week 2 & 3 baia mare

Hey friends! (sorry this is late)

Week 2 was a strange ‘un because it felt like both an ending and a beginning. At the end of the week, teaching had wrapped up at the first school, which meant I also had to leave my first host family.

I loved my time at Şcoala Dimitrie Cantemir and although the second week was a helluva lot tougher than the first week in terms of class dynamics and behaviour, I still had a fairly rewarding time. Admittedly, it got tough and I had a bit of a meltdown at the end of the week (which you can see in this poetry post) but I came out of it and am fine now. It was less to do with the kids misbehaving and more to do with me just being so damn exhausted that I became really overwhelmed. It also didn’t help that one kid in my class stuck his fingers in a socket and electrocuted himself and another ran over my foot with a penny board…

I didn’t do much in terms of exploring or sightseeing that week because of my aforementioned tiredness, so my family just took me to their cabin once more (where I befriended a dog and then got eaten alive by bugs…) and then I stayed at home the rest of the time.

On Friday after school, I moved to my second host family and I actually love them so much. I spent the weekend recuperating and it was such a relief to have a family with kids who are really good at English. I didn’t realise how much I missed being able to communicate with people. Oana’s 16 and Tudor’s 11 but besides speaking great English, they’re also pretty similar to me. Oana likes napping almost as much as I do and Tudor’s such a chill 11 year old so he just plays video games and chats with me without harassing me to play with him.

On the first day, I met some of Oana’s friends and we played Settlers of Catan in their local hang out spot. She also bought this amazing iced tea for me, I think it had caramel and vanilla in it?

At the weekend, we went to their holiday house and had a BBQ (ofc) and we spent some time just relaxing at home. We played Pokémon Go (don’t hate us) and I taught Oana how to do her make up since the last time she used eyeliner, she ‘made a thin line that wasn’t straight’ and hadn’t tried to apply eye makeup since then.

Then, on Monday, teaching for week 3 began. Teaching at Șincai this time (the best high school in the region), I had 13-16 year olds in my class so I actually had to plan my lessons and not rely on worksheets; however, it was also a lot more interesting for me than the previous two weeks. We talked about Brexit, Turkey’s coup d’état, ISIS, feminism, and racism, which encompassed structural racism and #blacklivesmatter; cultural erasure; exoticism and fetishising; and the Romani people. I like to think most of my kids learnt something but only a few of them spoke in class and the rest just sat there as glazed as a box of Krispy Kremes…

Besides teaching, I also spent time seeing more of Baia Mare with Oana and Tudor. We went back to the Old Square and took some photos and we also visited the art museum, which was surprisingly good despite its relatively small size. I was ballin with snapchat as you can see here lol.

guarantee this kid is scooting off to play pokémon go

We also went to PRESSCO which is a super cute café/coffee shop with the most amazing hot chocolate and we chilled at the park because what else do teenagers do in a small city? I also spent one day at the mall with Tudor trying to find a birthday present for his friend.

On Friday, Adwoa and I also went with a teacher and one of our students to see the Roma communities and honestly, they were so much worse than we could have imagined. We saw blocks of flats with broken windows and scorch marks, where rubbish flowed out of their backyards straight onto the streets. We also drove past the community by Craica and it could’ve probably rivalled a Nairobi slum. It was just shocking to see it because I guess I never realised that anyone in Europe lived in such horrendous conditions.

Besides these small after-school excursions, I’ve mainly lived my life on the couch. Oana and Tudor are as lazy as I am so it’s nice to just mooch around in the evenings. We baked a cake one evening and on Friday night, we had Adwoa and Dariana, Oana’s friend, over for a pyjama party.

All in all, the last week has been amazing. Even though some of the kids in my class are mouthier and more difficult that the kids in the last school, having a relaxed home environment makes the whole process a lot less stressful.

Soph x

p.s the write-up of week 4 won’t be as late as this, i promise.

say how u feel lmao

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