Today, from the road, I saw...
A really cool black and white bird that wouldn't let me take a picture of it
and a T-Rex.
If you're a reader living in Romania then the only surprise might be the T-Rex. I was joking about the T-Rex. If you are a reader from the US then you might think I went to a farm.
When I was assigned to serve in a city of 45,000 people I did not expect to be able to see these kinds of animals often, and most of them I do not see often. There are always pigeons outside my windows. A neighbor lady has roosters and hens. There has been horses sited on my street from time to time. I saw a cow once next to a block on my street. I see goats everyday. All of these I see in the environment of a 45,000 person Romanian city. Today I discovered that within an hour's walk I can see all of these things and more in the country.
Today was a beautiful day and though the snow has melted off of most of the nearby hills I could see the snow covered peaks of Parâng. I decided to go for a walk exploring the borders of town to try and find a good spot to take some nice fall photos of the peaks. I failed in my quest in finding a good view of the mountains but succeeded in finding fresh air and a good view of rural Romanian life. Just beyond Şcoala Informatica, where the road changes from asphalt to stone and dirt, is where this view began. This place is where city abruptly turns to country.
At first I was a bit leery to continue. I didn't know where the road led. Was it somebody's driveway? I thought, what better time to explore then on a sunny fall day. These were my first steps to the outskirts of the city without a fluent speaker of Romanian accompanying me. Though there were several houses on the road each one seemed to have their own little farm. They all had some kind of animal grazing on the grass and usually had space for a garden. Pumpkins were the common site today though I did see some small corn fields as well. From this little road I caught site of a variety of animals, stacks of hay, hills, and beautiful scenes. I also caught site of many Romanians out in their yards taking advantage of the great weather, getting work done. Seeing them with my limited language ability was a little bit intimidating but a simple "Buna Ziua" was good enough for them for the time being. Maybe next time I venture up that road I will have enough confidence in my language to stop and chat for a while.
Point of the story is that my placement in a city atmosphere has provided me with a certain experience while, keeping me from other, more rural, and maybe more interesting experiences. Despite this fact, I learned today that sights and sounds of a more rural site are just beyond that point where the asphalt turns to dirt and stone. Maybe next time, when I take the time to talk to, meet, and get to know those people working in their garden, or transporting hay on the caruţa it won't only be the sights and sounds that I get, but a rural experience as well.