I work at the primărie, which I guess would be technically translated to city hall - we usually just call it primăria even when we're speaking English - but really, I work for the entire village. This means that I don't really have to be at the primăria all the time, and I can go to other places in town to see if I can do anything there.
My first trip elsewhere was this week to the grădiniță. I spent Thursday and Friday morning there. The grădiniță is usually translated to "kindergarten" but it's really more of a preschool/nursery school thing. Kids start there at ages 2-3 and go until age 6 - at 7 they start at the școală.
My host mom works there, but every two days she has the day off, so Thursday was her day off. They asked if she was going to take me in the morning, but being with 2 year olds all day is not appealing on your day off, so she told them, "Nici o problema, Cat este mare!" Yes, if it means she doesn't have to go to work, I am a big girl. When it comes to other stuff, I think she might sing another tune, but anyway..
Last year she had the class of kids who just went to the școală this fall, so now she's starting back with the younguns - I guess she will have these same kids for 5 years or however long until they graduate from the grădiniță. So I spent 3 hours with her class (with the other teacher) and oh dear, now I know why she is constantly complaining. She's there with them from 8-6 and if I had to do that, I would lose my mind. Just completely lose it. I was exhausted from 3 hours and I didn't even do anything because I didn't have anything to say to them.
I did play with them on the playground when they had time outside, which started out fine; they were amused by this grown-up that was actually playing instead of watching - well, I say watching loosely because most of the time the teachers didn't pay too much attention to the playground activities.. Like the time the little troublemakers were throwing rocks at each other and when I tried to stop them they threw them at me instead.. Not fun.
The next day my host mom came with me, as it was her day to teach. The crying starts promptly at 8:00 a.m. and I don't think it ever stops. Friday we were also blessed with throwing up, screaming, crying, fighting.. I thought the day would never end. More of the kids (the better behaved ones) wanted to hang out with me, so a few of them would come over and just sit next to me or on my lap, which was precious (Not precious enough to erase the crazy from my memory - if you're at all worried, these two days could literally be my birth control for the next two years).
I also got to visit the oldest class, which was right down the hall but like a completely different world! The kids were quiet and they listened to their teacher and they all answered questions, and then they all worked nicely in small groups on different projects! The group I sat with had a color-by-letter in their workbooks (Similar to color-by-number, only wherever the "v" is, you color verde).
The kids learn songs and poems and things. They play outside. There are little dormitories with tiny beds for naptime. They have breakfast and lunch for the kids, and maybe a snack or dinner later, but I didn't stay past lunch, so I'm not sure. I have no clue how my host mom does it. I mean, she does tell me about how difficult it is literally every day, but now I believe her. I think it might be awhile before I visit the grădiniță again.
Monday I go to the școală, so that will be another adventure, I'm sure! Every day seems to be.