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Mi sembra ieri, quando in fila al gate numero 11, mi guardavo intorno ignara di ciò che mi avrebbe atteso.
Inutile negare l'iniziale preoccupazione: 18 anni, primo viaggio completamente da sola e verso una destinazione non del tutto comune. All'arrivo ho scoperto di avere una "coinquilina" finlandese che sarebbe stata con me anche in campus. 
I 7 giorni trascorsi con la famiglia hanno superato ogni mia aspettativa: mi sono sentita a casa fin dal primo giorno.
Abbiamo trascorso diverse giornate a Timișoara, città dal gusto internazionale che ospita edifici adibiti a diverse religioni (ortodossa, cristiana ed ebraica), piazze perennemente popolate e numerosi punti di incontro per ragazzi.
L'enorme parco di Buzias, la storica città di Arad, 3 pomeriggi in piscina e un'escursione nella splendida Sibiu hanno caratterizzato la settimana. 
Ho assaggiato ogni tipo di specialità culinaria e probabilmente mi è quasi venuto il diabete per aver mangiato 3 gelati al giorno. 
Le due settimane successive sono state una full immersion nella lingua inglese: eravamo 12 ragazzi provenienti da 7 paesi diversi. 
A più di 2000 metri di altezza, il campus è situato in una baita di montagna. 
È stato incredibile scoprire come, in pochi giorni, ogni pregiudizio verso l'estraneo sia scomparso. 
Ogni attività era mirata a costruire uno spirito di gruppo: cacce al tesoro, camminate, sport, balli di gruppo.. 
Il mio momento preferito è stato il Camp Fire, una serata dedicata all'apprezzare semplicemente il calore del fuoco e la chiacchierata con un vicino. 
Devo ammettere, però, che le 3 giornate fuori dalla "foresta" sono state necessarie per staccare un po' : abbiamo visitato 2 castelli, la città di Brasov e abbiamo trascorso un pomeriggio all'acquapark. 
Durante questo viaggio ho avuto la possibilità di incontrare delle persone bellissime e soprattutto di cercare di superare i miei limiti personali. 

It seems yesterday when, waiting in the queue to get on the plane, I was looking at the people around me wondering what the future would have preserved to me. It was really the first trip that I was starting alone, without a friend to speak with, without my common objects…

In my pocket I had only many limits to overcome and a plenty of objectives to reach.

29th June, at 3 p.m. in Tunea’s house, arrival in Dumbrăvița (Timișoara)

“Bună ziua Rodica!” I saluted entering at home. Rodica received me with a large smile, followed by a small girl with short hair. I will always remember the beginning of my adventure.

A bit later we had a huge snack: fruits, vegetables, jam, bread, ham and I also tasted “vișinată” (liquor). Daniel accompanied us to have a tour of Timișoara where we took a look of the orthodox cathedral, we had a walk in the Roselor Park and admired the landscape over the river. I consider the first dinner one my of my favorite moments because it’s the occasion in which you start knowing the people that surround you. The radio was on, many italian songs followed each other and I was surprised by finding parts of my everyday life in this foreign country. We talked a lot during the night, until 1 a.m. , most of all about ourselves, about our family, about stupid things and I found out that Romanian people have quite the same sense of humor as italian people. But, most of all, I was amazed about how I forgot where I was, when I am surrounded by people who seem familiar to me, like I’ve always known them.

The 2nd day was quite intense and especially full of suprises.

We woke up late after the past long day, we had a huge breakfast and we left in direction: Buziaș.

During the car route I had the constant sensation to be in a film because of the giant fields of sunflowers. We arrived at the famous park, who hosted also the princess Sissi. This park is a great occasion for the territory and, of course, for the people wuo live near it : it make possible to practise many different kinds of sport, to study immersed in the nature, to reduce stress and simply to live better. The next stop was Paul’s house ( the responsible of Daniel and Rodica’s Lions Club).

The romanian hospitality was reconfirm by his welcome: he proudly showed us his garden, he offered us many fruits and he told us to make ourselves at home.

We had restorative swim in his swimming pool and afterwards whe reached the centre of Timișoara to assist at the change of the guards.

For all the course of the day, Rodica and Daniel continued to repeat us : “the change of the guards is a sort of tradition […]

Finally we understood why: during the ceremony, a guard called me, Hilla (the finnish girl) and other 2 exchange girls in front of the public and he gave us an attestation to welcome us.

I never would’ve expected that. Moreover, I was unexpectedly inteviewed by a Romanian news and the journalist was very kind.

We spent the morning of the 3rd day  in Arad, a more historical and traditional city than Timișoara. We walked through the market, in the revolution square, we saw an orthodox Church and also the front of the Theater.

In those moments I realized that Romania contains a great number of attractions, tipical monuments and wonderful landscapes but the main part of the population doesn’t completely take care of it. We spent the afternoong and the evening with many rumanian young people. Speaking with Jacqueline (a LEO member), I found out that Romania is the most understimated country of Europe and she agreed with me that, the most of the times, rumanian people neglect their own country.

The 4th day was destinated to the visit of the polytechnical in which Daniel works.

Of course this concerned not my passion but was really interesting to see how a university is able to introduce its own students at innovations and then to improve the country in the future. It could sounds strange but I really loved shopping at the supermarket with Daniel and Hilla, probably this common action made me feel at home. I had the crazy idea to make a surprise for Rodica and Daniel and I quite forced Hilla to join. It was really funny to cook crêpes. I’m convinced that this was most hilarious moment of the entire stay: we were all carefree and cheerful, I laughed so much. During the evening I had a really interesting debate with Rodica about a common topic. I’m convinced that is fundamental to express yourself and your opinion and also to understand which factors influence the thoughts of a person.

The 5th day was the Mall day ( a huge supermarket) in which Hilla and me tried to orient. We spent the afternoon at the swimming pool with Jacqueline and it was a great occasion to notice the differencies between italian and rumanian young people. I always love to observe.

The 6th day was the Art Museum day. Art is an instrument that communicates the true essence of a population. By my point of view, Romania usually tries to imitate other country (Italy, America..) instead of expressing its own potencial.

We visited the entire museum and finally I succeded in getting more in touch with the romanian culture. During the evening we had a barbecue with Jacqueline, her boyfriend and other 2 young people. I can affirm that the young people I get in touch with are really open-minded, without prejudices and really curious about foreigner’s life.

In the 7th day Hilla and me experimented more indipendence, one of the most important parts of a trip. We went by foot in many places and then we reached a swimming pool with the nephew of Rodica. I really appreciated the discussion among us 3 about languages and the importance of them in our society.

During the evening, we assisted to a very cool jazz concert who attracted several citizen in the centre. There was an amazing ambiance.

Carolina Bigi (Italy)

Dumbrăvița (Timișoara), the 6th of July