Georgia Pribanic's Summer Story - Teaching in Romania
As a Global Volunteer in Romania, I taught English to middle school students at Middle School #5 located in Barlad about 5 hours NE of Bucharest. This modest school with no A/C and no central heating system has a summer program where middle school students freely attend classes to improve their English. These students realize the benefits that a command of English accords them in their country's transitional economy. My students surprised me with their extensive knowledge of American pop culture and some with high levels of English proficiency. Generally, they were eager and fun-loving students. In addition to this unique opportunity, I traveled extensively within this beautiful country over a three week period including a visit to Vlad Tepes' tomb who captured the imagination of Bram Stoker. Although Vlad was never known in his lifetime for drinking blood, he was known for his ruthless cruelty, including his habit of having his enemies impaled alive on enormous stakes. Thus, the nickname of Tepes the Impaler. However, among Romanians, he is remembered as a hero for his battles with the Ottoman Empire.