“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes



Food Friday: Biscuits de Porumb

My host mom loves to try out different treats on me.  When she brought these out she said “these are cookies made with corn flour.” Biscuits de Porumb (beess-cu-eats day pour-oomb”*) just means cookies from corn.  I was curious to try them, and I like them very much.  In my head I call them “cornbread cookies” because they taste kind of like sweet (Jiffy) cornbread only even sweeter, with a denser texture, almost like butter cookies.  img_3564-2

*pronunciation approximate.

P.S.  Yeah, I know it’s Saturday.  Life happens. Deal.  🙂



Food Friday: Tortă de ficat de pui

img_2958Look at this beautiful cake!  Are you as surprised as I am to learn that it’s made of meat? Liver, no less (one of the few foods I really don’t like).  But prepared this way, it’s really good!  Additional ingredients include sauteed onions and carrots, and mayonnaise.  Peace Corps encourages us to always say “yes” to new experiences, and this time I’m really glad I did.  Tortă de ficat de pui (“tor-tuh day fee-caht day poo-ee”*) is delicious!img_2959

Just so you know…

This summer is a very busy time, as we PCTs (Peace Corps Trainees) strive to ingest the tremendous flow of (neccesary, but overwhelming) information.  I have several great ideas that will become thoughtful blog posts whenever I find the time.  Thanks for your patience! 🙂

Around the Village…

Posted in Peace Corps, Reflections, Uncategorized

Thoughts on Departure Day

I can’t believe that all of my bags are under the weight limit! 

If you saw the movie The Sound of Music, maybe you remember the scene when Maria (Julie Andrews) is leaving the Abbey, and she sings about how she feels about the uncertain future she’s facing.  The words of that song seem very appropriate to me today. “What will this day be like, I wonder? What will my future be, I wonder?” She goes on to express her anxieties over the unknown adventure that awaits her, and ends up deciding that she will face whatever may come with “Confidence!” Almost everything in this song strikes a chord with me.  Mostly, I am thrilled about the glorious adventure unfolding before me!  (When I got the itinerary for my plane flights I was literally jumping and dancing around my kitchen!)  But I have read and explored enough to know that at times this will be a very challenging adventure, and I can’t help wondering how I will respond to the challenges.  So much is uncertain.

One thing I’ve read over and over is that every Peace Corps volunteer has a unique experience, so no matter how much I’ve perused others’ adventures, I can’t really know what awaits me around that next bend in my road.  What will my host family be like? What kind of house will I live in? How will I cope with not being able to communicate? (Will I remember any of the Romanian I’ve been studying? Will they understand me?) What about my fellow volunteers? I can’t wait to meet them! How will we get along?  Will the training be as overwhelming as it’s said to be (in the Peace Corps’ own literature, no less)?  Or will it be fun (I love to learn languages, after all)?  How will I react to all of that? What will my site be like? Will I be able to make any kind of a difference, however small? And the questions go on and on.

Julie Andrews put her doubts and uncertainties to rest by declaiming boldly “I have confidence in me!”  Well, most of the time, I feel able to echo that sentiment as well.  Just yesterday a friend remarked that I have “stick-to-it-iveness”, which I think will see me through….  whatever. As I write this, Carole King is singing on my stereo “You gotta get up every morning and show the world all the love that’s in your heart.” I think I can probably take on THAT challenge.  I feel confident.  Well mostly.

(P.S. If you want to hear Julie Andrews singing the song, you can find it here.)