Focsani - days 1-3

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May 25th 2010
Published: May 27th 2010
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All of my various hosts have been most generous in letting me use their home computers. I have no problem with going to a net cafe and paying to use on, but since wi-fi is so wide-spread there is virtually no need for them, because people have high-speed net at home and tey just bring their laptops when they go out.

My first full day in Focsani a drive to a village to drop off Dan's old beat-up Dacia pick-up and get Ionelia's folks newer and roomier car out of storage in granny's garage. The battery was dead and while he stripped a standard extention cord to make a jumper cable I. and I went on a tour of granny's large gardens. I helped her pick grass to feed the chickens. We hooked-up with their friend, the local Peace Corps Volunteer. Erin works on training people who work with autistic kids. We all chatted quite a while and the next day drove into the mountains and took in some fantastic views.

The next day Ionella took my to a couple of her classes in the village school as her show and tell. I. is a former reporter who had a job for a newspaper with a strong political bent and the editors would constantly edit her stories so that they reflected badly on the papersu opponents and favorably on those they supported, whether such support was deserved or not. The frustrations drove her out of the news business and into teaching English. Her father has worked in Italy for the past 15+ years to support the family, only returning once a year for the traditional August vacation period. He recently lost his job and will return permanently soon.

A high point was a return to granny's place for a barbeque. While granny fed the chickens I. made a salad and her boyfriend lit a big pile of corn cobs and proceded to form the mici sausages and added chicken and carnati and roasted them very nicely. We had a couple beers. We again drove into the suurounding hills and picked some cherries and I got a bit of an education in making jams and preserves, particularly quince and elderberry. Plus I got a taste of some homemade wine and tuica.

I was turned over to the tender care of Ana and her husband Sorin for the balance of my stay. I met Ana through Eric, a Peace Corps Volunteer with her library. We initiated a project that led me to a solid six months of single-handedly gathering books in St. Louis to fill a shipping container to be shared by her library and two others.


28th May 2010

I miss the smoke from those corn cob fires! I miss the mici and carnati! I also relate to Granny's Garden as I would help gather the greens from my neighbor's garden to feed her chickens. She would plant lettuce just so it could go to seed so she would have more greens for them. Sometimes I would pick some for a salad for myself! We also gathered the weeds from the roadside to supplement their food. How nice we did not have to worry about pesticides.

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