It’s hard for me to think that in less than two months I’ll be saying goodbyes here in Targu Neamt.  With my beneficiaries at the center, with some neighbor kids, with kids we tutor and with my favorite stray dogs, I’m starting what therapists call “termination.” Goodbyes need to be a process, in my opinion — reminiscing, celebrating, spending time together.

It hit me the other day when Lucian was visiting me how much we’ve both changed since we first met two years ago.  Lucian was one of the first “boys from the bloc” to befriend me and we’ve been pretty inseparable since. Since we first met, he’s gotten taller, more observant, polite, responsible, and affectionate.  He’s still perpetually energetic and grubby with a toothless smile, infectious laugh and big brown eyes that will make girls swoon one day. Since we first met, my Romanian has improved leaps and bounds (thanks partially to his patience), I’m more patient (especially with grubby boys), more observant, and more content with a slower life.  We’ve grown up together the past two years. Saying goodbye to him will be tough because this little kid has become one of my best Romanian friends.  In honor of my dearest Romanian friend, here are a few pictures of Lucian across the last two years.


August 2009, Lucian when we first met.


May 2010, Lucian pleased with his cotton candy.


May 2011, Lucian sits on an abandoned Dacia near our bloc.