May 28, 2008 (Wednesday)
We brought cookies to the orphanage today. None of the workers in our room except for one even tried them. Rude. I wonder if there is a rule about not eating too many sweets. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. Maybe that’s why all the Romanians are so thin. Who knows. Some of the girls in the other areas said their workers ate them…hmm…
Constantine was sad again today. I don’t know what’s wrong with him – he’s normally a very, very happy boy. His pants and clothes were soaked again when I took him out to play. Sometimes I wish they would keep up with changing the kids’ diapers more regularly. It makes me sad.
Sera came in and found me again today. He has been so grouchy the last two days. He wasn’t all touchy feely with me like normal which was nice. He must have gotten in trouble for his flirtatiousness the other day. Today he was acting way sad for some reason. When I asked him why he was sad he said he was having “personal problems.” I quickly told him I didn’t want to know about them. Then he chatted with us for a while. When he left I told him to “be happy and smile.” He quickly commented “I will smile if you make me smile.” No can do.
Andrei was adorable as usual today. There is this little toy horse that has small wheels that he loves to be pulled on. I pulled him around on it for quite some time. Right now I can tell he is trying to push my limits to see how much I will take when it comes to discipline. I felt so bad, but I had to hold him in time out today. I had to be firm with him so he would understand who the adult is. He is trying to take advantage of my niceness. Andrei kicked one of the other little boys in the head and pulled his hair which was NOT okay. I put him in time out and he threw a large tantrum. I had to hold him in the chair. He was making such a fuss when I was holding him in time out that one of the workers came over, scolded him and slapped his hands a few times. I despise hitting! Even though he had been bad I still hate such harsh discipline. Andrei was not a happy camper, but after he had been in there for a few minutes I pulled him out of time out, and he quickly reached his arms out for me to hold him. I was afraid he would hate me for disciplining him. Not so. Then a few minutes later he got mad at me and did a head butt to my head while I was holding him. I put him down and walked away. He screamed and followed me around the room to hold him, and I ignored him. He has to learn that I will not put up with his bad behavior. However, I’m definitely not going to punish him as harsh as the other workers do. It’s not right.
We got a new child in our room today. Her name is Ana Maria. She was the little baby that I fell in love with the first day I walked into the orphanage, but she was in a room that I don’t work in so I never see her. I’m so excited she is in our room now. She is adorable – absolutely adorable!
The hospital was grand today. We had a ton of new kids that had been admitted, and I have been blessed to be able to make them smile and brighten their day. I love it! We visited Alex first for a while and then we went and visited some of the other floors. On the sixth floor there was this little boy named Samson who was about 3 or 4. He kept crying for his mom. You could hear him all the way down the hall. The boys in his room said he cries all day and night. It absolutely broke my heart. As I’ve said many times there are a ton of kids in the hospital whose parents are far away because they work in other countries. I picked Samson up and just rocked him and held him tight. He clung to me desperately. He just needed comfort. After I rocked him his cry quickly calmed. I could tell he just needed to be held. He just needed some love. Poor thing. While I held him I remembered a time when I was little. I remember the first time my mom moved to Utah when I was five years old. I woke up and she was gone. I felt so sad, so helpless, so desperate for someone to hold and comfort me. To tell me everything was going to be okay. I was staying with my mom’s family at the time and I remember crying and crying and no one listened. I know no one did it on purpose – it was probably trivial in the eyes of an adult, but it wasn’t to me. I was hurting and hurting badly. It’s one of my worse memories - one of those memories that will haunt me forever. Now whenever I see a little child crying out for their mom I automatically feel an immense amount of compassion. I hold them as tight as I can so the pain they feel is eased. Hopefully they will remember someone held them when they cried – even if it was a complete stranger.
After the hospital it was my night to cook. I was sooo proud of myself. I made Hawaiian Haystacks. I didn’t burn anything, it tasted good, and I made it completely by myself. I was sooooo excited…I’m getting better at cooking!
Once dinner ended I asked MacKenzie to go with me to try and return my camera. I have NOT had luck with cameras lately. My brand new camera that I bought less than a week ago is doing some weird things. The lens will go in and out by itself and then it will tell me to turn the power on and off – then I do and it tells me the same thing when I turn it back on. GRRR! I’m so frustrated. So I decided to go and return it and to look for a camera that was a Canon brand. The one I got was a Sony. To my dismay – and after paying for a taxi – I was not able to return it. Needless to say I was SICK of Romania this evening. The entire scenario at Mega Electronics was quite humorous – even though it really wasn’t. Let me paint a picture of the events that took place.
When we first entered the store MacKenzie and I stood in a line that looked like it might be customer service, but we weren’t sure because everything is written in Romanian. A security guard walked by while we were standing there and I asked him if he spoke English. I wanted to know if we were in the right area for returns. He looked at me like I was an idiot, said “no” and then continued to walk away. He offered no help, and he didn’t even try and point us in the right direction. Rude. Customer service is great in Romania. NOT. Then after standing in line a while, and still completely unsure of whether or not we were where we were supposed to be, I went up to a girl working at one of the cash registers and asked her if she spoke English. Then I pointed to my camera and said “no lucrez” which means “no work” in English. She directed me to the camera area where a tall, lanky man greeted me. He started talking to me in Romanian, we stared at him blankly, and the lady quickly told him to speak in English. That’s when the fun began. I explained to him that my camera wasn’t working properly and that I wanted to return it. He looked at me like I was from another planet. He said that they don’t do returns. I was so confused, and I replied “So you can’t return things in Romania? They do in America.” The worker practically laughed in my face. I was in complete disbelief. To make matter worse an old man who apparently spoke English standing next to me chimed in on the conversation and was like “In America you can even return your shoes!” How could you not return something you bought less than a week ago and that didn’t work?! It didn’t even cross my mind that they wouldn’t let me return it. Especially when it was a several hundred dollar purchase!
To continue the conversation of miscommunication he said I could take my camera to Nicolina to get it fixed. I thought he was talking about the girl worker who had just escorted us to the camera area. I quickly piped up “should I go find her?” He looked at me with the “you are an idiot” look once more and was like – “Nicolina is a place.” Then he said we had to take a taxi and that it was 2 kilometers away. Like we know what that means. We aren’t told measurements in kilometers in the states. We looked at him blankly again...He quickly explained that Nicolina was close and that it was a service place that fixes electronics. My camera is under warranty, but I still wanted to return it. I don’t want a camera that breaks after four days of using it. I explained this to him and in an effort to make me feel better he replied, “if it breaks they will fix it, if it breaks again they will fix it again, if it breaks again they will fix it again.” I think he missed the point. MacKenzie and I were laughing by that point. I was so frustrated and shocked that you can’t return things in Romania that I couldn’t do anything but laugh. Otherwise I would cry. In between our laughter I asked him if I could just take a taxi there right now. Of course he replied that it was closed and that I could go in the morning. I looked at him and was like “I have work in the morning.” He just shrugged his shoulders. On the way home I was so mad. I couldn’t believe that I had paid for a taxi to drive there, then I couldn’t return it, then in order to fix it I would have to pay for another taxi to get there and back – if they even could fix it. That’s when MacKenzie, my roommates and I went into a “why I hate Romania session.” That probably wasn’t good…but it made me feel better.