Romania reflections

We are nearing the end of our time in Romania, and we are spending much time with the friends and families we have made in here.  Soon we will be back with our friends and family at home, and going home is a very bittersweet feeling. 

I am excited to see my family and friends back home, but I hate to leave everyone I have met here. Lupeni is full of memories I have made over these past three-and-a-half months. 

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There is my walk from class to my host family's home that I took every day for the first six weeks of the semester. The Chill Lounge is a favorite spot for us students to meet for coffee, soda or shakes. We often would grab our favorite lunch, shaorma, and head to Chill to talk or play games on the outdoor patio. There is Penny, the market next to our apartment building that we most often would go to in order to get our groceries. 

Many days were spent hanging out with our host families or with other youth in the town. It was common to find us heading to one of the local schools at least once a week to play volleyball for a couple of hours. Between classes, we somehow would also end up in a second-hand store looking at all the sweaters, often only amounting to two lei a sweater. 

On Sundays, when we were around and not on trips, we would go to church. The first half of the semester I would go with my host family. For the second half of semester, after we moved to the student apartments, I would go with a friend and meet my host family there. Every time they were at church, I would get invited back to their place to hang out and have lunch for the afternoon. 

I loved all of the excursions we took.  Hiking and backpacking in Retezat; visiting museums, castles and citadels. I loved all of these experiences as well as our classes, but I truly think what is making Lupeni hard to leave as I reflect on the semester are the people and the everyday things we do in town. It has become a home, not just a place we visited and went sight-seeing in.  We have regular places we like to visit and activities we like to do with people from the town. This place has become another home, and I truly hope to be able to visit again someday.