This past week, classes ended and I began the slow and sad process of saying goodbye to people, packing up, and getting ready to leave for Arad. Because of this, the week had quite a few “last” times.
On Tuesday, I had the last meeting of my English Conversation Club. This semester has been so enjoyable getting to know my three students, helping their English, and chatting with them about a variety of subjects ranging from sports to movies to politics to family and friends. We held our last meeting at a small cafe near my apartment and had a wonderful time letting the conversation flow from one topic to another. They have improved so much in their conversational skills over the semester and I am going to miss our meetings.
This weekend, I went on my last trip out into the Bucovina countryside. This was a highly-anticipated trip that had been in the works for some time and I was so excited to get to finally explore the forest and go off-roading. The experience was everything I had imagined. I traveled through the beautiful (and not open to tourists) national forest, visited feeding locations for bears, checked some motion-activated cameras, spotted countless wild boar tracks, and ate lunch outside, roasting delicious sausage and toasting bread by the fire. It was a truly a unique and unforgettable experience. Near the end of the trip we also spotted a white Stoat darting across the road. It was so cute and tiny, and I learned that they are a very rare animal to spot!
This Monday was another last day, this time with my public speaking course. Each student student worked closely with me over the second half of the semester developing a topic, writing a speech, learning that speech, and practicing their presentational skills. Monday night was the culmination of all their hard work and I could not be more proud of how they did. One thing I loved about the course was how every student had such a unique and different topic idea for their speech, ranging from 3D printing to books vs. movies to study abroad. It was such a diverse display and I learned a lot! These students have meant so much to me over the semester and I am so sad to leave them.
This week, the love and support that I’ve felt from my students and colleagues have been overwhelming. I am so humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be here. My students over this week have expressed to me that I have had an impact on their lives and their hearts. The feeling is mutual. These people have become not just students, but friends.
To keep from ending on an emotional note, here’s a photo of me with a snowman: