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Balance Beams & Garlic

This past weekend Alex and I were able to spend the weekend in Cluj-Napoca, the second most populous city in Romania, and unofficially, the capital of Transylvania. I mean, how cool sounding is that--the capital of Transylvania? Anyway, we spent our day in the city by doing what we love to do the most: drinking good coffee and visiting museums and walking. Lots of walking. While we were leaving the botanical gardens (a must-see there 'cause the greenhouses are super impressive), we passed a young girl who had red, blue and yellow stripes on her face. Then another person, then another. And then we remembered that Cluj was hosting the Artistic Gymnastics European Championships, which is a big

30 Years . . . chocolate & oranges

“I’m going to America and you can’t color with my crayons while I’m gone” he said while we were at the table in Buna’s kitchen. I immediately stopped my drawing and told him I was 100% going with him to America and that our parents wouldn’t separate us. Later, I would find out it was indeed true as I got my first bitter taste that the world is not as it should be. Dad and Andrew were the only ones who could leave. Mom and I would have to stay in Romania. I couldn’t understand why the government would not want to let a family travel together. It made no sense. Especially since they were going to “America” the mysterious land I’d heard about where chocolate came in blocks, oranges were eaten e

The Golden Rule Part Deux

There are times when you feel overwhelmed by how much "meanness" exists in the world. And then when you're out there, combatting the so-called meanness in the world, bam, it happens in your own house and sometimes right out of your own mouth. Ugh. After the talk about bullying at the Remetea school we had to have the same conversation at Casa Josef. Because every single person was once a bully to someone, or the person being bullied, or a bystander to it all. Or maybe all three. Interestingly enough, the convo turned into this sad excuse for either bullying someone or being the bystander: "But it's funny!" And the only way I can counter that is with a "Yes, it might seem funny to you because

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