Tuesday, 19 November 2013

What is Romania?

In less than a month, I will be leaving this place that I call home. In less than a month I will return to busy city streets, people rushing as they walk down the sidewalks with only their next task on their mind, a million options in a grocery store, and back to a life that I used to consider normal. I will say goodbye to waking up to the sound of horse carts passing, women spinning wool on the side of the road, pyramid hay bails, colorful houses, and being greeted by stray dogs looking for love on the street. As I reflect on my life now and what I consider as normal, I realize my view has truly changed. Romania is not perfect. It is made of many broken pieces, but put together, it has formed one beautiful masterpiece. In reflection, I started to ask myself some harder questions. What is Romania? What does it mean to me? What have I grown to love about it? What have I learned? The answers I found surprised me slightly. Many could be answered with one word. These are some of the answers:

  1. sim·plic·i·ty simˈplisitē/ (n.): something that is simple or ordinary but enjoyable
    Since coming to Romania, I have truly learned to cherish the little things. I never imagined getting so excited about a piece of warm bread or finding peanut butter in a store. Or about a good conversation and a simple hug. I get excited about the lights coming on and when I don't have to hold the shower head up. These things may sound so simple, but I cherish them so dearly. 
  2. met·a·noi·a metəˈnoiə/ ( n.) : the journey of changing one's mind, heart, self, or way of life resulting from penitence or spiritual conversion
    I constantly have asked myself since leaving the U.S., what is the purpose of me coming here? It wasn't until I stopped searching that I found it. This trip has been a journey to learning more about who I am, realizing what really matters to me, and in the end, learning that I am so insignificant in this world that those don't matter as much as the lessons I've learned. My view of education and development have completely changed as well as the way I live my life. I've gained a broader view of life and this world, and I have grown and changed a lot. Even if it's a lot of little things and not one big thing, this trip has been a journey of growth and healing.
  3. ser·en·dip·i·ty \ˌser-ən-ˈdi-pə-tē\ (n.) : luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for
    I hit a low point this semester. But coming out of that, I realized how I have found so much joy here even amongst difficult times. Laughing with my host dad, pillow talk with my host sister, cooking with my host mom, climbing with my host brother. Walking along the road alone. Eating delicious food. A great cup of coffee while having good discussion. Cooking in the apartment. The sunshine on my face. Singing to a great song. Laughing for no reason. A conversation with God. Sometimes, it's just me stepping out of my normal and I find joy. In the little things. In the big things. I have found so much joy this semester.
  4. What I've Learned in Total:
    In this quilt of a country, made of so many different pieces, some being tattered, I have found so much beauty. The thing is, I am sewing on my piece of fabric to the quilt because I have become a part of this place and it has become a part of me. I am here. This masterpiece is my home.

Written by Kara Prachar

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