This week has been just as good as the last. As I write this, I just got back from a baby shower, after I had returned from Braila. I'm pretty exhausted at the moment, as I stayed up late in Braila last night, and left early this morning. The highlights of our trip to Braila included a boat ride on the Danube river, a trip to a very nice restaurant, and eating 13 pizzas as a group. I liked that last one a lot. The main part of the week was my first week of school. I'm pretty surprised at how many friends I've made at this point, even if I've only known them for a few days. I've related the feeling at my high school to the movie "Mean Girls" at times, just because of how crazy some of the attitudes are there. I've been told already not to hang out with some people (which of course I will ignore) and I've heard a few people label themselves as in cliques. While it's interesting, it's definitely a toxic subject, and something I'd like to keep at a distance. I'm not choosing sides for anyone.
As a theme for this week, I've been exhausted, no matter how much sleep I get. I'm thinking I'm either sick or still feeling the effects of jet lag, but I'm waiting for the feeling to pass. School, as difficult as it has been, is really just tolerable at this point, and I think if I felt a little more rested it'd be a better experience. On that note - good night.
First week in Romania ends in about four hours! Really, I've only been here since Tuesday, but I think it'll be best to make a post every Sunday. To sum up, I went to the "Salina" salt mine, Olanesti, and my host great grandmother's birthday party. All have been incredible experiences, and I'm baffled that I'll have so many more to come. I suppose I'm still in what I've heard called "the honeymoon period", one of the better times during exchange. I'm a bit scared of the inevitability of it coming to an end, but I think I'll be able to stay in high spirits about it. Much of exchange thus far seems to be a test of optimism. Thinking about the fact that I'm thousands of miles from any family members (except my aunt, who lives in Amsterdam) gives me two feelings. A feeling of true terror initially, that nobody you've known in person for more than a few days, nobody you trust is around if something goes wrong. This feeling then gives way to a sense of wonder at the independence you've achieved from what you grew up with, and everything you've come to know. I think that in the coming months, the most important decision I make every day will be which way to feel. To enjoy exchange will be to wrench myself away from the feelings of nausea experienced on a roller coaster and relish the feeling of my stomach dropping, rather than dread it at each turn.
I'm a student from Colorado in the USA, currently on exchange in Ramnicu Valcea Romania.