…and Mama and Caleb are heading to the forest! Yesterday was smoking hot out so I decided that, since I was free this morning, we should head up to the Padurea Neagra and cool off in the shade and creek. (On the map, find Marghita and make a line south and slightly east until you see the tiny dot of “Padurea Neagra.”) The week has been more than busy so far. I am definitely looking forward to splashing with my son in ice cold water!
Monday was cooking for the team day (a weekly responsibility for everyone on our team) and that is truly an all day deal. Just after finishing the final kitchen clean-up I ran Caleb and Renata to Casa Alba (where Caleb’s babysitter was working) and then home for my guitar etc… Ran back to Herculane, our team’s house, and had a meeting with some very awesome zucchini muffins (thanks, Court!) as four of us discussed how our schedules will work out with running Casa Alba in the fall. It’ll be four ladies running the show and we’re trying to get a head start on how that will all look before vacation time starts. That meeting ran late so we quickly ran upstairs for our team’s weekly meeting and worship time. I was sweating!
Tuesday I was on shift 1 at Casa Alba. Caleb and I arrived there before most of the kids woke up and I was able to chat with the other 2 staff for some minutes. Then the work began – kids in the bathroom, diapers off, teeth brushed, undies changed, hair brushed, faces and hands washed, go pee!, get dressed, make your bed…and then, finally, sit down at the table for breakfast. I really wish you all could be there for the whirlwind time that each morning is. I actually enjoy it quite a bit! And, that list above is by no means exclusive to all of the activities that go on during morning wake-up time : ) Yesterday, for instance, we had one boy who ran around in his undies through all of the hallways screaming and chasing everyone – all in good fun. It’s super chaotic but such a joy working at Casa Alba. Had a good breakfast of toast with salami and tomatoes with glasses of milk. When I work, I immediately check to see if there is milk. If there is, I serve it. It’s not usually used in that way at Casa Alba. They save it to make Mamaliga or Orez cu Lapte. Since that doesn’t happen so often I just grab it and pour it in glasses! The kids would drink milk all day long if they could.
We then headed to the park with all of the kids. It was awesome. 13 kids let loose on an amazing new playground here in Marghita (just behind my apartment bloc, actually.) I loved watching them make friends with the other children there, as well as pushing them crazily fast on the mini merry go round equipment. I asked them, “Where do you want to fly to?” They responded with different countries – America!, Sweden!, France! Then, grabbing one of their seats I began running and then “sent them off” spinning to their desired country. So fun!
The other staff member returned to CA with most of the children and I headed to the Watermelon vendors with the remaining 4. I promised the children at breakfast that I would buy a watermelon for them. In anticipation for the size that this melon would need to be in order to feed 13 children I brought my good ol’ from IU days bookbag with me. It ended up being 13 Kilos at 2 Lei/Kilo. It. Was. Heavy. I had to bend over in order to walk so that I wouldn’t fall over backwards. Not realizing how heavy it would be I assumed, beforehand, that the 20 minute walk back up to Casa Alba would be no problem. Pretty much was wrong about that. Thankfully, Jesus knew I had miscalculated and before we had taken 3 steps FCE’s social worker drove up in her car…heading herself up to CA just then. The 6 of us piled into the backseat for a much welcomed ride! (Yes, I am included the watermelon as a person here. At 13 Kilos, wouldn’t you do the same?)
After lunch we put the kids down for nap/rest time. Because I ran into my good friend at the park, and she took Caleb with her, I was able to really focus on some one-on-one time with the kids I was assigned to work with. Alex and Renata and I sang and prayed and talked. It was really special – I don’t know how else to put it. I then tip-toed down to the room where the 4 sisters sleep together…Cerasela is also in ‘my room’ so I wanted to check if she was being silly or resting : ) After some very tight hugs, extra big smooches and many “Do you know just HOW MUCH Jesus loves you?” with all of those in that room (lots of giggles too!) I finally left CA for the day.
Ran to the office and tried to meet with my boss about something, but it was meeting day so after waiting awhile I realized I just needed to come back another time. Came back home then with Caleb for about an hour and I finished a goodbye gift for Ia, who left this morning. Went to Herculane to give it to her and decided, after doing that, to check out on the progress of my garden. Caleb and I both jumped up and down in excitement to see a cucumber almost ready to be picked! Caleb also enjoys finding all of “the babies” (baby tomatoes, baby peppers etc…) I filled up another 5 Litre of water from our team’s special water filter and we finally came home, after stopping to buy some fresh fruit and veggies at the market, to scrounge for supper and go to bed around 7pm.
Caleb is a pretty good dang corn husker if you ask me, in case if you’re interested. We found corn on the cob for the first time last week. Pretty sweet as well. Last night’s wasn’t sweet at all but it’s still good to eat corn on the cob, I think!
Alright, this is turning into rambling now. Need to get going to the forest! I’ll try and post pictures later today.