I’ve been struggling with figuring out what to write this week since my brain has been wrought with a tough decision. I’m already being challenged and stretched. I know it’s all good, but I’ve definitely had moments of wanting to go home and hide in a bubble. Overall, I’m starting to settle in and feel more comfortable here in Cluj, so that’s all good! I ultimately decided that I would continue with the virtual tour of Romania, along with some observations over the last two weeks.
Up first: last Sunday I went to small church back in Târgu-Mureș. It felt more like a Bible study than a Sunday service, but I still enjoyed the intimate gathering. I had forgotten how strange it was to listen to the preaching through a translator. Also, I made lunch for everyone, and it was a great success! I was later told that it was also a secret test to see if I was ready for marriage … and I passed!
Monday afternoon, I hopped on a bus to Cluj-Napoca. After arriving, we went to the mall for dinner at the food court. Everyone points out to me every KFC and McDonald’s around. I appreciate the sentiment, but it does make me chuckle. I’m trying my best to eat European food whenever possible. We did, however, go to Starbucks after to discuss potential projects for my time here; I didn’t complain about that visit since I was desperately craving a chai latte.
Tuesday was a day off, thankfully, since the staff was recuperating from the previous week serving with a German team. I had lunch out and then started catching up on the class I’m taking for my lettering business. We spent the evening at the director’s house playing board games. Fun, but he always wins.
Wednesday we got back into action with breakfast and a team meeting to establish a plan for the week. I’m really excited about all the artsy things I’m doing! I’m currently creating watercolor displays for each of the 18 foundational values of YWAM in preparation for the Discipleship Training School (DTS) that’s starting in two weeks.
Thursday and Friday mornings we had meetings again, lunch together, and then did our own things in the afternoons. We all take turns cooking lunch, so Thursday I made chicken and veggies to share. All the girls in my house are finishing up their exams for university, so the schedule is rather relaxed. I usually work on a project, exercise, eat dinner, and then socialize until bed.
Last night, my roommate Miream took me into the city to meet some friends. After, she showed me a beautiful park, the city center, and a few other sites in downtown Cluj.
We live in a village, so we have to travel by car or bus for a lot of the bigger attractions. Luckily, little shops are everywhere, so I can buy groceries whenever I decide to spontaneously cook a certain dish I’m craving. A little earlier today, I went to one store to grab ingredients for pancakes tonight with Miream. I’m pretty excited to try Romanian pancakes 🙂
Yesterday I decided to go for a run. Running is my favorite way to explore a new place. However, because the location is unfamiliar, I don’t always know what I’m getting myself into. I ended up hiking a crazy hill for the first half mile … oops! However, the view was totally worth it! And the remainder of the loop was a nice, gradual downhill path. There was a moment where I thought maybe I was trespassing since I was running on a dirt track through fields and I saw a sign in Romanian that I couldn’t read. Thankfully, Miream later reassured me that I’m allowed to be up there. So, I’ll try it again next week!
And finally, today has been spent sleeping in and relaxing. With the way my brain has been processing nonstop, I needed that time to myself. Plus it’s a gloomy day with intermittent rain showers, so all I want to do is cuddle up with tea, chocolate, and a good book. I’m incredibly thankful that I have the ability to do all this.
Coming up next week: We have more preparatory work for the DTS, including setting up the classroom, arranging the bedrooms, installing a coffee maker, and finishing artwork. Also, we’ll make a trip to visit a few gypsy families that the students will support; I’ll take photos and then write a little description of each. I may get to spend a few afternoons doing dance-related activities with local children since school ended yesterday, and the parents will appreciate a break. It’s going to be busy yet rewarding!