Tuesday, May 29, 2012


For me anticipation is an important part of any travel opportunity.  I was pleased this past week to receive a Handbook from the Romanian Fulbright Commission with all sorts of tidbits in it designed to help me prepare for this adventure.  I would like to share a few of them:
  • There is a suggestion to pack a "survival kit" for the first few days, including peanut butter (or another easy to transport favorite food), towels, and toilet paper - among other things - to give me a chance to learn the local markets.  It is true I love peanut butter and had already been wondering what favorite foods to take.  While I am open to many new foods and eating experiences, I am vegetarian and I also do not eat sugar, so I will need to learn where I can find lots of freshly cooked vegetables.
  • I may send up to 160 pounds of books and teaching supplies via diplomatic courier service, but they will not return same.  If I want them back, the shipping costs come out of my own pocket.  I am guessing this is an indirect way of suggesting I donate materials to the host University...  It is all right with me, but I may need to contact some of my colleagues and maybe even my favorite textbook rep to see if I can acquire some additional books and materials to make this worthwhile.
  • I was a little taken aback by the phrase "Life is different here, and some families have found flexibility is needed to adjust their lifestyles to the environment."  My reaction is not that i disbelieve the statement, but that it seems to me to be blatantly obvious.  I chose to apply to a country where I believe things will be very different and I am looking forward to to opportunity to learn about the Romanian culture and to learn about myself as I do.
  • It is recommended that I bring an oven thermometer with me as the stove in my apartment is not likely to have a thermostat.  That seems like a useful thing to know!
  • and many more...
I am greatly appreciative of the resources being made available to me as prepare for this grand adventure: there are people in both the US and in Romania with whom I have contact; there are websites with useful information; and I am being sent a contact list of former Fulbright Scholars, so we might get in touch.  Each time I read over the emails sent to me I am reminded of additional resources I have not yet checked out.  I do enjoy the anticipation!

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