30 Days Straight: #3

  • Cannot call myself Pat out here for short. It translates to “bed” in Romanian. I do not need the nickname anyway. I prefer being called “Paaahh-treeek”. It sounds French. Although over the summer during language training a fellow volunteer gave me the nickname “Pattress”. Clever.
  • Still stuck smack dab in the middle of my book “The Long Walk” by Stephen King. It has been two weeks and I feel unmotivated to continue but I feel a need to complete it for whatever reason. I like to finish what I started.
  • Tore through my community project today, narrowing the scope of our goals for the IT center. I badly want this to happen. To be able to give something back to Leova would be extraordinary considering all this community has done and taught me thus far.
  • Summer vacation in Romania, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria? No. Say it ain’t so. 14 days of lunacy. Almost booked, just waiting on my cousin.
  • My Romanian is improving, while my English is getting worse. Turn the switch on again, off again during the day is challenging yet very fun. Throughout this whole experience I have gained a new found respect for what foreigners in the U.S. must endure. Do me one favor from here on out. Recognize these people as equals, even if they cannot speak English well. Shake their hands. Look them in the eyes. Make them feel welcome. Keep conversation simple. Stay patient. The other side is not pretty and they will appreciate the gesture beyond belief. I know I always do.
  • Eating unsalted peanuts and a banana simultaneously is the best snack I have recently discovered. It is also cheap as dirt and incredibly healthy.
  • Signed the contract today for my house. I will move in March 1st barring what will come next. My Peace Corps manager Sasha was concerned during the visit. She saw mold in the bathroom, does not like the heating system, and thought the conditions met the bare minimum requirements for Peace Corps. In support of Sasha was my partner Vitalie. He said he would not live there and called another man in town to verify if we could check out his apartment this weekend. We will do so and drink 100 grams of cognac with the landlord to boot, he mentioned. If the apartment ends up being better than the house he told me I could renege on the contract, apologize to the homeowner, and pay her 100 lei for her troubles. Sounds easy enough yet I cannot help but feel bad for the lady whose time I could possibly have wasted. Plus, I like the challenge the house offers, size, privacy, proximity to work, and potential for having friends over. Stay tuned.
  • Flipped open my Russian workbooks this afternoon and began laughing in response to how difficult this language looks. I am not intimidated. I am anxious to start. Come March I will be ready to go. Bank it.
  • Having two legs is better than one.
  • While overlooking the budget I discovered that the maid at our business incubator makes 900 lei per month or $75 per month, $18.75 per week, $3.75 per day, 46 cents per hour. I do not know how she does it. It is unfathomable yet she works with pride and always keeps a smile on her face. Larisa rocks!

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