Friday afternoon

Stefan is walking now, and he likes to hang out with Cipri and play basketball. He is also intrigued by cameras.


case study chocolate chip cookies

I do not cook or bake much in Romania. Not that I ever did that much. I have my "specialties" wholewheat oatmeal pancakes, chocolate chip cookies, lentil barley stew.
But if I had to, I could get by on my cooking skills.
I don't cook much here because I have had the good fortune to know some gracious, giving gospodine (housewifes) in my village, and they have kept me eating delicious food.
This afternoon, though, I was in the mood for chocolate chip cookies, something they don't generally make here.
So i went to the store and bought a bar of dark chocolate and brought it back to the house, broke it up into chips, mixed up the cookies and turned on the oven. As I was spooning the cookie batter onto the pan, my bunica (grandma), who hangs out in the kitchen, told me
"aren't you going to roll it out first on waxpaper? oh no. you've already put the chocolate in it. You have to take out the chocolate and put it in after you've baked. It's going to melt all over the pan this way."
"It's ok, Mamitza," I assured here. "The chocolate won't melt all over the pan."
Ciprian, my host family man, wandered in for a bit. "Rachel's cooking, huh? Is it digestible?"
"Se vedem (we'll see)" I told him as I put the first batch in the oven.
Gabi, my host family woman, the encourager, told me, "If Stefan and Cipri like it, maybe I'll make them too with raisins. You can make it with raisins right?"
Sabina, my host families high school age sister came in. "OOh. this is what Irena (their sister who worked in the States a couple summers) brought back with her. I like them."
Cipri, the 12 year old came in and took the first bite out of still steaming cookies. "mmm" He generally likes what I've made (tacos, Hawaiian pizza, wholewheat oatmeal pancakes).

The final product was digestible and, if I may, even delicious.
So this is what my cookies made me think. Everyone reacts differently to a new or foreign food, idea, thing. Whether it be the lady gaga, ball point pens, the communicative method of teaching, democracy, or chocolate chip cookies. Younger generations might not think twice before they embrace the new idea. Older generations might try to mold the new idea into an idea that can be better understood from their own experiences, and most people observe the new idea before jumping for or against it. New ideas take a while, world.


the maintenance man

The maintenance man at my school, Gheorgitza, speaks english to me. I speak english to one of my colleagues, the other english teacher at the school. And other teachers might throw out a "hello" during the course of the day, and a couple of the younger ones who know a little more will start a conversation with me in English which quickly becomes a Romanian conversation.
But Gheorgitza always asks me, "hello, how are you?" and continues the conversation in english. He told me he learned it from watching TV.
he is cool. last year, he would pass me on the way to school saying "hello", riding his dark green german bicycle with a handlebar basket.
This year, he is riding a compact red scooter.
"Gheorgitza," I called to him as he putted by on the scooter, "you have a scooter!? No more bicycle?"
Mirthful Gheorgitza replied, "I have developed. Progress," and flashed me a smile as he continued down the road.


blog lazy

I am blog lazy these days. The rain is beating against my window, and today is the first day in a month where I feel like I know what is going on with the new school year. At least my head is enough above water to see beyond my eyelashes.
The fall here has been beautiful.
An indian summer.

The weathermen say it might snow tonight though. After school today I was eating lunch at Silvia's house and in the hour I was there, the temperature had dropped from 8 to 7 degrees celsius. burr. and the dropping continues.
This year, I am doing an english club with my school. It is an opportunity for more motivated students to spend more time speaking english.
We have been carving pumpkins.

And Miruna, who forgot to bring a pumpkin, carved an apple.

The english club is the stuff that teacher's dreams are made of. A roomful of enthusiastic students.
ai. the rain is coming down diagonally now.


American wedding '09

My brother's wedding was in a chapel on a hill with access by a white bridge.