Sunday, January 23, 2011


Number 1: LL Bean Moccasins.

I just arrived home from the train station, and I'm freezing. Snow has arrived again in Recas and the Nine West boots I wore to the city are NOT, I repeat NOT waterproof.  I was wearing two pairs of socks and legging but I'm soaked to the bone! Note to self-purchase better winter boots to survive the next few months of winter...

As I sit here drying off and trying to get warm, I've been thinking of all the little things I have here that I am so grateful for.  The things that from the outside don't seem like much, but in all actuality keep me comfortable and a bit sane here. :) I've decided to make a list of just a few of them. Thank you to all of you who have sent me some of these things! You have no idea how much they help.

Ok-The moccasins from LL Bean are AMAZING. I'm sure you've heard from me that here in Romania, people wear slippers in there house, at all times.  This is something that I've really had to get used to, but its been easier with my moccasins. They are incredibly warm, comfy, and have a hard rubber sole so that I can even go outside with the, if necessary. (Ok "outside" means to another apartment above me, not outdoors.) Thank you Down's family for buying me these awesome slippers. They have traveled all over the country with me!

Disclaimer-this isn't MY machine, but close enough.
 The next thing I'm incredibly thankful for is my washing machine. It's small, its loud, but its PERFECT. I know a lot of volunteers who have to hand wash their clothes, and with winter here, the occasional loss of hot (or any) water, I am happy that that is something I don't have to worry about.  And by the way, I will never take a dryer for granted again.  Going back to the states and having my clothes dried in 30 minutes is going to be amazing. For now, my drying rack located next to the heater works just fine!
Number 3: The most amazing hair product I have here.

Let's talk about hair.  The water that comes out of the showers here is hard, untreated water.  It has wreaked havoc on my hair, making it dry, brittle, basically destroying it.  I mentioned this to Amanda back home, and she surprised me with this Pantene intensive treatment in a package!  Thanks to Amanda for this-something small but that has made a world of difference to me here. Anyone going into the Peace Corps should write this down, and have family/friends send it to you. A lifesaver!
Number 4: Who would have guessed I would love it so much?

Next on the list, scotch tape-heavy duty. I have wanted to nail some things on my apartment walls, but my walls are concrete, and I can't get any nails into the wall.  When my parents came, they brought me some heavy duty tape and I was able to hang cards, maps, pictures, and other things on the walls, making my apartment more cozy and warm. Everything that I used before just didn't cut it. So now, all of those cards and pictures you send me are securely posted on the walls, and make me smile each and every day.
Number 5: A little bit if American heaven.

Now back in the states, I didn't like marshmallows. Well, OK, I didn't like small marshmallows in my hot chocolate. (Who doesn't love S'mores?!) But here in Romania, where we can't find marshmallows, I have had a craving for them weirdly enough. I received this box of Swiss Miss hot chocolate, complete with marshmallows, and on days like today where I'm chilled to the bone, there is nothing like it.  Another thing that I will never take for granted again when I'm home. Thank you all my friends (and family!) and Hale Carlson Baumgartner, PLC for hooking me up!
Number 6: I seriously want to shake the hand of the person who invented Reeses.

Anyone who knows me well knows that my absolute favorite candy is Reeses. Anything Reeses. The cups, the pieces, the Reese's Christmas trees, and Easter eggs that come out during the holidays...even the ice cream gets my vote. So when my parents showed up from the States with two bags of these, well-Merry Christmas to me. We can't get these here, hell I can't even find peanut butter in my village, so to Reese's Pieces-Yes please.

 Lastly, we have wool socks from REI.  Before I came to Romania I stocked up on these socks and they have been a LIFESAVER.  (Especially now, when it's freezing outside). I usually double them up when I go out in the snow and my feet stay warm and dry all day.  I have also used these socks hiking in the summer, and after 9 hours I didn't even have one blister. In fact I am wearing them now.  Grateful for these socks and for my mom who brought me two more pairs at Christmas!

                    Number 7: My feet thank you, Wool socks from REI.                                 
Like I said, these are just a FEW small things that I am thankful
for during my service here in Romania.  There are so many things
that you all have sent me that I am so appreciative for, including
baking supplies, makeup, magazines, food, teaching supplies, and
even clothes and books.  I am so grateful to have YOU all supporting
me from home. Thank you for everything-especially the small things!


  1. I can't wait to find out what I'm going to miss. Or not :) I'm wearing Smartwools right now, too! They're the mountaineering socks, really super warm and cozy. I recommend!

  2. When you are away from home sometimes it is the small things that make a difference. Stay warm!

  3. You can buy peanut butter from Billa, Timisoara (the store on Gheorghe Lazar Bldv.)There is in small jars and it is expensive.


  4. If you can get peanuts, you can make your own PB, Sara. It's not hard and you would know for sure that it is fresh!

  5. In my opinion, drying clothes in a dryer is a waste of energy/money. I'm not an environmentalist at all, but I think it's common sense. It might be good in winter time, but in summer time, the sun and the hot air drys your clothes in one or two hours !