Saturday, March 19, 2011
As it turns out, not only do I not need a visa to enter Romania, but I CANNOT get my long-term visa before I arrive. All Americans can visit Romania for 90 days without a visa. Sometime during my first or second month in Romania, I have to apply for residency. Therefore, I can knock "getting a visa" from my list of things to do before I go. This means that the only thing I need to do to make my grant official is get health clearance. I went in for my physical on Thursday. All the lab results should be done Monday, then I can mail it in and be done with it!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Well, as I'm sure you've heard if you have even made your way to this blog, I was selected by the Fulbright Commission for an English teaching assistantship in Romania! (By the way, this is not an official site of the Department of State. Furthermore any opinions or information on this blog are mine; they do not represent the Fulbright Program or the Department of State. Now that I've gotten that legal stuff out of the way, I will resume.) I am, to say the least, thrilled at the opportunity.
I have many friends in Romania, thanks to summers working at Kellerhaus (Weirs Beach, NH) with exchange students working in America for their summers. Their country has rubbed off on me and I am excited to visit them for a change and to experience their culturally-rich country. They have already taught me some important Romanian phrases (such as Sunt foarte obosita; meaning "I am very tired," a phrase I can use in most any situation to truthfully answer the question: Ce faci?, "How are you?" ) that will come in handy upon my arrival.
I have two steps left in making my grant reception official. 1) I have to get medical clearance from the Department of State. 2) I have to get a visa from Romania. I am already tackling the first one. Tomorrow I have an appointment for a physical. After the physician signs my forms, they're off to the Department of State for approval. The visa will have to wait at least two weeks. Since I let my passport stay expired without getting a new one for a year now, I have to get mine renewed. I'm only in DC for six or seven more weeks and I want to get my visa while I still pass the Embassy of Romania every day on my commute, so standard mail renewal just isn't going to cut it. Luckily, DC has a passport agency and I have a day off on 3/28, so I can go in person and get it directly.
I'm sure inquiring minds want to know where in Romania I will be living. I want to know, too! The information about all the details of my grant should be coming in the mail shortly. (I hope shortly). I will keep you posted.
I want to tell you all of the lovely congratulatory dinner that was thrown in my honor by Nate, Lauren, and Lillian (my boyfriend and two of my roommates) on Sunday. They tried to make it Romanian themed. Apparently the internet doesn't have much in the way of Romanian recipes, so I will try to help the world out by recording those I find on my trip. (Or if you are a Romanian-native reader, feel free to post any traditional recipes as a comment.) The meal featured lamb, potatoes, cabbage, and marble pound cake for dessert. (For the story on how pound cake came to be our "Romanian dessert," contact Lillian.) Lauren did what she does so well and decorated Nate's apartment with phrases in Romanian, as well as little Romanian flags; Nate allowed her to do this to his apartment and cooked a large part of the meal. A special thanks to all three of them!