So, in fine Romanian tradition, we threw our own goodbye parties: one for the Teachers Association and one for everyone else.
The Teachers Association party had 24 people. We held it at a nice local hotel; the Hotel Continental which locals still refer to as The Archer because that's what it was known as and it still has an archer statue out front. Maria asked me to show my power point presentation about being here as a Peace Corps volunteer. Then we all had a nice meal. The group brought drinks, so there was lots of whiskey and vodka. Then I held an auction. I had gathered items from our house that I wanted to give away. I put them in odd groupings, then auctioned the groups starting with small amounts like 5 lei (about $2). People had a blast! They loved it! And they totally got into the excitement of the thing. We raised 240 lei which we gave to the association for the party for their next volunteer (hopeful thinking there), and we had a fun, fun time.
The community party we held at our favorite local restaurant, No Limit. (Yes, that's its name, even though the owners don't speak much English.) Dennis made up invitations and we handed them out to everyone who was not in the Teachers group. Dennis's agency, GEC Bucovina had people come, and my other agency, Bucovina Ladies Society had some people come. We also invited friends like our landlady Lili (who was so scary at first and ended up being wonderful), Sorin who is a psychologist working at a center for disabled children, and our neighbors. We had about 40 people there. We told them we would buy their pizzas, they would buy drinks. It sorta worked.
These two parties gave us two important messages:
1. We are appreciated by a lot of people for our work and our being here.
2. We made a lot of friends, many more than we expected or realized.
We have crossed the globe and become richer.