As most of you know I love music. I love listening to it, I love playing it, and I love creating it. While here in Romania, I knew I would eventually buy a guitar here instead of bringing one just to save on the amount of bags I was bringing one. My first couple months in the country were hell because I couldn't leave Târgoviste to go and buy one because of Peace Corps policies for trainees. Then came the first weekend we could leave Jd. Dumbavița and the first place I went was a music shop in the neighboring county. I was recommended to the store by a language teacher and as it turned, I got to wait another couple weeks until I could have my own guitar again since you only order from the store, then once it arrives you pick it up. Oh well, at least I would have a guitar soon enough.
While I was away visiting my site, I got a phone call while out with some teachers enjoying a summer meal of grilled mici. My guitar had arrived and I could go and pick it up when I was ready. That weekend I came back, I went to Ploiești and got my guitar. Having that guitar brought me back to my original self. So much of the daily stress I had was taken away by being able to play my guitar once again. It was even commented by another volunteer that once I got my guitar, my language learning improved as well. I guess we all learn our specific ways.
Once I arrived at site, I was invited to a guitar class which was held at the clubul eleviilor (student's club). It was the cantece de munte (mountain songs) and they have a rich musical culture where I am. Quickly I was drawn into the simple, yet beautiful music about love, nature, and the mountains, most of which is all connected in the songs. Gabi, who had invited me to the class, was going to be leaving soon to work in Spain, and Piti the other teacher would be taking over as the main instructor. Not soon later, I was asked if I would teach along with Piti, especially if he is gone. I was elated. Not only would I be learning an amazing part of culture, I would also be teaching it.
Every week I am going twice to the club and playing and teaching with the students. There is something peaceful about a room of music, no matter how loud it can get. Around Christmas I was playing along their traditional carols while playing some English carols as well. I went caroling with the group and had an amazing time. Now with the weather becoming warmer, we will start spending weekends in the mountains, eating, drinking, and playing surrounded by the very things which have inspired these songs.
Below are three videos of the class, along with Piti and I, playing some of these songs. Enjoy.
This first song is called Mare Neagra (Black Sea). It is about the Black Sea and how important of a symbol it is to Romania and the power it has.
Ninge Astazi Pentru Tine (It's Snowing Today for You) as you can guess by the title is a love song.
Noapte la Mare, Noapte la Munte (Goodnight to the Sea, Goodnight to the Mountain).
While the music is simple, it still holds a strong meaning to me. Being surrounded by a beautiful landscape, its understandable that so many songs would be written about it. These classes and these songs have been my escape from whatever stresses I may have while being away. My home is truly wherever music is being loved, and this has been the thing which has made Victoria feel so much like home these past months.