Going back to Varatic now is giving me a strange sense of calm. Even though I was back on Saturday, it still feels like it’s been forever. While I was not looking forward to the 5 hours on the road this morning, I’m now feeling much better about it.
I spent the morning observing Erin in her raion of Cimislia, which is just South of Razeni. I observed Mandy in Pelinia on Monday, and it’s obvious that they have two very different teaching styles, but it’s obvious that they both know how to get their students motivated to want to learn English. By observing them, I was able to, once again, get that boost of motivation that I was lacking while in Varatic, and they also gave me great ideas for activities for the students and ways to decorate the classroom.
Mandy travels from class to class, just like I am doing now with my partner teachers because of the repairs on the school. But Erin has her own classroom that she was able to decorate with materials so they students can learn without realizing they’re learning (charts on the walls, pictures, vocabulary, and colors. If it wasn’t for the size of the classroom I would have thought I was back home.
I also got to help Erin with a mural she is painting with her students. It’s getting close to being finished, but they still have some work. It was so therapeutic to sit for an hour and talk with Erin while painting. Sometimes I forget how much I like crafts- and then when I’m put in a position where I’m doing them, once again I remember and a sense of calm comes over me… much like the one I’m feeling right now.
After eating a salad for lunch that included an avocado (maybe that is the cause of my calm), it was time to say la revedere to Erin and Petru. They put me on a taxi that thankfully saved me time and took me directly to the auto gara instead of me having to figure out how to get there myself. On the way to Chisinau we drove past Razeni. As much as I wanted to tell the driver to stop, I resisted because, although it’s Thursday, I still have a lot of work to do in Varatic to be prepared for classes on Monday if I really want to kick things into high gear.
Upon arriving at the auto gara, I bought my ticket and began to look for the rutiera. I was walking around and looking for it when the rutiera driver (who is also the dad of one of my students) spotted me and directed me to the rutiera. Maybe that was another reason for the state of calm… I know the driver and I feel really safe with him. You see, there are a lot of drivers that speed through the villages and dodge the humps and holes in the road as if they’ve never taken the route before, when in reality they probably take it multiple times a day (or maybe it was their first time… some I never see again… so who really knows).
After some time of waiting, we are now on the road. I have Taylor Swift, Kings of Leon, Maroon 5, Rascal Flatts, Bruno Mars, Sugarland, and Elton John on shuffle with my rockstar headphones. Leaves are burning every few metres, and the setting sun is peaking through the clouds. Although the sky has been overcast and misting much of the day (where did this come from???!! At least the temperature is still agreeable…), there’s a break in the clouds in the North- in the direction of Varatic. In 4 hours I’ll be in a place that I can actually call home (mark this down in the record books!!). I’m excited to see my students and my partners and even my host family. As much as I miss Ross’s host family and being with him (which, PS, he’s doing much better and hopefully going home tomorrow), I’m ready to be back into a routine… after I get a good nights sleep.