Tuesday. My second Tuesday in Romania. My first full day here since my Grandmother left to go back to the US. I must say, it has been a good one.
First of all, I got up at a reasonable time after a full night's rest. Praise God. Never underestimate the power of jet lag -- your mind may be in Europe, but your body can and will stay in America as long as it can get away with. I've decided the best remedy (at least when moving East) is to exhaust yourself during the day so that you can fall asleep at the first opportunity. I'll be remembering that next time.
Today started with me making coffee just before the water in our building was turned off -- perfect timing! Then after lunch I decided to brave the 34 C heat (93 F) and go for dessert, but unfortunately it seems that my favorite pastry stand is now an over-priced drug store. Since I was already downtown, I ended up browsing in a row of thrift stores where I found a cute skirt for 3 Lei (less than $1), and it actually fit when I got it home.
I also got a phone today, which is good. I feel a lot better about roaming around town with limited Romanian skills knowing that I have some English-speaking Romanians on speed-dial. Speaking of my skills, my roommate is now giving me assignments: I have to write 10 Romanian sentences every day for her to check, and tonight she gave me homework to translate from Romanian to English for tomorrow. I think I'm doing pretty well, though, especially considering I've only been here a week.
The best way to learn a new language is, of course, by immersion. And the only way to immerse yourself in Romanian is to spend lots of time with Romanians! Tonight I went with my friend D. and some youth from the church to play with the kids at a local orphanage, many of whom were at a camp last week that she organized for orphans. I only went to the last day of the camp, so it was good to see the kids again and spend more time with them. I had my camera in my pocket, and I almost snapped a few pictures, but then decided not to. I could take a picture of a little girl whose hair I braided, but it couldn't capture the hug she gave me when I finished (today was her first day in the orphanage), or her little brown hand in mine while she tried to make me understand something beyond my vocabulary. Pictures can't let you hear laughter from little girls trying to imitate my silly faces. So, I have no pictures today. Maybe next time.