I was warned about reverse culture shock before I left Romania. I’ve only been back a few days, so I don’t think I know exactly what it looks like yet, but considering I did not experience culture shock in Romania until about two months after I got there, it would not surprise me if it is a bit late in setting in here too. The whole concept of “reverse culture shock” seems strange to me. That I should be shocked by my own home, where I’ve grown up and been formed for the past three years. How could three and a half months change me so much as to forget my own home?

Home Again, Home Again...

The weekend following Thanksgiving was a blissful time—meals made together, a Saturday night talent show, and the glorious mountaintop view from the Cabana where we stayed in the nearby town of Straja. Still, throughout the weekend, there was an air of the ever-looming days to come in December.
The return to the homeland.

On Giving Thanks

Each week, one of my colleagues and I pay the equivalency of about 70 American cents to ride in a large white van stuffed with passengers to our neighboring town, Uricani. We climb up a set of crumbling steps to a large clementine orange cement square of a building- the Uricani Primary School. Before even opening the door, we hear the excited shouts of around 30 middle schoolers drifting out through an open window. We take a deep breath, and submerge ourselves in the chaos that is IMPACT Club Clever.


Wedded to Work

My host parents seemed to go to a wedding every weekend. Whether it was due to how surprisingly young they are and all of their friends are getting married, or that they are simply that popular, I could not tell. I also could not understand why they would not leave for the wedding until nine or ten in the evening only to return late in the night. Fortunately, one of the weddings was at our house so I got an invite.

A Second Home

Living here for the last couple months I have met and lived with some pretty amazing people. My host family whom I lived with for about two months are the most caring and hospitable people, I have ever met. My host family gladly invited me in. Their hearts are very pure, and their focus to serve God is bar none. I feel that I have been made a part of their family. They are very loving, and this shows in all that they do. There has only been a couple times in my life where I can truly say I have felt at home. To me home is where you have family.



Tuberculosis: A disease caused by bacteria that float through the air, infect your body, and eat holes in your lungs so that you can’t breathe and eventually die.  Well, that’s the TB 101 version, but you understand; it’s nasty stuff.


Walking in Lupeni

If I said that before embarking on this trip that I hadn’t thought about what it would be like living in Eastern Europe as an African American, I would be lying. I thought about it a lot actually.

Soup and Something Something

Hello Blogosphere! I am not a Northwestern/Gordon Romanian Semester student, but I was able to join this great group over the weekend. I thought you all might be interested in hearing about this program from the perspective of an outsider.

First, something about me. I am a Northwestern College faculty member doing a Fulbright in Cluj Romania this year. I came to Lupeni to meet with the 2 psychology majors who are doing their senior thesis research projects in Romania.


Contrasts of the Romanian Landscape

We have made our home in Lupeni for the semester, a town once caught up in the spotlight of Communist industrialization when coal-mining was a booming industry. Now Lupeni is a victim of history, a town floundering in memories of the glory days while trying to keep its head above water as part of the now-forgotten Jiu Valley.


Sustainable Development In My Own Life

After a most wonderful and relaxing fall break spent in Italy, Switzerland, and Austria, it was time for us Northwestern students to get back into our classes full swing. For the past three days, and tomorrow being the last, we have intensely been studying the idea and concept of Sustainable Community Development, and right now as I sit on my bed at 1:30 in the morning, my mind is continually swirling with thoughts and ideas about development and all the different ways and possibilities that this topic could apply to me as an individual living in today's society.



Explaining InstructionsTo piggy-back off of Michele's post - I also wanted to say how much of a blessing it was to be a part of the Zacusca making processes.