This weekend we--the student/high school leaders for OSCPi--were meant to go camping on the mountain, talk about the vision for the movement, make plans, etc. And let me tell you. It was from top to bottom Romanian in every way possible, and that includes bears.
So we woke up Friday morning when we were supposed to leave and it was pouring and it was forecasted to for the rest of the weekend. The heat had finally broken the night before which meant I spent the night watching it storm like it was the last thing it would ever do and also not sweating. Glorious. Except that it wasn't done when we got up so a couple of phone calls were made and it was decided that we were canceling the trip and instead would meet together in town for the day.
An hour later we get a phone call saying, okay, we're un-canceling, but we'll just go up for the day and then come back. Just bring a few things. And be ready to come down when we call to pick you up at 11. Two hours go by, and at noon I get a call saying, actually just kidding, we are going! And we're staying! But just for one night so pack for that and we'll be there in half an hour. A good Romanian start.
We get there, we camp, we discussion vision, we grill, we pee in the woods, hang out around the campfire and look at the stars. Lots of fun. We also joke a lot about bears coming to eat us--we're joking because it's a distinct possibility that a bear might come and wanna hang out with us and what are you going to do? But we're careful, we put all of our food in the car, all the necessary precautions. And then bed, in the tents, five girls in one, three guys in another.
Around four in the morning I wake up because a dog is going crazy in the next camp over. I fall back asleep. Wake right back up again because one of the guys in that camp is setting the alarm on and off in his car. And every time here turns it off, he starts making car alarm noises with his mouth and clapping. Well there's only one reason he'd be making that much racket at four a.m. So I'm lying there in the dark just listening and I could hear a couple of the other girls shifting around and dude with his car noises starts to get funny to me so I decided to say something:
"Mama, parca vorbeste cu masina..." (Good gracious, it's like he's talking to his car.)
The other girls who weren't already awake wake up then. We hear our guys talking with the neighbors and hear that, yes indeed, a bear has come to visit. One girl gets scared. It's quiet for a while and then the dog starts barking again. And the car starts alarming. And the dude starts talking to it. If the bear came back, he never got close enough to us to hear him. So we all go back to sleep, snuggled up and toasty and crammed all in our tent. Happy ending.
The next day we got to do more retreat-y stuff and the rain held off until a little after we left. We were pretty close to Balea Lac, this lake way up on the mountain that you get to by driving along the world's curviest road (see here) with eight people squeezed into the little car. Super pretty. We took pictures, left, drove until the gigantic dam in Vidraru with all eight of us in the pouring rain. Once we got there, it stopped, so we let three out to hitchhike back and went on our way again.
So there we are, speeding along in the dark, when our general secretary slams on the brakes. We skid around a little (the road's still wet) but stay on the road and finally stop. He then backs up about thirty meters because apparently we hit a bunny, which, yes, he had tried very hard not to hit. (The girls next to me are squealing iepurasule! iepurasule!) And here is the best part:
He gets out of the car to look at. He then picks it up by its little bunny ears--it's definitely dead--and holds it in the headlights so we can see it. Then he puts it back down, gets back in the car, asks his wife if they can take it home to eat it, they can wrap it up really well and put it in the trunk. She refuses, says he's making her sick! I mention how Alaskans harvest fresh moose roadkill and donate it to the poor. The girls next to me start to hyperventilate. And then. Then. He gets back out of the car and says he wants a picture with it. So there now exists a picture of our general secretary, one hand over his heart, the other holding up a run-over rabbit whose (sorry) insides are dangling about six inches below it, still attached of course.
In the end we all get back in one piece, minus our rabbit friend, plus our hitchhikers. Always an adventure. Love this place.