Thursday, July 23, 2009

If you can't be...

This morning I came into work and the lady who is the typist for our Mayor's office came and asked if I can read in Romanian. I replied, "a little", and she handed me a religious book and her church's newspaper.

I take from this several things, first, she is comfortable with me enough (we have become quite great friends, I helped her set up an email account just the other day), and likes me enough to share that part of her life with me.

Second, that she believes in my language skills enough to give me reading material.

Third, I was taken back from it at the very beginning, feeling a little impinged upon.

Fourth, After reading some of the materials in the newspaper, I came to a realization that I don't have to necessarily believe in the same main element of the whole representation of the newspaper to get away from the great messages it has. Thus I came upon a poem that I love and want to share with you. I will try my best to translate it for you.

First the Romanian version...

Dacă nu poți fi

Dacă nu poți fi un pin în vârful dealului,
Fii un tufiș în vale. Fii însă
Cel mai bun tufiș de pe marginea pârâului;
Fii o tufă, dacă nu poți fi un copac.

Dacă nu poți fi un tufiș, fii un fir de iarbă,
Și un drum va fi fericit;
Dacă nu poți fi păstrăv, atunci fii un biban-
Dar cel mai vioi biban din tot lacul.

Nu putem fi toți căpitani, trebuie să fim echipaj,
E treabă pentru noi toți aici.
Sunt munci grele și munci ușoare,
Iar sarcina pe care o avem e chiar lângă noi.

Dacă nu poți fi drum, fii atunci o potecă,
Dacă nu poți fi soare, fii o steluță;
Nu prin mărime o să căștigi sau o să dai greș-
Fii cel mai bun în ceea ce esți!

Preluat din cartea „Lasă grijile, începe să trăiești”
de Dale Carnegie

Now the translation version (which I think takes away from it, but whatever):

If you can not be

If you can not be a pine on top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley. But be the
Best bush on the edge of the stream;
Be a bush if you can not be a tree.

If you can not be a bush, be a blade of grass,
And the road will be a happy one;
If you can not be a trouble, then be a bass -
But most of all be the snappiest bass in the lake.

We can not all be captains, but we can be crews,
Ther is work for all of us here.
There are hard work and easy work
And the task we have is right next to us.

If you can not be a road, then be a path,
If you can not be the sun, be a little star;
It is not by size, you win or you fail -
Be the best in what you are!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Highlights of Normacly

You know how sometimes you have a lot to say, but once it is said the magic of it goes away? Well, that is how I feel at times about the omnibus activities I find myself in. Rather than put it into a million pieces of explication by my part, I am going to give you the facts. Only the facts! Hai davai!

Yesterday I spent an hour of my lunchtime lugging onions from our garden into a bucket in the hot scalding sun to the lay out on the balcony of the old house.

A massive thunderstorm embarked upon our land yesterday, just as I started painting the mural at the school. While painting, I couldn't stop thinking about how I was going to escape the rain and the treacherous mud home. My host mom called and asked if I wanted her to come to the school so she can give me my boots. I said, no and then fell on my ass just as I was right at the gate to my house. I managed the rest of the 5 minutes walk before that just fine! Then I had to shower by candle light, because the lights went out. Luckily I had an hour left of battery life on my laptop so I could play spider solitare until I dozed off to sleep.

At work this morning, everyone is hyped about my social assistant's wedding. About half of the office were gone into the district center to buy flowers. I am super excited to bare witness to the ceremony later today at the church.

The janitor to my Mayor's office scared me while coming out of the door earlier today and now we've become friends and everytime he passes by my office he smiles.

Earlier today, a man I never met before walked into my office, as I have my door open and sat down while talking on the phone in Russian, without introducing himself, sat and talked on the phone while he sat and stared at me working. Then after 10 minutes he got up and left without another word, though with a gruesome glance. Weird!

It finally dawned on me that the more I see myself as being an open person, a person who excepts people as they are, the more I realize that I can't possibly be all that I think I am. There are still concepts that gets underneath my skin. Tugs at my heart. Makes me wonder, if being an open person is a praise worthy cause, if it means you give up your identity as a whole? Something to ponder over.

The other day my host parents' grandniece came over with her American friend from Alabama. She's been studying abroad there for two years and had just graduated. I sat and talked to her about issues concerning the mentality of Moldovans youth and how complicated it is, especially in rural areas to get motivation in community projects, if all they think about is leaving. I also got to see through her American friend's eyes how Moldova is like, for he just arrived and is his first trip out of America.

I want to talk about connectedness. The overall essence of a family here, especially the very apporiate ones are absolutely a tight knit one. My host mom talks to her children at least three or four times a day. She knows what is going on with them, heart and motivation.

In America, you would be lucky if I'd talked to my parents once in a week. It is rather common to be out of the house and have cut that tie. On the flip side, this builds indepedence. Good or bad, I learned early that I was on my own, though till this day I yearn to be that close to my loved ones. Making that attempt and having it be accepted from the other end is the question I guess.

At least for the most part I am getting that close tie with my host parents. Via their questions, which I took as over bearing in the beginning, has grown on me and have helped me become dependent for their concern and worries. Maybe this little taste of the otherside of love and caring will change how I raise my children. Maybe?

What is the downlow for this weekend: I have this wedding today, tomorrow a trip to the north to visit a fellow volunteer for a girl's day picnic. Fun Times!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Result from Online Poll on Peace Corps Connect

I am surprised at first to find out that language and technical skills are so low, but it does makes sense that being resourceful and flexible are a more needed trait to have in order to be successful.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Success Story

I believe that every volunteer have their own success story to tell about their service in the Peace Corps. I also think that no matter how small a volunteer's achievements may be, they all add up to fulfill the 3 very essential goals of Peace Corps.

Here I will reflect upon some of my successes and will come back to it, once I become aware of them as days come to be.

This is my Success Story

Me over coming the normal things that I wouldn't do or thought I couldn't do to do the things I do.

Clarifying the image of America to my host country nationals. Even by answering a simple question such as, "Does it snow in America?" to a 2nd grade classroom or a much more complex one, such as, "What do America believe in?"

Being able to finally tell my first story at the dinner table to my host family in complete Romanian.

Eating that chicken heart I found in my soup, since it was a delicacy my host mom prepared without thinking heaving thoughts.

Coming out of a tough meeting, with frustrations, but feeling like, at least now my work partners know what to expect from me.

Doing an impromptu presentation on everything about Buddhism to a 3rd grade classroom.

Learning all the skills I have been trained necessary to do my job.

Successfully building a network with another organization that can help build relationship among my oranization in working together to reach the same goals.

Feeling comfortable to be me no matter how akward the situation is.

Speaking to myself in another language.