Two days in Romania, and I have yet to see my sister. I took an afternoon bus ride to finally reunite with my sister, now only 2 hours away. My sister moved to Romania this past fall on a Fulbright Scholarship from the US State Department, and is completing her first semester in Arad. Her accomplishments exceed far more than the average individual which justly proves how extraordinarily amazing this young woman is. She perseveres through every single hardship challenging her and inspires me to constantly strive towards becoming the best version of myself I have the potential of becoming. Through exploring her “home” city (for now), we caught up about our lives, chatted over coffee, froze our fingers and toes, were pursued by a stray dog for miles because of the food in our hands, and even a followed through a spontaneous, quarter-life crisis of chopping 5 inches off her hair (at a hair salon, of course). The second night we also made a first attempt at gingerbread cookies with a friend. Our night was so lit, we accidentally burned 3/4 of them. Mom wouldn’t be proud. Maybe next time.
After spending two days in Arad, we headed back to Oradea by train Saturday night. Sunday morning, we headed out to the grandparent’s village– the place I spent most of my time during my childhood in Romania. I’ve written about Coroi in previous posts, so you can refer back to there if you’d like to read about my happy place there :).
Three days later, we were back in Oradea at the Christmas market. Only twenty four hours earlier in Berlin, Germany, a Christmas Market was attacked by a man, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more. When a time such as this, the Christmas season, is meant to represent joy and peace on earth, it is difficult to remember such a thing when hatred and evil are prevalent still in society today. My heart breaks when I see acts of violence committed out of hatred towards other, or out of any other reason, for that matter. True peace and love can not be found in this world; it comes from God. It came down into a cold and filthy manger to bring joy to the world in desperate need for it. It came for me, a broken sinner in need of redemption and hope. It came for us all.