We have made it home! After a long day of travel on Friday including a long layover in Frankfurt, all of our traveling Saints have made it home (including all of the luggage!). Thursday was a very long day with a change in plans in the evening. So let me turn back the clock as I review our crazy Thursday at the community...
Thursday morning, we woke up to a wonderful breakfast of the Romanian version of French toast. YUM! This was the perfect breakfast, since we needed our fuel for what would soon be a very fun, but also very long, day.
Our first task of the morning was the clean the ENTIRE house of Casa Tyrol. This mean scrubbing floors, washing baseboards, and organizing the kitchen cabinets. We split into groups and went to work. Our students worked so hard and did such an amazing job, that it made our house mom cry! When the cleaning was almost finished, a dance party erupted in the main lobby that brought smiles and laughs to everyone's face.
After cleaning, the students starting to clean up their rooms and pack their belongings as the plans for the evening had changed. We know were going to leave at 8:00pm to head to Bucharest as opposed to overnight. We started packing our supplies and donated all of our clothing and leftover toiletries to Pro Vita. Viorica assured us that she would hand out the clothes to those that needed it most.
Before lunch, we walked back up to the elementary school in Valea Screzii to collect the kindergarteners from school. It was crazy but also lots of fun! The students did not know we were coming, so it was fun to see the excitement on their faces as their new friends (our Saints) were there waiting to walk them home. We walked them down the hill to Pro Vita, delivered them to their appropriate house, and then had a delicious lunch of soup and bread.
After lunch was when the real chaos began! We collected all the children from the different houses and brought them to the "clubhouse," a large open room above the dining hall where the children play when they cannot be outside. Because of the large amounts of rain over the past few days, outside was just too muddy and wet to safely run around so we were stuck inside for the time being. Playing in the clubhouse was insane! There were children running all around, yelling, paining, drawing, pushing each other on computer chairs, and trying to climb on three ellipticals and exercise bikes. However, even though it was utter chaos, the smiles and joy on the children's faces made the afternoon worth it.
10th grader Libby Davis described her experience of playing with the children.
(Libby's reflection will be added as soon as she gives it to me!)
After returning the children to the care of their house mothers, we walked up to the community kitchen to help make "donuts" for the entire village. We kneaded the dough, rolled out the donuts, fried the donuts, and removed them from the hot oil. All of our Saints came together to work on the project and their hard work paid off when we got to taste our creation! We all had a great time working in the industrial sized kitchen and seeing how hard the two ladies work who are there full time.
Lily Smith reflected on her experience being a chef at Pro Vita.
"This afternoon, we went to help make doughnuts in the big kitchen that supplies all of the food for Pro Vita. Marta was asked to mix a huge bowl of oil and flour with her hands. After mixing the dough up in a giant bowl, we let the dough rise for awhile, then took out about an eighth , rolled it out, cut that into strips a few inches wide, and then cut that into squares. Then, we made the doughnuts themselves. Just one eights of all of the dough had to have made over 100 doughnuts! Then, we put the doughnuts into a fryer, truing to not burn our arms in the oil. After a minute, we took the doughnuts out, piling them in a huge bucket. They looked delicious. At dinner that night, we had the doughnuts for dessert. They were so good!"
Following the dessert of the delicious doughnuts, it was time to finish packing and say our goodbyes to the people who quickly became part of our lives. There were many hugs, sharing of emails, and a few tears as we said goodbye to our new friends. This was an incredible week filled with incredible experiences and definitely opened all of our eyes to a different culture half way around the world. No matter the language we speak, the food we eat, or the religion we follow we were all able to make friends and memories with different people by smiling, playing, and laughing together.
Later today, I will upload many photos so you can all see the incredible time we all had.