Monday, April 30, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
When we first started at gymnastics, everyone would fall silent when we walked into the locker room. They would even quit talking to each other! Now they greet us (usually in both languages) and some of the older ones will even start conversations with me. I love it!
Today, though, I had to go to the post office. While in line, the older gentleman behind me noticed that my passport wasn't maroon like the Romanian ones. He tapped it and asked me something I didn't understand. I told him I didn't understand (in Romanian). He then asked if I spoke Romanian. I told him a small bit. So he asked where I was from. I answered in Romanian. I was very pleased with my ability and thought this would end the conversation. I smiled and looked away.
Not so quick lady, this may be my only chance to talk to a native American.
So we went on to discuss the tragedy in VA. The professor who blocked his classroom was from Romania originally. He told me that and I agreed. He must have thought that we couldn't get English news here. Then he told me that things like that don't happen in Romania.
He mentioned President Bush and former President Clinton. I think he liked Clinton better but I'm not sure.
He knew about New York City. No facts just the name. I nodded and expressed that I had heard of it too.
Several things he said I didn't understand. When I would shake my head he just said them louder and leaned closer. I would nod and say yes!
Then he wanted to help me, so when it was my turn he maneuvered me into position and nodded toward the clerk. I smiled and handed her my notice and passport. He then asked me if I needed money for my package. I told him no, I was good. It was like standing there with my grandfather.
He also told me he learned Russian in school but now they learn English. And he has 9 children.
When I got my package I told him goodbye and left. For all I know he may be blogging about our encounter right now too!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
The camp is in a beautiful setting. We reached the end of the paved road, the electrical lines, the cell towers, the water and sewer pipes and drove another 10 minutes into the country before coming to the camp!
It was great! They already have tents set up on platforms and an entire cooking area. We checked out everything and threw our stuff in one of the tents.
This is the outhouse. It actually has a seat that is over the hole in the ground. The smell wasn't bad at all!
The first night was just us and Steve Mather. His wife, two of his girls, and Scott came up early on Saturday morning. They had a concert at school Friday night.
After breakfast on Saturday we all headed down to the sawmill and the 5 adults rolled a 2000 pound log up onto the mill!
The girls went to play in the mud. They had so much fun hiking and playing in the creek and poking the fire and catching frogs and lizards!
This was the only bath any of us took for the weekend!
It was so much fun we plan to go back next weekend and help build the shed with the lumber we sawed this weekend.
Don't let the pictures fool you! The sunshine was warm, if fact we all have rosy cheeks. However the temperature last night was below freezing. I slept in 4 layers on my top half and added another one when I got out of bed. I was probably the coldest. Everyone else either grew up out west, the north or Romania! I have no clue how Maria was running around barefoot in stream water. Although we've always called her our "little Yankee baby"!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
So Maria has taken to making new dolls. She now has over 175 paper dolls. They range from about 1cm for the babies to 9cm for the adults. Now these aren't random dolls. They have names and ages written on the backs of their heads. They have families. There are twins, triplets and quadruplets. There are different nationalities with appropriate names. There are complicated stories associated with each family. And she knows when one if missing and asks me, "Mama, have you seen Kitia?".
Monday, April 16, 2007
Box to ship them in...free from our basement (I'm assuming this!)
Gas to drive to the PO...$1
Shipping to Romania...$35
Time to Arrive....4 weeks
Bus ticket to PO in Romania...30 cents
Tax on package...15 lei or $5
The Smile on my Sweet Girl's face....PRICELESS!
Thanks, Granny and Papa - you're awesome!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Before the awards the Moldavian singer, Anna Lesko, performed a few songs. The girls really enjoyed it. I enjoy a different style of music but it was fun seeing the gymnasts laugh and cut up!
Our Romanian girls took 1st and 2nd in the Junior division. They are really coming on strong. I would love to see them perform well at the 2008 Olympics!
I took a few pictures today!
Stay tuned - we're heading to the orphan camp to work with our missionary friends this weekend. Hopefully the "Jutton rain curse" won't rear it's ugly, wet head!
Saturday, April 14, 2007
We saw some amazing gymnasts today at the Irina Deleanu Cup.
Filipa Siderova from Bulgaria was one of my favorites to watch. Of course we love our Romanian girls since we feel like we "know" them.
The groups competed 5 sets of clubs and they were breath-taking! Especially the Bulgarian group. It was like watching a magic show! You couldn't keep up with where all 10 clubs were. One minute I would think, "that gymnast doesn't have any clubs" and then all of a sudden one gymnast would toss about 6 clubs in the air from ONE hand!
Lots of fun. I didn't try to take pictures since I just wanted to enjoy watching. I did make a picture of our group in the stands!
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Monday, April 09, 2007
We arrived in Bruges and took a bus to the old city center. It is a beautiful area with cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages. We took the canal tour. It lasted about 30 minutes and gave us a quick overview of the city.
We could see this dog looking out his window and watching the boats go by in the canal. I thought he was hilarious. We laughed and wondered how many times a day he gets his picture taken since most of the people on the tour with us took his picture too. I'm posting it especially for Gramma since we talked about her when we saw the dog!
We walked to the edge of town and climbed the hill to view the windmills. Maria loved this since she has been reading The Winged Watchman, by Hilda van Stokum. It is set during WW2, during the Nazi occupation of Holland. The family in the book lived in a windmill. This trip has really brought the book "to life"!
As we were walking, we came across a playground and Maria took a "break" to play. The park the playground was in was beautiful and there were lots of people taking advantage of the sunshine and the holiday.
We ate a late lunch and wandered the streets some more then headed back to Brussels on the train.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
We took the train back to Brussels and went in search of chocolate and fries. Most people know about Belgian Chocolate so we bought some to try and some for gifts! The fries are in stalls on the street. We had read about how good they were and all the sauces you can get to dip them in. Steve had to try them with the garlic sauce. They were by far the BEST fries I have ever eaten!