Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 39: La Tara #2

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Today's highlights:
-Waterfall and zip line
-Farms on the way home
-Arriving in Arad

***Robbie here***

As we awoke this morning, we experienced the sinking feeling that we had to leave this paradise. Even though we had only been here for little over a day, we felt like part of the family. 

We had another great breakfast from Ati and Ana, and goofed around with their three year old son Mihai, who was preparing to run a 1 km race that day. He was convinced that he would win it all and get the prize, but only after strict and dedicated preparation. Mihai asked that others opened doors for him so that he wouldn't waste any energy before the race. Seriously? This kid has a personality, that's for sure. 

After training Mihai, we were taken to a waterfall nearby in the mountains. This waterfall was gorgeous, and to make it better there was a zipline! Angie went and loved it. Here she is!

Ati also made me this awesome hat. Gotta protect the scalp. 

Throughout this whole trip Ati teased us about being American and that he was a superior Romanian, living off the land. Whenever we would move on to the next activity/meal, Ati would rhetorically ask "They don't have that in America I bet!"  He would say this about absurd stuff like watermelons or waterfalls. At first, we thought he had no clue what was in America, then we thought that he was making fun of America (which you just don't do, especially if Angie is around), then we realized he was just having fun with us. So we eventually played along with him. We became so comfortable with these people--they made it so easy. Anyway, the waterfall was gorgeous. On the way back, Ati put Mihai on his lap and would let Mihai steer the jeep. Mihai would jerk the wheel back and forth, while we were on mountain paths! Ati wasn't worried in the least, but we were a little nervous in the back seat.

Then it was time to say goodbye. 

We made our rounds of goodbyes and promised to stay in touch. We made sure to save Tavu and Tusi for last. They surprised us with a three course meal before we left. For real? Amazing people. We had ciorba (sour broth soup) with dumplings, stuffed peppers in the most scrumtrulescent sauce, and cherry pastry dessert. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm! They said that they wouldn't dream of sending us off with empty stomachs. They both served us each of the courses, while not eating themselves. When we asked them to sit and eat with us, Tusi said that they would wait until we left so that Tavu could feed Tusi bite-by-bite in privacy. "How romantic!" from Tavu. We just love these people!

Here are a few pics of saying goodbye to some of the family. 

Back row: Onut, Angie, Robbie, Gabi, Tusi
Middle row: Vali (our driver friend), Ati, and Tavu
Front: Mihai

Saying goodbye was rough. On our way home we visited an aunt of Gabi's. she was this cute hard working chubby lady that had a huge garden and farm. Here are some pics:

Piglets and chickens! Cool. 

Without even asking for any of the fruit that was growing in the farm, Gabi's aunt gave us two buckets worth of plums and tomatoes. She also gave us tons of garlic, peppers, onions, and everything else. As we left and were driving away, I wondered how Gabi would be able to get through all this food by himself. 

Thirty minutes later we arrived in Arad and were at the home of some more of Gabi's extended family. He gave them all the food he had received from his aunt. Just when you think there is an end to Gabi's giving, he surprises you again. But this is just how he is, and how so many Romanians are. Blows us away. 

Tomorrow is Arad, where Angie served! 

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