I can't believe I haven't posted in WEEKS. Sorry to all of you who are actually still following me (I wouldn't blame you if you stopped!!) but I'm finally back at site after a whirlwind of a month and I'm ready to update you, pictures and all.
Last you heard from my I was in London with my parents, finishing up our 9 day trip with an Easter Church service. Well, I came back to Romania, re-packed my suitcase and headed to Maramures (northern Romania) for a traditional Romanian Orthodox Easter. Matt came with and we did things like drive a horse carriage, make traditional breads (well, we tried) and dressed up in traditional outfits. It was a great experience and I was happy to finally make it up to that area.
|Matt and I driving the "caruta" or horse drawn carriage.|
|Part of the wooden Monastery in Sapunta, Maramures.|
|Dressed in traditional clothing from Sapunta.|
From Maramures Matt and I met up with two other volunteers, Nick and Jessica, and we set out for an adventure in Austria. We spent a few days in Salzburg (Beautiful!) and then hit up Vienna for two nights. Great company, delicious food, and gorgeous sites=one amazing time.
|Olives in Salzburg|
|Our view for lunch. The Hills are Alive in Salzburg|
|The famous "pus finger" sausage. Filled with cheese and when you cut it, the cheese runs out...like PUS. Lovely.|
|Most beautiful mountains I've ever seen.|
|Jessica and I standing on the Alps.|
After Austria we went our separate ways and I headed to Cluj for my LAST Peace Corps conference, the "Close of Service" conference. It was surreal as we attended sessions on "Life after PC". The US Ambassador and his wife were in attendance as well, and at the end of the day we all went to see "Sound of Music" at the Cluj Opera House. On Friday morning we all said a sad goodbye, knowing that the chances we would ever be all together in the same place again were slim.
|Mr. Ambassador addressing the group.|
|Ahh Cluj...I love ya.|
|The Opera House.|
|Freya and I getting ready for the Sound of Music|
|Just some lovely PC ladies ready for the opera!|
From COS I headed to Matt's place in Tulghes. We went on a fantastic hike with his counterpart and friends and spent time just relaxing at his site. We had a long weekend (Monday and Tuesday off from school!) and spent it hanging out with his neighbors and playing skip-bo...lots of skip-bo. :)
|Matt and his adorable neighbor. Just look at that face.|
|He was able to try one of my marshmallows for the first time.|
|Playing Skip-Bo on the front stoop.|
|At the beginning of our trip up the mountain-these cows were coming home a bit too early. The owner came outside and turned them around so they were heading towards the pasture...ha.|
|Deep in the forest.|
|Taking a breather...so hot, and so steep.|
|Making our way to the top-Matt and Alex.|
|We made it!!|
|The view from the top.|
From Matt's, I went to work at an English competition for 6th-8th graders deep in Hargita county, whose population is mostly Hungarian. With 6 other volunteers we ran the camp for about 60 kids and it was very successful-who doesn't love old fashioned spelling bees and relay races in English? The village (Ocland) was beautiful and our host was an amazing cook.
|The walk to the competition from our village.|
|Where we stayed.|
|Working hard to create stories.|
|The competition-at least my room.|
I then set out on a 12 hour adventure to get back to my site where I arrived last night around 10:00PM. And here I am, exhausted but back.
More to come tomorrow!