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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shades of COANDA Henri

Raluca Tarcea is one of the two Plymouth State University MBAs from Romania presently here with us in New Hampshire.  As our mutual Facebook friends will remember from our August trip to the Portsmouth Air Show, Ralu is decidedly air-minded, as opposed to air-headed.  (Ralu arrived in Plymouth a brunette and is now quite blonde, but the change has not yet turned her into an air-head.)
John and Ralu at the preflight briefing.
Sunday, 20 February, was a gorgeous day.  Bright blue skies, cold, and breezy.  I called Emerson Aviation at the Laconia Municipal Airport to see if I could book an hour of dual instruction, as I had not logged any hours of piloting since 1994(!).  Then I asked Ralu, who happened to be sitting at her laptop across the table from me enjoying our new Jotul Black Bear wood stove while playing around the Internet, whether she would be interested in coming along.  Her instantaneous adrenaline rush led to a change of my plans.  Raluca logged the hour of dual (0.8 of actual airtime), not I.  Here are the pictures I took from the back seat, during Ralu's first flying lesson, with instructor pilot John Anderson. 

Meredith Bay on Lake Winnepesaukee

See why they call it The Lakes Region?

Ralu flew a 360 over our home in Campton.  (Shirl and Alex McD. look on from the driveway.)
We turned final to Runway 26 just before sunset.
Shades of Henri Coanda: a Romanian pilot blooms.

That is the good news.  The bad news: I still have not logged any flight time since 1994 ;-).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Missing also the Fulbrighters, and my other Friends in Romania

I have today perceived that some of my friends in Romania might feel slighted by my not listing them in yesterday's post.  The fact is that I miss a rather large number of people there.  Today, I shall acknowledge a few more.   (If I have not included you today or yesterday, please forgive me.)

Dan and Nancy Ratliff, how goes the semester break at UBB?  Are you getting around the country, or will that have to wait for spring?  Cami, I hope your work is proving as rewarding as you'd hoped, and that your applications to medical school will be successful (though I have little doubt that they will be).  Please let me know if I can write you a letter of recommendation.  I think I know you well enough to write honestly, and quite glowingly, about your talent and sense of purpose.

Aline C., I missed seeing you before I left.  I am sorry.  How are you, and how have your creative and art teaching projects progressed?

Connie H., it was fun having my final ciorba de burta of this last stay in Romania with you in Alesd.  See you next fall in Winnetka, God willing!  Meanwhile, let's keep in touch.  I have chatted (in my broken Romanian) with Aurelia B. from Baia Mare a couple of times on Yahoo.  What a fine family she is part of!  Please shoot me an e-mail, as I have forgotten her nickname.

Hanna U., it was a fine dinner meeting we shared last month.  I wish you well in all your ambitions and personal desires.  You are a fine young woman.  I hope we will continue to be in touch.

Simona B., thank you for maintaining our friendship this fall, started back in my Fulbright Year, thanks to our mutual friend, Kathy O.

Similar sentiments of respect and affection are due to Andrei M. in Cluj, to Irinuca T. in Vatra Dornei, to Alexandru, Dan, and Florin at Ecomonica II, to Oana-Maria, Florina P., Sorin, Leonina S., and Vasile T., all of  Cluj, to POP Vasile in Ocna Sugatag, to Augustin and Claudia M. and Teodor, Voica, and Mihaela F. in Bistriţa, and to Nastasia and Nicolae T. in Cluj.  Finally, of course to Raluca UBB/Economica II/Office Depot.

Roxana de Sibiu, over there in China, I will never forget our chats this fall.  What an adventure you lived through!  Please let me hear from you soon.  Has the situation improved over there, as you had hoped it would?

I also want to acknowledge (and record for my aging memory) new friends Lucia S., and Dana and Dane B. of Cluj.

Needless to say, all who work at the Fulbright Commission in Bucharest are included in my thoughts this day.

No doubt I have still left out many in Romania who are important to me.  Such listings are inherently risky, and I apologize if your name is not in this one.  There are a great many in Romania to whom I owe my fine impression of that country, and whom I have come to like, to respect, and to care for.  Be well, Romanian friends!

As some Americans put it, "Y'all come and see us now!   Y'hear?"  We will welcome your visits in New Hampshire.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Post-Romanian Cultural Adjustment

It has been difficult these past 15 days.  At first, after arriving early in a snowstorm that closed Logan Airport shortly after our landing, waiting an hour for Shirl and Alex to get to the airport (because driving conditions in New Hampshire were abysmal), and then driving three hours home through the snow, I was merely exhausted.  But soon, the time change proved problematic.  I was awakening at 4:00 AM, (11 AM in Cluj), and bedding down by 8:00 PM (3 AM in Cluj).  In between, my ambition was limited, and I needed a nap each afternoon.  I managed to accomplish the necessities, but little else.  I kept wishing I could call Alexandra and meet for coffee, or drive back to Oaşa and continue my conversation with Father Sava, or to Suceava to see the Moroşans, or have dinner with Moni and Horaţiu, or Melinda, or Valer and Simo, or see Lucian again over pizza, or have lunch with my colleagues Mihaela, Mircea, and/or Marius.  In short, I had left Cluj and Transylvania and Romania behind, without any set plans to return, and the effect was traumatic.

I have had to get my act together professionally, of course.  And this week I made good progress in planning the two online MBA courses that I will be teaching in our spring quarter, which begins on 28 February.  And I have finally begun to sleep on local time.  So, I guess, I have adjusted.

The news of late has been dominated by Egypt's revolution.  I wish that ancient and prestigious nation a positive outcome.