I’m slowly integrating into my little village. Although I’m an outgoing person once I warm up to people and am comfortable where I am, it generally takes me a while to get to that point. I’m much more of an introvert than some people realize. So, although I’ve gone to school each day and occasionally talk to some of the other teachers, and although I interact with my host family, I haven’t really done a whole lot else in my community. Nor have I gotten out to see much of it, although honestly, there isn’t a whole lot here (which is what I wanted). In time, I will, but I know that for me it is important to take baby steps to get there. I did attend a masa (technically, masa means table, but it is also used for party or meal) with many members of the community last week and I met some of the parents at the conference at the school.
Some days the task of integrating into my little community seems a bit daunting, but I do love my little town. I had requested a small town because that’s where I’m more comfortable. It’s peaceful here, with few cars, and people are friendly- most say “buna ziua” or “buna dimineata” when I pass them on the street while walking to and from the school each morning. I’ve spent a couple of hours helping my host mom or host niece pick tomatoes in the valley or cut green onions. My family’s fields are a short walk down a hill from our house.
Of course, things are more “rustic” here than they are in many of the bigger towns: horses pull carts carrying people and vegetables, the houses are a bit smaller, and many have simple metal roofs. Others even have thatched roofs, like the house above, which is behind our house. The gates and fences are lower and a little less elaborate, and there are ducks and occasionally other animals wandering the roads. If I’m up early enough, I sometimes catch a glimpse of the cows heading through the roads on the way to the fields.
I think I’ll really like it here.