Friday, June 10, 2011

Climbing out of the "pit"

This is the time of our trip that we were all warned about in our cross-cultural training... culture shock. We were told that about 3-4 weeks into our summer, culture shock would start to hit us. And indeed it did, for me at least.

This is officially our third week in Romania and I am starting to make my way out of the "pit" of culture shock.
I am not one to ever be home sick so it was a surprise to me that I would even encounter, let alone be the first to experience culture shock. Little things like our internet at the apartment we are staying at goes out often so Skype dates get either cut short or get cancelled.  It was also hard to find the alone time that I didn't even know I needed, but quickly realized that I do.  I know these things are little, but they were the things that have brought the most frustration.  And honestly I was scared.  I was scared of little things like if the work I am doing even matters to the people here and if I am even going to make a difference in Sighisoara. I was scared of being forgotten as soon as I left for home and of not learning as much as I want to. I know that these are just fears.

My prayers are lifting me out of the pit. I pray that I do not define success in how many people will remember my name after I leave or how quickly I can learn the language. My prayer is that I am faithful, faithful to learning but more importantly, faithful to the people of Romania. As long as I am faithful, I will learn, I will be remembered, I will make a difference. I want to be faithful to God's plan for my team this summer and I look forward to continuing to climb out of the pit.

In happier news, we are having a great time.  We are settled into our host homes and into our schedules at Veritas.  Evans is working in the Kindergarten and Kids Club programs, Michael and Kate are immersed with working with the teenagers, and I am working with Kids Club and Elderly Club programs. Our work in Tigmandru is going well.  Our team travels to the village every Wednesday and Friday to lead the youth group. We do a lesson, we are focusing on character and helping them figure out the kind of person they want to be. After the lesson, we split up into sports and crafts.  Michael and Kate lead the sports and Evans and I lead the crafts.  They usually play soccer for sports but also baseball and frisbee and encourage the teens to have positive attitudes and sportsmanship.  Evans and I are teaching how to make paper beads that can be used to make necklaces and bracelets as our craft in hopes that someday the girls can sell them. Kate and I are also helping teach English on Wednesdays in Tigmandru and next week we are taking over and teaching by ourselves.  It is going well so far!! Sighisoara is beautiful and so are the people who live here!

Our prayer is that we are faithful to the people that we are serving here in Romania and that we are an example of character that we are teaching to the teens in Tigmandru. Thank you for your prayers.


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