What is the Strand?
Well, here’s a photo someone has online of the one we went to today in a little village near Marghita, called Chislaz.
Basically, this area of Romania has a bunch of thermal, underground springs. So you can find a “Strand” (a pool where they have pumped this water up into) almost anywhere you go when driving around Marghita. Marghita has one, Chislaz, another on the way to Oradea, one in Tasnad. The thing is, the water can be very oily and it’s very dirty and it’s VERY HOT. It’s hot enough that I often feel like passing out when I’ve been in it for about 30 minutes. Romanians are tough though. I have no idea how they stay in the water for hours at a time. No, that’s not an exaggeration! The Strands are also known to be healing waters as they are chock full of minerals that supposedly help you in different internal ailments. Anyhow, my team-mate at the orphanage, Jenny, decided she’d like to try to take all of the kids there for the summer on a trip to the Strand. She’s been taking them in groups and today I was able to join her. We took 3 boys and 2 girls, and also had 2 other volunteers come with us along with Caleb. It was hilarious. One of the girls, whom I really love and am growing closer to, was hysterically happy to be out of the orphanage and on a special trip to the strand. Like jumping up and down, clapping her hands, squeals of excitement! The boys…oh man…we had to DRAG them out of the water to just get them to drink and eat a snack. They would have stayed in there all night, probably! A trip to the pool, something every kid in America has experienced. (Or a trip to the lake, to the beach.) These kids – never. A trip to the strand today was like a trip to Disney Land for an American kid. I mean, honestly. I wish you could have seen their faces, heard their laughter, watched their reactions while we were there. This was a big deal. I am so thankful I could be there with them today! I am not thankful for falling down the stairs that lead up to the pool. It hurt SO BAD. lsdjfskjfkdsIILSLKDJFJ!! ( Know what I mean?) Maybe I should post some bruise pictures tomorrow….ha ha.
Now, off to take a shower. Apparently the water at Chislaz can give you sores on your body because of some of the stuff in the water – yikes! Time to scrub a dub dub….