Saturday, March 12, 2011

Primăvară A Sosit! (Spring has arrived!)

It's official. Today, for the first time in months, I rode my bike to school. I felt the warm sun on my face, and finally saw a blue sky for the entire day. Spring is here! I left school and was in shock at how much warmer it felt than even yesterday. I stood in the center park, head towards the open sky and just soaked in the rays for a few minutes-how I have missed the sun! As I continued home, I weaved through people sitting in plastic chairs and enjoying time together outside their homes, obviously relishing in the change of temperature. I haven't seen that many people outside since last fall! With the rolling green hills of vineyards in the distance, I smiled and felt relived that the rough winter months were over. What a great way to start my weekend.

As you know PC celebrated its 50th Anniversary on March 1st, and I organized a HS competition and dance to celebrate. All month I taught the kids about PC-from basic facts to the goals and motto, to my experience as a PC volunteer.  The kids wrote essays about PC and a few made me tear up when they wrote what it meant to them to have me in their school.  On March 1st, we had a Jeopardy style competition between the HS classes with questions about PC. The teachers and other students all came to watch and it was a great time-congrats 10th grade for rockin it. After the competition we had food and music for the students and teachers and it was a wonderful time to socialize and celebrate PC. I made some "American food" like brownies and apple fritters and some of the students brought in traditional Romanian food-sarmale, eggplant salad, hard-boiled eggs in some sauce-yum.  Together we celebrated and danced until late in the evening.
Setting up the tables with good, American stickers, etc.
The boys helping to set up-but mostly goofing off!
My helpers-11th, 7th, and 9th graders.
My "American" food, brownies and apple fritters!
Ready for everyone!
Romanian/American foods
We were packed in!
Two of my sweet 10th graders.
Dancing the traditional "Penguin" Dance.
More Penguin dance.
Also on March 1st was the Romanian holiday of "Martisor".  I mentioned it earlier but it is basically a celebration of Spring.  Martisoare are made, which are little trinkets that have a white and red string. You wear them as pins on your clothes and give them as gifts.  I stayed with the kids in the center as they sold homemade martisoare as a fundraiser.  They were raising awareness about domestic violence and asking people who were walking by to fill out a questionnaire regarding the same, sparking discussion. It was great to see them work together to fight such a huge problem in Romania and the world. They make me so proud!
Selling Martisoare in the Center
Preparing the questionnaires.
Martisoare, the Center, and the Catholic Church
Some of my 5th graders.
Close up of the Martisoare!
Anca, the PE teacher (left) and the HS students.
The boys from 10th grade asking me the questions from the survey.
Lastly, I've joined an environmental committee at the school that has joined a national cause-Scoala Pentru un Viitor Verde. (School for a Green Future). We are currently discussing a projects for each month until June, and will submit our work to the national foundation to be judged with other schools. To start, a wall of the school has been designed to promote creating a "green" school and to raise awareness about environmental issues. The students did a FANTASTIC job-as you can see below.
The tree they created-each flower on the tree has a picture of a student or teacher in the committee!
My flower.
I think the flowers are so creative.
Working on the wall with the kids.
I LOVE this part-look at the detail of the frog, bird, and the grass on the wall. Beautiful!
The last few weeks have been busy yet wonderful.  My adult classes with Vali have been going on for a month now and they are going very well. I will be looking into started a Mural project soon and also will be starting to volunteer at Generatie Tanara Romania-a NGO that works in Timisoara and around the country to fight human trafficking. Katie and I will be working with them this summer with their summer camps for refugees.

This weekend I will be going to the Opera with some of my students and enjoying some free time to relax and plan for next week. I will be hosting a taco night for some of my Romanian friends as they have never had tacos-can't wait!

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