The street in front of the hotel where we had our initial training and stayed for 3 nights. Ploiesti is an industrial town about an hour away from Bucharest with a population of 250,000. It was fairly quiet, but many people came out for the festival music and carnival. There are some parks and shopping malls where you can walk around. My first European city.


The cultural palace in Ploiesti. Inside we viewed a photography exhibit.


A statue in the center of Ploiesti.


band street
The language instructors gave us a tour of the city and we found these musicians
A view of the corner street a couple of blocks away from the hotel.


One of the first churches in Romania I had seen. Most of the people follow Orthodox Christianity.


This particular picture is not mine but from the compilation given to all the volunteers when our pre service training was over. Entitled city of rain and clouds, near the center of Ploiesti with the church, blocs, shopping mall and the plaza in front. The sign reads: "You live 26,280 days and you spend 180 kissing."


Group 21, our group and the 21st Peace Corps group to be sent to Romania.


The fateful day. Meeting our host families (gazdas) where would be staying for the next ten weeks. The volunteers are on one side and the gazdas on the other; we faced each other square dance style, looking over and wondering who we would be living with. The whole thing was a little nervous and over dramatic and reminded me of meeting families at an adoption agency. Luckily my gazda (so far) has been extremely kind and experienced. They have hosted four other volunteers before me.


We visited Tinosu in the countryside one Sunday afternoon and it was a pleasant break from Ploiesti. This house was owned by friends of my gazda. A garden and accompanying farmland completed the idyllic scene.


A picnic in the countryside with my gazda and some friends.


Common breakfast or lunch fare for Romanians. Organic vegetables grown from the farm, freshly baked bread, olives, potatoes, farm cheese and pickled vegetables. My gazda prepared a special plate for me since I'm vegetarian. The produce in Romania has been excellent.


The fishing crew. From left to right: Gica, Marius, Andre


From left to right: Andre, Ileana, askfj, Gica, Flori, Marius


A typical Romanian countryside. Flat farmland dotted with trees.


A horse owned by the friends we visited.


An inviting forest path.


One of the many flowers in the forest.


Another kind of flower.


The street outside the school where we have our training with an impending storm in the distance.


Outside Luci's bedroom. Luci's my gazda brother and just turned eighteen. I want to do a series on these bloc apartments.


This is what the family served me on Luci's birthday. Olives, cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes stuffed with eggplant and vegetable spread and coke.


Dancing with the Romanian girls at Luci's birthday party. Two things about this photo. The people who said I shouldn't go to Romania, don't know what they're missing. And the second thing, I don't dance.


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