Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Homestay in the Mountains
This weekend I had a Romanian homestay experience. I was very nervous going into it, but it ended up being great! My family was very kind. My family lives up in the mountains and in the winter they must “hike” up a steep road to their house. They live on a farm and have a horse, two cows, chickens, and a pig. They grow quite a bit of their own food and because the grandma used to be a cook we were fed very well, all the time! The small house has quite a few people living in it. There is the mom and dad, uncle and aunt, grandma and grandpa, 16 year old Peter, 16 year old Nico ( a cousin), and 10 year old Anna. Peter was the only one who knew English! Sometimes it was very odd when I was in the room with just the parents or cousin and we couldn’t really talk without using hand gestures. I learned a lot about Romanian culture through this homestay. For example, my family eats a lot of bread and they go through about three loaves a day. I also learned Romanian personal space is a lot smaller for people you have just met. It was also really neat meeting Peter’s friends and seeing what it is like to be a Romanian teenager. Lupeni, the city we are staying in, does not have a lot to do, so it is very common to just walk up and down the streets with friends and maybe go to a club or bar. It is also very common for different ages to all hang out together. Many of Peter's friends were 18. So, Saturday night we walked into Lupeni with some of his friends and looked at the lights and then went to Piano Bar. On Sunday we went for a hike up in the mountains. It was straight up the mountain and for parts of it I thought I was going to die. I think I would have died without Niko’s help! I think that will be one of my favorite memories of my homestay. It was so beautiful up there, I couldn't imagine looking at that every day! We built a fire and waited until it got dark so that we could see the lights of Lupeni and Urichani (the next city over). The homestay was a great experience, they had great hospitality and were an amazing family to stay with. I hope to visit them again someday.