Updated: Dec 13, 2019
Highlights and pictures from my trip to Romania as the first official Arts Envoy IPR delegate appointed by the U.S. Department of State Cultural Affairs Division and Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement.
While I loved Bucharest like New York or Paris, the Romanian countryside reminded me of my home sweet East Tennessee with its mountains.
When we first left Bucharest for Sibiu, we saw the countryside open up pretty quickly with quaint little villages and main streets lined with houses.
Here was an interesting old Inn we passed.
With no time to spare between teaching engagements, we didn't stop to visit or sight-see along the way. But I think many of these pictures snapped from the window of our Embassy van look pretty cool.
It was so interesting to look around and see mountain towns with little peels of smoke rising from chimneys.
Many of these homes have been in families for generations, I was told, and sometimes the children come home and build modern houses on the same lots with their parents and grandparents.
From the outside looking it, it was a peaceful, agriculturally based life, much like what my grandmother enjoyed in rural East Tennessee.
But of course these buildings are so much older, and have so much more architectural design than ones around here.
And there were sheep... lots and lots ... and lots of sheep.
Here are some of them dotting the hillside.
We saw fields of them flying from Cluj Napoca back to Bucharest, and I didn't think to snap an arial photo.
My friend Joe from the State Department told me that diplomacy is just one person talking to another person.
As an artist, when you're riding around in a country you've never been in before, you start to see lots of similarities in your differences.
I was honored to have the opportunity to experience a little taste of Romanian hospitality, and you know something... it's a lot like Southern hospitality here in the 'States.
I reckon that's the thing about hospitality... it's nice to be around no matter where you are.
Romanian countryside wasn't all scenic vistas. Like everywhere, there are places with graffiti. They have gas stations. Nice ones, if the ones I saw are any reflection...
They also have semi-trucks in Romania carrying goods all over the country. And they have big transformers and power lines like the ones we see in Tennessee.
Romania has its fair share of factories, and even oil refineries, like you sometimes see in Tennessee, though not as often as you see in Texas or other places.
Romania has three distinct areas that came together to make one country. In fact, December 1 the day of our arrival was the celebration of their 100 years unification of modern Romania.
There is another comparison to Tennessee which has three distinct sections that united to make one state, as signified by the three stars on our flag.
In my next travel photo journal from my Romanian Arts Envoy IPR trip, I will tell you more about the delicious Romanian food, and will share a little more of the things I came to know and love about the Romanian culture.
Arts Envoy IPR is a pilot program I am helping develop with the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs - Cultural Affairs Division and the Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement with support from the U.S. Embassies abroad.
The Arts Envoy program has been around a long time, and now we are combining intellectual property education with arts diplomacy to promote IP rights of artists of all kinds around the world. If you are a U.S. Embassy and would like to host an Arts Envoy IPR delegation, please contact the Cultural Affairs Division to apply.
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