Life has brought some recent changes. These blog entries will focus on my experience travelling to Romania, which begins my new journey in life.
The town is unpronounceable. The weather will be quite cold. It will take me three days to get there. But I'm off for what certainly will be an adventure, one that I'm hoping will have a lasting impression on me and my new future.
I'm going to volunteer at an orphanage in the town of Baile Tusnad, which Wikipedia notes is the smallest town in Romania with a population of 1,728. Soon to be 1,729. The group home where I'll be assigned has seven kids, one little girl and six boys. The youngest, Mozes is 5 and the oldest, Lorika is 12. I hope I can learn and pronounce their names while I'm there. It seems pointless to try and learn phrases at this point, my brain just can't handle the thought of that but I do have plenty of travel time to read through the Hungarian phrase book, which is apparently the predominant language in the region.
I'm staying with a host family who don't speak English and I'm told their house is about a 5 minute walk to the group home. Oddly enough, the town is also well known for it's mineral springs and there is a spa in the town. I'm looking forward to soaking in the healing waters and perhaps even getting a massage or two.
I chose Romania because when I was a teenager I learned that my biological family was from Romania; and in fact, my biological uncle wrote a family history book which chronicles the emigration from Iasi. The book has hand drawn maps of the town where my biological Grandfather, David Marcus grew up. I wrote to Uncle Ron and asked if he knew of any family left in Romania. Sadly, because of the way the Jews were treated, no one wanted to return. He believes I am the first Marcus descendant to actually travel back to Romania.
My journey starts on Monday with a 6:30 a.m. flight to Philly, then an overnight flight to Munich and a morning flight to Budapest where I will spend the night and be very grateful for a shower and a bed. On Wednesday morning I fly from Budapest to Cluj, where unfortunately I have to spend the night because there is no train that day. After a 5 hour train ride from Cluj, I will arrive in Baile Tusnad and hopefully my jet-lag will have dissipated after the several days of travel and acclimating to the time difference.
More to come.