Month 3 in Romania

Mid- March through the end of April was a total chaos. I wanted to do so much, but feel like I accomplished so little. We had a huge turnover at work once the Oxfam Project ended. Everyone went their separate ways, and most were frustrated with the lack of transparency and respect from our organization, PATRIR.

I was really exhausted from the cold weather and classes, but the final semester of my master’s degree came to a close last week. I was awarded a FLAS to extend my stay in Romania to do a summer study program. I’m excited because this gives me the opportunity to move cities, so I’ve decided to move to the city Constanta, which is on the Black Sea Coast.

On Saturdays I’ve been attending sessions for the Tzu Chi Global Fellowship, and I’m learning a lot about the history of the UN, its processes, and its bodies. Also, in addition to my Romanian classes, I’ve started taking French lessons again! I decided not to return to the Lingoda platform when I found LingoCulture, a platform that gives me unlimited private French classes for a flat monthly rate. I plan to study intensive French in Montpellier September through the end of November. It’s always been a dream of mine, and is going to be desired by employers, so I’m going to use what little time and money I have left to pursue studies.

I feel really proud of my Romanian progress, although I still have a long way to go. I’ve finally reached B1 level and I’m hoping that by the end of the next three months I’ll have a strong conversational level of fluency. I plan to take an hour of Romanian a day once I leave Romania so that I never lose it! It’s been a great challenge.

I’m starting to really appreciate it here. I do wish I was more immersed in the culture, but that’s hard to do given my situation. Casey and I already have plans to come back and do a trip to enjoy Romania and Moldova in the future. I’m grateful to be able to learn more about what this part of the world is like, and I would’ve never known how I felt living here if I wouldn’t have taken this fellowship. Even though this experience isn’t exactly what I wanted, I needed to know. Who knows what the future will hold.

I performed in a piano workshop and I can see how I’ve improved throughout the year. Progress feels slow, but I’ve genuinely enjoyed the process as well as exploring this new side of my personality. I didn’t know how much I was really missing musical expression, and having the tools and knowledge to do so is incredibly empowering. It’s definitely not something I’ll take for granted again,

My months in Romanian so far have taught me how much I value my time! I will no longer stand for people wasting my time. That includes when people (employers) ask me to do tasks that are just busywork. I’m so regretful and feel that I’ve wasted time in internships where I wasn’t gaining experience but was too afraid to either be vocal about what I needed or to leave.

From here on out I want to focus on language learning, art, reading, exercise, and body/mind balance. I want a job that gives me the time and money I need to pursue these hobbies, and I will not settle for less.

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