(Note: Today's entry comes to you from Romania via France where Mr. Yee is receiving Ms. Fusina's emails. She cannot send forth pictures reliably, but these entries will be updated with pictures when she gets to a more reliable internet connection later in the week. The entry is composed by Ms. Fusina, except in cases where she has noted student impressions.)
Today began our first full day in Romania. We were excited to begin our work to meet the the children of the community.
After a delicious breakfast, we were given a tour of the different homes and met some of kids living in each one. Each home was full of spirited children and the adults, though few, had nothing but love for the children in their care.
Marta Rich expressed her thoughts on the morning:
"At 8:25 am, I blinked my eyes open to meet the soft sunlight that shine through the Lacey curtains. We dressed quickly, throwing on warm shirts to escape the cool air. Breakfast was a cheerful affair with cereal, yogurts, and cheese and meats. It was much colder than we expected when we stepped outside to see the village for the first time and the thing that caught my eye were the mountains in the distance, colored blue and purple and almost immersed in fog that clung around it like a blanket. We were taken on a tour starting with the house of the mothers and their children. We had to climb a flight of stairs to reach the first room where we were met by a few young mothers and many young children, most toddlers, who were all wrestling on a bed and smiling.
We visited a young mother with her two month old son, Giovanni. Next, avoiding the curious eyes and sneers of the local dogs we were shown two girls' houses. One houses girls our age and we were shown their rooms with pictures of celebrities on the wall- just like we have at home! The boys rooms were a little more messy but still as positive as the girls! Two were completely focused on a video game and to quote Father Miller, 'it smells like boys.' The buildings were tall and spacious and everything was perfectly neat. So far, everyone has been incredibly welcoming and the food has been delicious!"
After the tour, we began working on our project for the week, painting the from fence. We had to sand the fence first and then paint. So many children decided that joining us pairing was much more fun than playing! It was great seeing our students and the community's children working together towards a common goal.
After painting, we had our first lunch in with the entire community. Delicious soup and stuffed cabbage held us over for an afternoon of splitting up and either playing basketball with the older children or coloring with the little ones.
Alex Kramer, who was coloring with the young children, describes his experience of the afternoon.
"This afternoon was spent playing with the orphans. We brought coloring books, crayons, and markers. I could never have thought the kids would be so happy to see the coloring books. Their happiness and energy was contagious. I found that drawing was helpful for translation. For example, I learned that at in Romanian is machha (spelling may be incorrect). It began to snow and that is when the kids became noisy and cranky. In the end the kids were adorable and the food here is amazing because it is made with love."
We ended our day with dinner and a movie before some quiet reflection time before bed. We are all looking forward totomorrow when we get to experience part of an Orthodox Church service.