Sunday, July 26, 2009

Days 0 (departure, July 24) and 1 (arrival, July 25)

I won’t go through all the really boring stuff in detail. Left Pittsburgh, arrived in New York, and wasted time until Amy J. arrived at JFK; we had decided to find each other before our connecting flight. Almost as soon as she got there, I saw two other people with Global Volunteers t-shirts on—Carol and Stan, a retired couple who will be teaching English at the school in Barlad. Then we ran into two more people on our flight—Eve and Lila, a mother-daughter pair who went to Peru last year and decided to volunteer in Romania this summer. Also, unbeknownst to me at the time, I had had a pre-flight encounter with two other volunteers—Becca and Amy D., both of whom had volunteered in the clinic last summer—when I asked them about the wifi connection in the JFK airport.

Although the flight was fully booked, I ended up with an empty seat next to me, so Amy J. came to sit with me. I was in the row right behind the middle bathroom, which was nice because of the extra legroom, but not-so-nice because of the smell every time someone opened the bathroom door (as well as the discomfort of the tray tables that came out of the armrests).

We had anticipated a 10.5 hour flight from NYC to Bucharest, but we actually arrived almost an hour and a half early. The flight was boring—none of the inflight entertainment I had been looking forward to was on that particular flight. I didn’t sleep more than five minutes. Suffice it to say that by the time we arrived in Bucharest, we were all exhausted and couldn’t wait for a shower and bedtime.

Unfortunately, we had to wait quite a while for those things. We hung out in the “basement” of the airport until around 12:30, when Dan (country leader Mihaela’s husband) arrived to drop off departing volunteers and to pick up the arriving volunteers.

Amy D. and Becca
Carol and Amy J.

Once all the volunteers arrived (around 3:30) we all piled into a bus and headed for Tutova, via McDonald’s in Buzău for dinner. I slept about half an hour on that leg of the ride, and then maybe 1.5-2 hours on the second leg.

So now we’re at the hotel (I'm rooming with Amy J.), and there’s a lightning/wind storm going on. The power has flickered off and back on a couple times—along with the air conditioner, which beeps when that happens. Hopefully it won’t occur too often during the night.

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