There’s an old saying that people move to a new city (or country) for one of three reasons, Money, Marriage or Missionary work. Well, I haven’t gotten married just quite yet and I doubt I’ve made more than 100 euros here in all the years I’ve lived in Romania. But to my surprise, I find that I have indeed become a kind of missionary.
I certainly don’t work for any organized religious group and your private beliefs about the supernatural are none of my business but in a sense I realized that I have committed myself to spreading the Good Word. Instead of talking about Jesus or Joseph Smith though, I am here to open minds and hearts to the possibility that Romania both is (right now!) and can be (in the future) a wonderful place to live and visit for everyone.
Today I spent about two hours at the “Eugen Pora” high school here in lovely Unicorn City. On a side note I will add that they run a program that is partly financed by the government of Spain and that their language program is fantastic. I haven’t heard such good Spanish being spoken in a long time by anyone who wasn’t a native speaker (sinceramente me encanté mucho de oirlo).
But I wasn’t there to speak Spanish. I was there to meet with a student and her professor and talk about what is the “usual” for me, about why I live in Romania, why I chose this country and why I am so positive about this place. They are going to write up the interview and publish it in their student-produced magazine and they promised to send me a copy when that’s ready. I don’t think it will be viewable online and I know that if we’re lucky a few hundred students at most will read the article and hear what I had to say.
So why did I give this interview? It’s certainly nothing as glamorous as television or a national newspaper. It’s not even going to be posted on a popular blog. So why? Well I think the answer should be obvious to anyone who is a long-time reader of my stuff but I’ll go ahead and elaborate again because it is important.
The reason why I got invited down there today was because of my appearance on ProTV back in December. And the reason I was on ProTV was because of my interview in Gandul. And the reason I was interviewed in Gandul was because of an interview I did with another publication. And the reason that publication heard of me was because of another one. And so on and so forth all the way back to the beginning when I was a complete unknown writing on a free blog that no one read. A few people found me through a random search, told their friends about it, and we fast forward to what we have here today.
My point is that it is no different than a stone dropped into a pond. The stone may be small and make a small wave but it continues to spread outward, continually reaching more people. My “stone” is that I am a person with options and yet I freely choose to live in Romania because I honestly think it is a wonderful country. Because of historical and cultural reasons, this is a shocking and confusing thing for people living here and so it provokes a reaction. Either they are afraid to agree with me or else they have the courage to consider that my viewpoint might have some validity.
I told the the teacher (and remember, we were speaking for two hours for what will eventually be a few hundred words article at best) that she had two choices when considering our discussion – either I am crazy or else I might be right in what I believe. She made me grin because her response was, “I think you are a little bit of both”.
True enough, señora, true enough :)