Friday, August 8, 2014

"Keep the color in your cheek and the fire in your eye." - William Hazlitt

I have been in Căplani for over a week now, and life has improved. Partly, I think, because I'm trying to improve it. 

I bring my computer to work now, and I can use the Internet, which is really helpful because when I don't understand something, I have translation capabilities.. Whereas before, I would just keep not understanding. I taught my host mother about Google Translate, which she still couldn't use without my help, and which still doesn't tell me everything she's saying, but sometimes she wants to tell a story so she will try to type it in. There are two similar words that she kept using that I'd never heard before, so I tried to look them up and they didn't exist. I asked her, What language are you speaking?! (They mix Russian and Ukrainian into their speech 24/7.) And she didn't know. She had no idea what language those words were in. So I asked someone else, and she said it's just "village language." Helpful. But now that I know what they mean, I've actually found myself using them, so I guess I won't be doing as clean Romanian as I thought. 

It's so hot here all the time but I wear pants to cover my bigger tattoo.. My host mom saw the smaller one so I thought, okay, it's time I choose comfort over culture (just at the house) and wear shorts. She still didn't notice it after two days, so I thought I would get the conversation over with and pointed it out. Then I realized that the reason she didn't have much to say about the first one is that she doesn't exactly understand tattoos. She asked how I did it and if it would wash off in the shower. I attempted to tell her that it would stay forever, but I don't know if she got the picture. (Don't know the word for "forever.") Moral of that story is, now I can wear shorts and be comfy! 

Having my computer at work also helps because I can keep some documents open that I've decided are a good idea - one for work and one for my well-being. I have one for what I do at work each day, which is occasionally just about a conversation I understood where I learned something.. They aren't letting me do much because of my language, but I'm trying to talk more and more so they will see I can do it. Then I have another called "Today's Accomplishments!" where I try to have at least three things a day that are accomplishments. They could be anything, like: translated a document, someone said "Good morning" to me first, or from yesterday "It's 8:16 a.m. and I haven't cried yet, so already that's better than yesterday!" My mentor told me I should do this from early on, but I haven't really been doing it.. Now I'm going to try to because I think it's helpful to focus on being positive! 

We have Wifi at the house now. We actually tried to have it many days before we actually did.. It turns out, the two of us are no good at setting something up without instructions. But I cried at breakfast and all the way to work the other day so I wrote a note to my host mother asking her to please call someone to help because I want to talk to my mother! And that plus my crying made her feel bad for me, so she came to my work that morning and told me it worked, and to come home at lunchtime because I was a mess, ha. Then I got to talk to my mommy and everything has been uphill from there! 

My host sister from the first family messaged me on Facebook asking what I was doing. I told her and asked her the same question, and she said, "Hanging with our family" AKA my family too AKA I miss them! I remember the Country Director saying that you often are closer with the short-term family because of how much you connected in such a crazy time, first arriving in the country and learning the language, and she is totally right. I'm excited for when I get to see them again in September. 

So I am staying optimistic, and things are getting better! I just finished reading Divergent, which I thought would probably be good but I didn't think it would be life-changing or anything.. Except that it was. I've been waiting to read it for some reason and I figured out the reason: it's because now was when I needed to read it. I could go into so much detail about why it's perfect and how it's somehow given me the confidence to keep going, but I won't bore everyone/spoil the story. 

Now you know I'm not sitting here crying 24/7! (Lower those numbers though; obviously I still cry. I've been informed that I am a Highly Sensitive Person, so that must be the answer.)

O zi bună!

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