Once was not enough for me in Romania. During my first mural, news of the project certainly traveled fast. Ten minutes after starting the mural, the principal of the local school came by. After seeing what we were up to, he exclaimed, “I want a mural in my school.” And, of course, I immediately liked that idea. Another wall? Yep, I’d come back for that!
Actually getting back to Romania wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped. The village of Poiana Negostarului was isolated from the rest of the country and the world. The dirt road leading to the village turned into a muddy mess, nearly impassable, when the rains came. Summer was the best time to visit without mud.
I wanted to return in October. My connections in Romania said it wasn’t a good time because of the rains. Try coming back in the spring. So, I arranged my schedule to come back in April and there was still rain. Again, my connections in Romania said it wasn’t a good time. Try coming back in the summer. Unfortunately, with my schedule, that wasn’t possible. It appeared to me that the mural wouldn’t happen.
However, my connections in Romania weren’t my only connections. The student who originally invited me to Romania, Valentine, was about as connected as you can get. His father owned the company that sponsored the project. This student wanted to paint a mural for a community service project during his spring break. Need I say more? We went to Romania in the spring.
We were warned. The roads were muddy and our vehicle did get stuck once. However, the rains in Romania and the muddy roads to this village paled in comparison to what I knew so very well from my Peace Corps days in West Africa during the rainy season. This trip was a walk in the park. Yep, it was a soggy, muddy park, but I had no doubts about getting to the school to paint the mural. And, arrival in Poiana Negostarului was a bit of a homecoming. It was so much fun to see everyone again from the previous mural (which remained in beautiful condition, by the way.) This little boy was one of the happy faces to welcome me back to their village.
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