Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I know several of you have asked for the letter that I wrote to my Grandfather for his funeral, the one that my brother read for me at the service.  Instead of putting it up here on my VERY public blog, please send me an email and I will gladly forward it to you. Email:


and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my family and friends at home.  I will miss being at the beach and watching football with you!  Also big shout out to my cousin, Eli-HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF MY FAVORITE COUSINS. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Again-old pics! Halloween Festival at my School

I organized a Halloween festival at my school for the kiddies-complete with face painting, apple bobbing, pumpkin carving contest, races, costume contest, guessing games, prizes, and a pie in the face contest (which was a fund raiser) that let the students throw pie in the teacher's faces-including me!  It was a huge success, and we even had parents show up to participate and take pictures.  At the end, while mopping up all the whip cream, the kids made me promise we would do it again next year. :)
Awesome costumes from my kids

Vampires were big this year.

This is the school's class president.

Quite the crowd showed up to watch!

They had to reach their hands into the boxes to feel the "hearts" (peeled tomatoes) "worms" (spaghetti) "eyeballs" (peeled grapes) and "brains" (sponges). It was a big hit.

Bobbing for apples!

I was covered in whipped cream. All for a good cause!


Some of the winners for the "Best Costume".

At the Pumpkin Carving Table

My Counterpart, Vali, with the best costume!

Welcoming the crowd and explaining the stations at the festival with Vali.

Guessing how many beans are in the jar. 

The 5th graders sang a Halloween song in English to start the festivities!

Face Painting, another fund raiser.
My favorite pumpkin..or squash. Whatever it was.

I love this picture-touching the brains!!
More Pumpkins!

Better Late than Never-80's Halloween

Justin, Andy, Shaneka, Elizabeth, Breanna and I (all PVCs) got together for the weekend to celebrate Halloween-80's style! Enjoy the pics. :)
Enjoying the beautiful day in Pecica

Oh, Hi Breanna!

Love this lady! Elizabeth from Group 26

Andy, chopping walnuts for the morning banana bread while in his 80's attire.

Some of the gang.

Leg warmers anyone?

Oops, sorry Andy didn't see your eyes were closed.

The 80's hair was big. Too big.
Haha Breanna I love this.

Yes-we had Reeses from the States. Amazing.

Baking. Yes-I baked Bread.

Below are some pictures of my first time baking Cozonac, one of the traditional breads in Romania, usually served around Christmas time. OK-so it was the first time I baked ANY bread from scratch. You know me, and you know this was a big moment.

And...I was successful!  But that was only because I had Cristina helping me, an expert baker and wonderful friend. Thanks Cristina! A whole blog post will be dedicated to my second attempt at making it ALONE, coming soon-you KNOW it won't be as pretty. :)
Kneading dough-excuse the no-makeup and possible sweat dripping down my face.. it was hard work!
Kneading dough for what seemed like FOREVER.
Right before they went into the oven!

So. Proud.
Look at that bread!!

Student Excursion to Sibiu!

From November 6th-7th I was able to go on a student excursion to Sibiu, a beautiful city enriched in history located in the central part of the country. With a bus, 28 students from 10th-12th grade and a few teacher chaperones, we were off bright and early Saturday morning. 
Love this picture-a shepherd and his flock.

My purchase on the way--it was freezing!

Some of my 10th and 11th grade boys-up to no good for sure!
See? No good! :)

The "Couple"...Daniel and Emma, my 11th graders

We had a great time in the city. We went to art and history museums, and even saw an ancient Egyptian mummy!  We were able to explore the oldest Saxon Church in the city and climb the bell tower-which was one of the most frightening experiences in Romania thus far-think minimum lighting, squeaky and rickety stairs, and halfway through the climb the bells start tolling-creating the freakiest and loudest sound I’ve heard here. Haha. It was all worth it once we saw the view at the top-amazing.
Looking out from the tower over Sibiu

Gorgeous city!
 We played human chess in a gorgeous park, and took pictures in Piata Mica and Piata mare, some of the most beautiful town centers I have seen here in Romania.  The city is clean, modern, and it reminded me of parts of Italy or even Spain.  I can see why it was named the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2007. We knew Nicholas Cage was here filming Ghost Rider 2, so we tried to locate him, with no luck. We later found out he would start filming the week after-too bad!
Oh, This is Paco. We met him in the center.

Hanging out at the art museum.

We ran into Zac-another volunteer who lives in Sibiu
Hanging out-Cristina( French Teacher) Anca (PE Teacher) and Marius, 12th Grade
 One of the best moments of the weekend was later Saturday night when we were walking through Piata Mica.  We saw a huge set, complete with fake snow, little kiosks, lights, and cameras.  It looked like a winter wonderland.  We stopped to ask what was going on and discovered that we had stumbled on a crew filming a commercial for the telephone company, Orange! They then asked our group to be extras, so for the next 3 hours we walked around the winter wonderland set, pretending to buy coffee and candy from the kiosks and enjoying the fake snow that fell on us. Literally freezing, we left the set around 12AM and headed to a discoteca for a little dancing and warming up.  Look for us on all national TV channels come Christmas time, I’m the one selling books in broken Romanian at the kiosk on the far left. :)
The winter wonderland!

The crew setting up

Daniela, Bianca and I FREEEZING on set

Pretty much the whole crazy group.

Again, still freezing. The kids all bought those hats too earlier in the day. Little did we know how much we would need them!

Cristina (French Teacher) with our kids, on set.

Warming up at the discoteca..and yes-that is lemonade.
 Sunday we explored the city some more and finished our journey with a trip to the Zoo, which was an experience and a half. The animals were in cages that you could quite literally just walk right up to and reach your hand in.  People were petting the monkeys, and walking right up to the tigers, lions and BEARS. I was terrified. Also, I realized that it was more of a petting zoo than anything else, because not only could you touch the animals but people were feeding them as well. Sunflower seeds, popcorn, you name it. It was shocking to me, and I admit I was happy to leave.  It wasn’t until we were walking back to the bus that one of the students told me the tiger got loose last summer for awhile…ANNND again, glad I was leaving.
Random man feeding the monkeys...

Yes, I could reach out and touch this bear if i wanted to. But I value my hand.

I felt bad for this guy.

But the Zoo sold these awesome masks!!
 It was great to get away with my students and get to know them a little better. My kids are great; we had tons of fun just laughing with each other while exploring Sibiu. It gave me a ton of time to practice English with them, and they also helped me with my Romanian.  It was one of the best weekends in Romania so far!
And I leave you with this: A "Hollywood" sign on a random hill on the way to Sibiu. Bless this country.