Romania privita cu alti ochi

In octombrie anul trecut (parca a fost acum un an!), am avut sansa sa descopar mici bucati din Statele Unite in cadrul unui schimb de experienta, ce mi-a oferit oportunitatea sa experimentez, timp de aproape doua saptamani, un alt stil de viata. Ei bine, 5 luni mai tarziu, a venit momentul in care a trebuit sa ma transform intr-un mini-ghid turistic, care le prezinta Romania unor adolescenti americani, veniti ca sa descopere si ei la randul lor fragmente ale Europei.

De ce sa nu recunosc, prin ochii lor am reusit sa vad altfel strazile prea des umblate ale Bucurestiului sau colturile cochete ale Sibiului, ale Sighisoarei si ale Sinaiei. In incercarea mea de a prezenta totul cat sa arate mai aragator, mai fermecator, am ajuns sa apreciez mai mult privelistile pe care credeam ca le-am vazut de prea multe ori ca sa ma mai impresioneze, fie ele rurale ori urbane.

Dupa o saptamana, derulata intr-un ritm foarte alert ce-i drept, le-am cerut celor patru americani impresii despre tara noastra, despre locurile vizitate si i-am rugat sa imi spuna ce le-a placut si ce nu. Aici sunt review-urile lor:

Kailie: I really liked going to peles castle. It was so pretty, and we don’t really have anything like it in the States. I also really liked living with you and seeing what a normal school day looked like in Romania, and how different it was to one in Romania. Another thing that I enjoyed was that you guys would always try to have us doing something fun every single day, and then when we had free time you would all still stay together. One thing I wasn’t really used to was the traffic and the driving in Romania, that was a little scary at times. But, it was also fun riding in the car, bus, and metro to only get to school. Getting to go up in the mountains for the weekend was also another favorite of mine because we got to see so many different things and try so much different traditional food. While we were up there one of my favorite memories was when we would teach you an “American” dance and then you guys would teach us a traditional Romanian dance. Overall this is a trip I will never forget and I wish to do it again someday, these relationships that were made in Romania will definitely last a lifetime!

Ryan: The two times I have travelled to Romania have been the best, most insightful trips I have ever taken. As I travel a lot throughout the US, Central America, and in Europe, I thought that Romania would be the same as those experiences. However, traveling to Romania has been so fascinating and exciting for me. The primary difference is the point of view you have when you’re in Romania. Since Bucharest is not nearly as touristy as many other major cities in other countries, you feel a sense of inclusion and home when walking though the city. In addition, being able to live win a host family, do as they do, and learn their cultures has been extremely fun for me. I appreciate the small things I was able to notice such as different senses of style and different phrases the two cultures use. Romania is such a beautiful place, and this full immersion trip has been so great for me these past two years!

Emily: I absolutely loved getting to visit Romania! I’ve travelled in Europe before and it’s one thing to be a tourist, but getting to live and travel with the Romanian students was a completely different experience. Not only did we get to see beautiful landmarks, but we got a glimpse into their lives. I learned so many things about Romanian culture, and it was so much fun to find all the differences in our day to day lives. I had the best time and I really hope that I get to go back someday!

Mark: Spending a week as an exchange student in Romania has honestly been the greatest experience of my life. Exploring both the countryside and city of Bucharest allowed me to see each side of what the country has to offer. My favorite part of the week was just getting to meet and talk to all of the hosts/Romanian students. Everyone was so nice, friendly, and fun to be around, and I felt right at home with you guys. Learning about your culture, trying your foods, and going out at night was just so fun to experience. I also really enjoyed visiting all the buildings like the Palace of Parliament, Mogosoaia Palace, and church in Sibiu. All the architecture was so gorgeous and pleasing to look at. Hearing you guys switch between speaking different languages like Romanian, English, German, etc. with ease was a cultural awakening for me, and it made me kind of embarrassed to speak only English. Going on this trip definitely inspired me to continue to study language in my free time. Overall, I can’t thank you guys enough for the whole week. It was such a fun time and I loved every second of it. Going to all the places and seeing all the things was great and all, but just hanging out and spending time with you guys was the best ❤ I can’t wait for you all to come visit in America, and I hope I get to travel to Romania again one day soon!

Pe langa faptul ca a fost foarte interesant sa ma documentez ca sa pot sa prezint imprejurimile cat mai deosebit, am adorat sa impartasesc cu Kailie momentele simple ale fiecarei zile, ce fac parte din rutina mea, cum ar fi alergatul dupa metrou si autobuz sau cumparatul snacks-urilor random de la unul dintre multele Mega Image-uri. E incredibil sa te gandesti ca poti sa devii extrem de apropiat de un grup de persoane intr-un interval asa scurt de timp, chiar daca, doar cu ceva zile in urma, pe unele nici macar nu le cunosteai, iar altele erau doar prieteni cu care ai racit relatiile din cauza distantei si a programului ocupat.

Daca aveti vreodata sansa sa luati parte intr-un schimb de experienta, faceti asta cu toata increderea. Merita.

Thank you guys!