have to take malaria pills, and we do not have to get our water out of a stream, boil it, then drink it.  But we have our challenges too, in different ways.  In many ways it is so hard because this country is similar to the US, but then you find out that it is actually more different than you could ever have imagined. The similarities are deceiving.

Thank you to all of you who are supporting me and sending love my way, I miss you more than you know.  I'm sorry this blog has a sort of negative vibe but I want to be truthful with you, have you ride out the good times and bad with me.
A student in my 10th grade told me today, "Sara, you're always happy. You always have a smile on your face." And I am, I really am happy here. I love teaching. I love this country, and I know I'm right where I should be.  So thank you to those whose faith in me got me this far.


  1. I think you are brave to move away to another country and commit two years of your life to helping other people. What you are doing is important and you are changing lives. Just because you aren't living in a hut and you have running water doesn't make you a wimp in the World of Peace Corp volunteers. You have a wonderful opportunity to influence lives in a positive way. God has you right where He wants you and that is more important than who has things harder or easier. Hang in there. Back in Fairfax we are all proud of you. You have a beautiful smile so keep it on your face and don't let anyone bring you down.

  2. There are always people who have to be "more" than others. In this case, they are "more" primitive, but that doesn't make primitive better. You are fulfilling your commitment to the Peace Corps, just as they are, filling a need and blooming where you are planted. I admire you for what you are doing and even have a bit of envy for the people you are meeting and the places you are seeing. Hang in there, kid!

  3. You are doing a great thing, no matter what anyone else says or thinks. Keep going and smiling :-)