One thing I have a chance to appreciate here almost every day is how grateful and excited kids are to have a chance to play with art supplies. I have some water colors, crayons and a coloring book, and kids come running out of the woodwork to play with them. It is pretty fun, after living in a country where kids are so stimulated that they forget most of their toys after one time, and art is just less exciting then computer games. The little artists love the appreciation for their inventiveness and creativity. I really really think that if there was more art taught in schools here, and more support for art in kids, the country would have a better chance at solving the problems that come up in the future. Creativity and problem solving are even more important skills in the poorest countries on earth.

I have been making things to reproduce fifty of at a time, little belt buckles and necklaces. Its a different head space to enter, and brings on a new set of lessons to learn.  I spent a good deal of yesterday looking for a forge that can use plaster to make duplicates. I love the people at my forge, but I happen to know that they are completely incapable of deadlines. Hearing about my search, people all want to “help me” and every one has a “brother” who does bronze.. Connections are valuable here, and if you know someone who can help your friend out, it is expected you will get a cut in some way. This is foreign to me culturally, and a bit weird, but I gotta go with the flow, I suppose. I also cannot do a single thing anonymously. People all shout Maria to me as I walk down the street- people that I would swear that I have never seen in my life.  And now that the word has gotten out that I am looking for someone to work for me, I have been getting many offers.

I am here in the hotel I come to most days to do internet, and watching two little Romanian kids run around. These people are car camping in the hotels driveway, and must have driven here from Romania. The people who come to this corner of the earth are different then the tourists in Mexico, or the wanderers in India. There are an odd mix of international aid workers and wealthy Europeans, and my favorite- people on mad pursuits in cars or on motercycles, or trying out some crazy business plan. I like the international people I meet here, they all have a story, and they are generally more courageous and wild at heart. There is an African kid eating macaroni and cheese (from a box) with this Romanian family  too, who clearly cant speak Romanian. I really want to know the story….




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  1. Debbie Kaye

    If you wrote a play imitating what you see daily, I wonder if a Western audience would believe it!

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