May 20, 2016

It is our first night with our host families and I can already feel my heart expanding eight sizes. I have that felt that deep feeling that I get when I feel most connected with myself and the world around me. This feeling comes on when I feel a sense of community, a sense of gratitude and a sense of awe. These were all experienced on today’s adventure. My idea of the world has been altered today. The sights and landscapes we saw today were unlike any I have ever experienced before, a 360 degree spin and all I saw were never ending mountains. This hills, the mountains, the wildflowers were all something of magic and seeing all those sights were what brought me that feeling of awe. The landscapes that exist in Romania are incredible and paired with the rich history makes it an unforgettable experience.

The sense of community hit tonight at dinner with our host family. Big, messy, family style dinner is one of life’s greatest pleasures. The sharing of food with people you share common ties with, along with the exchanging of stories and experiences with people you’ve just met but already seem to love already invites a sense of community.

The sense of gratitude also found me during dinner while we were experiencing the graciousness of our hosts. They provided for us and offered us food they had worked to grow, harvest and cook themselves. I feel grateful to be a part of this trip, I feel grateful to have delicious food to eat and I feel grateful to know the kindness of others.

I don’t think that I was alone in these feelings tonight and while it might not have been said in words, I think it was a felt by most all else on the trip, including our new Romanian friends. I think this stands to show that while we have visible differences, we are all motivated by similar things and that we find our joy in similar ways. Language, geography and alcohol tolerance levels may separate us, but we are more than capable of being unified for common goals and objectives. I cannot wait for all the experiences that await us and the relationships that are waiting to be built between us, our host families and our Romanian counterparts.


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