June 6, 2008 (Friday)
It was rainy today. A nice way to wrap up the week. Kenz and I were supposed to go running outside. The rain gave us an excuse not to – not good. I love the rain – the only thing I don’t love is the way the orphanage smells when it rains. Whenever it rains the workers keep all the windows closed – no air is circulated so it smells like must with a mixture of dirty diapers, sweat, spit, throw up, you name it – it smells like it!
Today I took Valentina into the physical therapy room. They have little bars, a trampoline, pilates ball, etc. Sera showed me some exercises I could do with Valentina to help her understand the concept of jumping. For the exercise I put her on a little trampoline, have her hold onto a little bar, then I push on the trampoline so she bounces up and down. After a few seconds I stop the motion of bouncing. Eventually when I stop bouncing she will continue to bounce…or at least that’s what I hope.
Sera found me today. I thought he was done with me. Maybe not. He came in and made small talk. I asked him if he had exciting plans for the weekend and he said no. Then he said that he was waiting for someone to call him – implying me (he gave me his phone number but I didn’t give him mine). He said he wanted to go out with someone special one-on-one this weekend (once again implying me). I just played dumb. Then he went off on how the first time no one understands, but after you say something or do something over and over the person will finally give in. I think he thinks I will eventually give in to dating him. I’m afraid that won’t happen. Then right before I left the orphanage I tried to tell him again that I couldn’t date him. I told him I enjoyed spending time with him and that he wasn’t bad looking, but that there were too many huge differences. I told him I wanted to be friends with him, but I don’t think he understands. The girls said I’m going to have to be mean, but I hate being mean! He asked me if he could give me a kiss on the cheek, I didn’t reply, but he gave me one anyways. Then he asked me if he could kiss me on the lips. I responded much faster that time with “no.”
Valentina has a fascination with necks. She will put her face in your neck and go back and forth. I finally figured out why. Sera places cologne on his neck and taught her to smell it. I thought it was just a weird fascination. There is a reason for everything.
Today one of the workers Christina was really sweet with some of the kids. Normally she is very harsh. I was amazed when she picked up Maria and was scratching her back and rocking her back and forth. She was smiling at Maria and everything. It makes me so happy when the workers show love towards the kids.
Andrei was cute as usual. I got to wake him up from his nap today. He’s so cute when he is asleep. As soon as he saw that it was me waking him up he shot up from his bed and put his arms up. I love that little boy so much! Then I played with him a little toy that has keys that light up. Too bad he can’t hear the notes real well. That would be horrible to never be able to hear the sound of music.
Good news! Dr. Magarrell said we don’t have to do the five page paper! We were all so excited! We have been so stressed and none of us wanted to be writing it all day tomorrow. The Lord is blessing us…even if they are in subtle ways.
The hospital was amazing as usual. Whitney Scott, Elyse and I went and visited Marion. He is from the orphanage. We found out that his kidneys are failing him. If he doesn’t get a transplant soon he is going to die. He is so smart and bright. It’s so sad. I’m going to pray that a miracle will happen. It’s going to be really hard for him to get a kidney from someone that is his age. They are extremely hard to come by.
We went to see Florine today. He met us at the top of the stairs and asked if we could go outside. It has been rainy so we said “no, sorry.” Then he asked me for a piece of gum. I told him I didn’t have any cause I didn’t. Then he got even more upset. So he went and pouted for a while. Soon enough he got over it…boys can be just as moody as girls sometimes.
When we walked in to see Claudio on the 7th floor he looked scared to death like he did yesterday when we went to visit him. His pants were a mess again. It’s so frustrating. It makes me wonder if they every change them sometimes. I understand him being messy once in a while when we walk in, but not every time. When we left he cried. It makes it so hard to leave them when they do that. I feel awful!
On the way home we were walking and a group of random guys were walking in the opposite direction of us on the sidewalk. They were laughing and goofing around. Then all of a sudden this guy had a camera right in my face like he was going to take a close up picture of me. I was like where did that come from? I put my hand up so he couldn’t take a picture and kept walking. Guys are jerks here.
For one of our class assignments we had to go to a service of another faith. We decided to go to a church service that was Greek Orthodox. We went to the Metropolitan Catherdral. They ended up not having a service at that particular time, but we did get to talk to the priest/monk for a while. Our Romanian friend Ionut came along to translate for us. It was a really, really interesting conversation. The priest was dressed in a long black cloak and he held a cross. We asked him all kinds of questions relating to their religion. Apparently it’s a bad sin to have relations before you’re married in the Greek Orthodox religion. I didn’t know that. However, I don’t think anyone around here follows that rule. The priest was nice to us, but he did tell us that we weren’t Christian because we don’t honor the symbol of the cross. We didn’t argue with him. There was no point. Before we left he showed us how to pray to the saint, and he blessed us. A little strange but cool at the same time.
Later on in the evening I had my phone interview with Professor Magarrell. We all had to set five personal goals we wanted to accomplish by the time we left Romania. She had some excellent advice. One of my goals was learn to love people regardless of their weaknesses so I can experience personal peace. I’m very goal oriented when it comes to things and I get frustrated when other people aren’t. It’s hard for me to understand when people aren’t as motivated and driven to accomplish things. So I decided to set that as one of my goals. She had some good ideas – she said to focus on their strengths and “listen to understand not to judge.” I really liked that thought.
I was also talking to her about how to deal with people when they don’t treat you well. Recently I have been dealing with someone who is extremely short, blunt and somewhat demeaning with everyone. I’m trying to learn to love her. It’s tricky. Dr. Magarrell said that we need to remember that when people don’t treat us well it’s not against us, but that they are their own worse enemies. Moreover, she said we all know what our weaknesses are and that we beat ourselves up about them enough. She asked me if I was hard on myself. I never really thought about it, but I guess I am. She said if we are hard on ourselves then we are usually hard on other people. She continued with the idea that the second we feel frustrated or angry it should be a red flag to us that we need to do something. Then once we recognize our feelings we need to see if we should change our way of thinking, or if the situation really bothers us talk to the person with love to try and fix our differences. I loved her thoughts. I’m going to try and put them in action.
Another wise thought she had was that when we make a list of our weaknesses it can often become depressing and overwhelming. She said that she always tries to simply “yield to do what’s right in the present tense” and that way it doesn’t seem like such a daunting task.
We had a sleepover at our apartment with all the girls. It was a good time. We all laid around and chatted for a while. We also had a ton of chocolate gogosi. Gogosi is going to be the death of us.
Our LITTLE Marion!