It’s only been a month since I came to Romania, but I have to admit that I already feel at home. Even now, I don’t know how to put into words what I experienced and felt, so I can’t even imagine the intensity of my feelings at the end of the project.
Sharing a house with 12 different artists from completely different cultures; learning, teaching, and producing together is a challenging but satisfying feeling. Day by day, we began to understand and discover each other better. I realize that our bonds are getting stronger every day and we meet on more common ground. We have already started to have some traditions. Kitchen meetings at around 2 a.m., nightly meetings in the coziest room of our house, dinners we all eat together as a big family, and much more.
We have already adopted a puppy we found at the train station, like a real family. The most exciting and loving creature I have ever seen in my life. He makes me feel very good when, while walking normally in the house, he runs excitedly and lies at my feet, by shaking his butt. Watching him grow as we all rush together to keep up with the project tempo is priceless. In summary, even though we have minor disagreements, mostly about hygiene, everything is going much better than I expected for me at home.
To talk about our projects and experiences so far, I can say that it is quite challenging but also enjoyable. Our first big event was the Folcloristica festival we organized in Todireşti. I started my work by designing posters and certificates for it. I also gave my first workshop at this festival, but it was not as successful as I imagined. I realized that I designed an activity that was too complicated for the age group of the children and I learned from my mistakes. We achieved much more successful results by organizing the workshop we gave with Raphaelle at Piatra Neamț. We are going to design a collage for our exhibition at the end of the month by combining children’s designs. In addition, we completed our first residency experience at Petru Rareș school yesterday. We did different studies together for 6 days. The workshop that we planned with Raphaelle ended much earlier than we expected, so it changed shape every day. Finally, we found ourselves painting on the wall quite spontaneously. At the end of the day, we have a stair step that is repaired with cement and painted stones, a mirror and a wall decorated with traditional figures, and our portraits drawn by the students. We have now become friends with the students whom we considered foreigners two weeks ago and found them a bit strange due to the language barrier. We saw that they had difficulty expressing their feelings and thoughts, but how kind, affectionate, and excited they were inside. I packed a lot of laughter, a lot of flowers, and two marriage proposals into this adventure. I can’t believe we’re already famous everywhere we go, it seems like it’s going to take some time getting used to this fame.
So far, we have visited wonderful places such as Iași, Piatra Neamț, Pașcani, and Todirești, met perhaps hundreds of people, taken thousands of photos, and eaten many different foods offered to us as gifts. Romania, which is impressive by its rich culture and wonderful architecture, also touched my heart with its loving and hospitable people. The number of people with smiling faces and huge tables set up for us without expecting anything in return is increasing day by day. It feels great to share things and establish bonds with people from completely different age groups and cultures, even though I don’t even speak the same language. I think I will remember this feeling with the same warmth even years later.
While all this is going on, and I’m having a great time, my phone is suffering. I have no idea how I achieved this, but I have already had more than 7 thousand photos in my gallery. While there are dozens of challenging tasks ahead of us, the thing that scares me the most is sorting the photos. But for a person as indecisive as me, this is not surprising. If this is already the case, I can’t even predict the end of the project. But I look forward to every new day and experience that awaits us.