It was a bright and sunny day as we stepped off the bus into unknown territory and without knowing what to expect from the experience that was about to unfold. We began walking and about a half of a mile later we had finally arrived. We arrived at the place that would be our home of teaching and laughter for the next three weeks. On this very first day of teaching we would already have made memories that would last a lifetime. The people that we met are no different than us, they love to laugh, learn and have a great time.
We took a half hour and practiced our briefing style to be able to effectively brief the Romanian cadets as well as their cadre the next day. We then split off and went over to our classrooms where we were able to better further the Romanian cadets learning as well as ours. Our main mission on this trip is to help the Romanian cadets with their conversational English and to also help them learn about America. Some of us did not realize that they would also be teaching us a lot of where they come from and what their life is like in Romania. The Land Force Academy is the West Point of Romania and from what I have learned so far, life is not much different for them. Not every building has air conditioning or the same amenities that we have become accustom to but they still have a great quality of life. As Marilyn Monroe put it “This life is what you make of it.”
Now the game is tied 0-0 halfway through the first half. BOOM! GOOOOOOAL! A bullet whizzed by the American goalkeeper and the Romanians take the lead. Heartbroken, the Americans switched up their line to get fresh legs out on the field. They held their own until the second half. Then BOOM once again the Romanians furthered their lead to two and then to three. The Americans were devastated and remained scoreless for the entire game. Little did the rest of the team know but before the game one of the American cadets made a bet with the Romanians. To the loser, pushups must occur. Game ended and pushups began. The Americans looked to get their revenge in the future futsal endeavors that were guaranteed to be coming. During that game is where the greatest bond had occurred between the Romanians and the Americans. As it was put by Cadet Klumph and many before him “Sports bring people together.” There is no better way to put that. Sport unite people and nations and to be able to share in the fun of the sport and put everything else behind them, even if it is just for an hour or two, memories can be made for a lifetime.
The day did not end there. After the games were over we all went back and showered and met up in the square for night time festivities. The first thing we did was go into the lookout tower inside Sibiu, the walled city. The amazing views that could be seen from this site were not images that could ever be forgotten. We all came even closer during this experience just looking out over the city and wondering what life really is and why we were put on this Earth. The consensus was that we were put on this Earth to make a difference in other’s lives. Right then we all knew that we were where we wanted to be for the rest of our lives, making other’s lives better.