May 21, 2016

Today was spent in multiple different locations around Salaj County where we got to see a few different people’s specialized trade. With each site visit, we saw hardworking, dedicated and prideful people with a product to offer that made these characteristics visible. At the honey processing facility, they shared with us the problems they face in terms of marketing and selling their products because competitors offer imitation products at lower costs. They are able to offer them at such a lower selling cost because they produce them at such a lower cost, not because they have mastered the trade, but because their products lack the handmade and hand crafted quality as they are mass produced in an industrial setting. This made me think about our own society in America and how much we tend to value cheap and fast. We focus less on quality and more on quantity. I think it comes from a desire to want things instantly and easily. I am guilty of all of these things as well. As I have gotten older, I think I have been able to more easily identify this and also develop a greater respect and appreciation for quality over quantity and learn the value of hard work. When you work hard for something, you appreciate it more. I think this is why the Romanian culture works so hard to maintain their heritage and are such proud people, because they have worked hard to become what they are. They are proud of their products because they know the dedication put into each one. I think that once you become independent and self-reliant, as you begin to become more in college, you better appreciate all of the resources and pleasures you took for granted when you were younger and unaware of all the work going into making your life what it was. Understanding the work that goes into the products we consume is the first step in learning to appreciate them for the journey that they have traveled to get to you, the hands that have contributed to them and the resources used to make them.

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