After our week of Viata we came down from Straja into the town of Lupeni with feelings of accomplishment, awe and nervousness. I, in particular, was especially nervous about my homestay. I was so afraid that my family would not like me and had been praying ferverently every day for my family to accept me.
Arriving at the New Horizons Building in Lupeni was nerve wracking and I continually checked my watch as 6:00 pm slowly creeped closer and closer. My host family was one of the first to arrive. My sister Persida, (one of eight siblings that I have in my family) came up to me and gently linked her arm through mine and told me that she hoped we would become close throughout the semester and that we would have a good friendship. This amount of love shown to me right away blew me out of the water.
Once we arrived at her father's they served me dinner and I was engaged in conversation about what kinds of food I liked. I quickly explained that I liked cheese...one of the only Romanian words that I knew at the time. Suddenly Tata (father in romanian) got up from the table and disappeared outside. A couple of minutes later he came back in the house with a plate that had two enormous blocks of cheese on it and sat it right in front of me! I must have looked shocked because he burst out laughing and soon I joined in.
A couple of weeks into my homestay I was able to celebrate my 20th birthday. All of my brothers and my sister chipped in and made me an amazing cake with all of my favorite fruit and even bought me my favorite type of white chocolate. Suprising me further they sang to me in Romanian and took the time to learn the english version of happy birthday.
I wish I could write more about the love that this family has shown me because there is so much more that they have done for me but I have probably already written too much. To wrap it up all I have to say is that this family has shown me what it means to love unconditionally with your whole heart and I am so thankful for their Romanian hospitality.