Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On the Road Again..

Just finished up a GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) camp in Maramures and have arrived in Sinaia for my MST, or Mid-Service Training. That's right folks-I'm halfway through my service! I can't believe it.

Anyways, tons of pictures to come from the camp, which was wonderful. But first, a week of PC training here and then back to site. I'll try to get pictures up sometime while I'm here-in between sessions. Speaking of here, Sinaia is a beautiful town known for its mountains, bears, and the Peles Castle which looks like this:

Sorry this post is short, but I am exhausted after my 12 hour night train (didn't sleep much) and a bit perturbed that after arriving at the hotel at 5:30am, the staff couldn't as least let me put my bags somewhere, or let me stay with a friend who is already here and checked in until my room is ready. Argh. SO another PCV (Sara Anne as well!) is here with me and we're currently sitting in the dark lobby waiting for a room. Ahhhh. Life in the PC.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm Back!

I'm back from my 7 day adventure and it was AMAZING. I have soo many pictures to show you (195!) but instead of posting them on here, I will give you the link to see them ALL on facebook. Here is it: 

Here is a bit of a preview!
Yes, the water really was that color!

Just the Mountains and I.

Insane hiking.

It was soo cold at night!

Just a shepherd watching his flock.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lions and Tigers and..Oh. Just Bears.

Hi All! 

Just wanted to let you know I'll be MIA for the next week as I hike in Fagaras. 
Keep me in your thoughts. After the last informational meeting I found out I only have to worry about the vipers, high winds, very steep and potentially dangerous mountain sides, possible storms, bears, OH and freezing temperatures at night. And apparently we keep the food in our tent?! I'll be the crazy one trying to tie it up in a tree somewhere, faaar away from where I'll rest my head at night. (Or does that make me the smart one?)  I hear that one day we're doing a 16 hour hike so I've packed the appropriate amount of band-aids for potential blisters and my extra thick, wonderful REI socks. I've packed non-perishable food for the week (which yes, includes pork pate) and enough Advil to keep my muscles feeling OK.

  Anyways, in all seriousness I am totally stoked about this trip, its something I've been looking forward to all year and I hope that my pictures will help to show you how amazing these mountains are. Catch you next week!!

(these obviously aren't my pictures..just a peek into what I'm about to tackle.)

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Today I hosted an "American Field Day" for the young kids in my town. It was awesome to introduce to them the 3 legged race, egg toss, spoon and egg relay, and many more traditional games we all played as kids. Who didn't love "Field Day" in elementary school?!  Anyways, my favorite part was seeing the kids try to run back to their team lines after spinning around a bat 8 times in a row-does that make me an evil teacher?? Haha. They loved it. For prizes I gave them American flag pencils (thanks Aunt Mary!) and candy. 

I took many, many pictures but this is my absolute favorite and I think it sums up our moods for those few hours of having fun while laughing uncontrollably. 


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Last week's adventures: Blaj, Sighisoara, and Hair Braiding.

What is it about someone braiding your hair that is so comforting and relaxing? Perhaps it takes me back to when my mom would french braid my hair for me, two cute long braids on either side of my head which made me feel like Pippy Longstockings-without the freckles. I remember also sitting with groups of my girl friends in a circle, all braiding each other's hair in unison and then looking to see who had the best one. And if you didn't know how to braid-forget about it! You learned quickly. Well last week I was hanging out with two amazing Romanian girls from the East side of the country and when one asked to braid my hair, I gladly accepted.  Here in Romania the times when someone is doing my hair are few and far between (yeah, that means cutting, washing, anything. haha) Here is the work in progress..
ALL around my head braid.

Pre-Braid. New friends Veronica and Theodora!
After a fun day of making cookies, working on English, eating honey dew and finally, hair braiding, I headed home to pack for my next trip-Transylvania Fest in Blaj. The festival was a celebration of Transylvanian Culture and there were vendors selling crafts, cheeses, wines, jewelry-you name it. There was music and traditional dance as well as a kids corner for arts and crafts.

Heading to Blaj...from my train window.

On the road, er...track again!

This little lady-goat greeted us when we arrived in Blaj.
Awesome cross near the Old Center of Blaj

Blaj is pretty gorgeous.

We found some pretty awesome gym equipment in the Blaj park.
 My job for the weekend was to work in the kitchen with Evelyn, helping two chefs from London (Paul and Beverly!) prepare dinners for the VIP visitors at the fair. The hours were long, (16!) but from morning until night we cooked, sang, learned new British words and recipes, and then served until the wee hours of the morning. While we were exhausted and pretty much delirious at 1am, I had a great time.
Our 2nd dish out, an amazing goat cheese/onion tort.

3rd dish=amazing salad with a spicy cornbread mixed in.

Paul and I taking a break. Yes, we are plating food in a classroom and yes, he has a broken leg. And finally yes, we're drinking wine in between courses at his insistence. ("The doctor told me I MUST!")
This is what happens to curly haired girls after 4 days without a shower (there was no hot water!). MEGA curls.
We had a visit from two other PCVs, Chelsea and Jocelyn! After our work we spent some time at the festival eating great cheese and having a photo shoot. I never get to see these girls as they live across the country, so it was good to reconnect with them!
Jocelyn, Chelsea, Evelyn

Love these ladies.

Told you we had a photo shoot.

Sunset in Blaj.

The cooks from the Kitchen! Evelyn, Paul, Me, and Bev
 After 4 days in Blaj, Evelyn, Chelsea, Jocelyn and I headed home. But first, we stopped at the Medieval Festival in Sighisoara, a gorgeous little town nestled in the mountains. We watched sword fights, listened to live music, ate amazing food, and simply enjoyed a low-key day after Trans Fest.


Medieval Fest in full swing...

Making paper.

Love the colors of the houses.

I want that chain link suit of armor.

Oh yes, visited to house where DRACULAAA was born. Muahaha

Dancing and singing

Ahh, Sighisoara I love you.

Picture does NOT do it justice.

Proof I was there.


This little house is my dream home. Beautiful flowers and plants grew everywhere, and it overlooks that view from the pic above.

Wicked fence.

I really love cemeteries. Does that make me more Dracula-like?

Basically reads "Everyone should think to themselves that the place you are entering is a cemetery!" Basically be respectful.

Really I was just trying to jump down without hurting myself. It was farther than it looks here.

This is not me trying to be artsy, this was actually just me still trying to jump down, Asking Evelyn for help.

Evelyn and I with Vlad Tepes himself.

The festival was great but we were EXHAUSTED and left on night trains back to our respective sites. I arrived at 8:30am and proceeded to sleep the entire day to catch up on the last week's craziness. However no rest for the weary, and I'm planning a "Summer Fun" day for the kids here in Recas tomorrow (think capture the flag, egg toss, 3 legged race, dodgeball) and then leave Friday morning with my HS students for a 7 day camping/hiking adventure. Here is where I'm going, in case you forgot.
Fagaras Mountains!
So off to finish planning today, then buying food for 7 days in the wilderness. There will be lots of canned Pate people. And sorry for a blog post longer than a novel.

Monday, August 1, 2011


...is really the best medicine.

This is my friend and fellow PC Volunteer, Evelyn-and she is amazing. After a long, tiring week of volunteering at Transylvania Festival, we spent a few hours in Sighisoara before heading back to our sites. In our complete exhaustion after working 16 hour days on our feet, these glasses made us laugh until we couldn't breathe. Literally-we were doubled over in the middle of the cobblestone street, tears streaming down our faces-simply enjoying the moment of utter ridiculousness.

I just slept the entire day after an all night train ride, but pictures will be up soon from the last week. Promise.