What exactly are you doing in Sighisoara?

I have been asked this question quite often, and to be honest, I was not so sure of the answer myself for the first couple of weeks. Because Jill and I are the very first Hope students to participate in the Romanian Studies Program, we were both unable to give many details about what exactly we would be doing while here. Finally, after a month in, I feel as if I have settled into a routine, and somewhat know how to prepare for the day ahead of me…

Monday:

  • 8 am Romanian language class
  • 9:30 am Teen Club adviser meeting at the Veritas Family Center
  • 12:30 pm Lunch at Veritas Family Center
  • 2 pm Teen Club
  • 5 pm Cross-cultural checkup at Dorothy’s house
  • 6 pm “American” dinner at Dorothy’s house

Tuesday:

  • 8 am Romanian language class
  • 10 am School visits
  • 12:30 pm Supervision with Dorothy
  • 2 pm Teen Club
  • 5 pm Elderly home visits with Zsolt, my translator

Wednesday:

  • 9 am Elderly home visits/ Food delivery with David and Mia
  • 12:30 pm Lunch at Veritas Family Center
  • 2 pm Teen Club

Thursday:

  • 8 am Romanian language class
  • 10 am School visits
  • 12:30 pm Lunch at Veritas Family Center

Friday:

  • 8 am Veritas team meeting
  • 10:30 am Social Work Seminar
  • 12:30 pm Lunch
  • 1:15 pm Romanian History and Culture Class

Every other weekend, Dorothy plans day trips and tours to different cities in Romania, and these are a lot of fun! During the week, the majority of my extra time in between clubs or meetings is spent preparing material, researching, or studying Romanian. Because I do not speak the language, it is extremely difficult to focus on the counseling aspect of social work. The majority of the Veritas staff can speak or understand English well, and translators are available, but nonverbal communication is huge when working one-on-one with clients. My role as a social worker here is more focused on the aspects of being an educator, an advocate, a researcher, a service provider, and a net-worker. Throughout the week, I help lead group activities, lessons, and games for the teens and elderly clubs that focus on getting them involved and interacting with one another. I also go on home-visits to assess the needs of the family or client, and to observe their home environment. Through my daily interactions with my clients, I look for opportunities to meet their needs with the help of the already existing Veritas programs, and I am encouraged to voice my suggestions and opinions about possible new program ideas to my supervisors. At the end of the day, I am usually exhausted from the mental and emotional stress, but I am blessed to have this unique experience. I continue to thank God for the strength He provides, and for stretching me further than I would have ever thought possible! So, what exactly am I doing here in Sighisoara? I am here trying to love God, serve His people, and learn more about what it means to be a social worker in a non-profit Christian organization from those with greater wisdom and experiences than my own.

Pa! =)

Marga

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