Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Case of the Camera - No Returns in Romania

May 29, 2008 (Thursday)

There was nothing too exciting to report at the orphanage today. Andrei got snot down my entire leg. It was seriously a stream the length of my thigh. I love the treasures they leave me everyday all over my clothes. Signs of little children. Haha...Some of the kids did get new wheel chairs today. That is also good news. However, I couldn’t tell if they were excited or sad about it. One of the poor kids cried when they put her in a new wheelchair.

Potentially some good news about my camera. Sera said he could help get my camera returned. Sera came in my room today, and I asked him why we can’t return things in Romania. Then I told him the story. He said that if I bring it and go with him that he will get them to return it. He said he has a police badge. I’m not sure what that entails, but it’s worth a try. I have to admit it made me a little nervous that random people have badges here when they aren’t real police officers. I guess there are a lot of posers. Regardless, me and some of the girls are going to go with him sometime this weekend. He will probably get farther than we will. At least he speaks the language. If there is a chance I can get it returned I’m going to take it.

We brought Alex McDonald’s today. He was pretty excited about it. It was so weird to walk into a McDonalds. It felt like home even though I never eat there. For the most part it had the same items on the menu as America – except for a few things. The inside of the McDonalds was a lot nicer than one in America. I noticed that all the fast food restaurants are dressed up here. When we walked into Pizza Hut for the first time I felt like I was in P. F. Changs – so weird.
We also brought a laptop for Alex to watch the movie Cars. Alex and his friends in the room loved it. While they were watching the movie I went and visited the other floors. Right now the sixth floor has seven kids without moms. Trying to spend time with all of them was absolutely crazy. Five of them were between 3 and 7 and two of them were babies. There are two sisters on the sixth floor named Alexandra and Roxeanna. They were adorable. They both looked like little boys though. Their heads were shaved. Annie painted their fingernails yesterday to give them some feminine touch. Those two are little balls of energy. They absolutely crave attention, but they are lots of fun. It’s amazing how much children crave love here. They will hold on to you so tight. All the children are so cuddly and so willing for a stranger to hold and love them. In America most of the babies cry the second their mom is out of arms reach. It’s a completely different world.

When I went back to see how Alex was doing the boys were cracking up. I guess MacKenzie had let them take pictures on her computer – she has a Mac and it has a setting that distorts your face. Anyways, they were laughing so hard MacKenzie said the nurse came in and yelled at them. Apparently if you are sick in the hospital the children are not only supposed to be extremely quiet, but they are NOT supposed to leave their beds. They were all sitting on one bed looking at her computer – they weren’t running around to other rooms or getting into mischief. They still got in trouble. Only in Romania. Those poor kids seriously have NOTHING to do all day. They literally stare at a blank wall. Some of the kids don’t have one toy in their crib to play with when I walk in, and they sit there day after day. I’ve already given a ton of the toys away that I brought. Grrr….

Florine leaves tomorrow. I’m sad, but happy for him. I went and said goodbye to him today. He is such a little devil. He was one of the first kids I met when I got to the hospital. Today he ran into Alex’s room when I was in their visiting him to say hi and he got in big trouble by one of the doctors. The doctor raised his hand like he was going to smack him. Let’s just say he quickly ran back to his room.

On the way home from the hospital MacKenzie and I shared her IPod and listened to some rap songs. We practically danced the entire way home. It’s out of character for Romania, but we didn’t care. We look out of place anyways – we mine as well have fun while we’re doing it. We were laughing and making random dance moves as we walked. We got several honks – but that’s not unusual here.

Tonight we had Outreach at church. We played card games again. They have the same card games to play every week – SkipBo and Phase 10. They are getting kind of old. However, we did have a fun conversation with one of the Romanian guys in the branch. He is 23 and he goes to college in Iasi. We were asking him all kinds of questions about Romania and the differences between Romania and the states. In Romania the average income per work day is equivalent to 10 American dollars. I almost had a heart attack. I made more than that in an hour in the states, and I’m a college student. He said that’s why a lot of people in Romania will go work in other countries. Can you imagine making that much a day?! Let alone being able to support a family on that income. No way. I couldn’t even support myself on that. Once again the United States is a blessed nation. It’s amazing how clueless I was about how blessed I am to live in America. I also asked Euonutz about what he heard about America. He said some of his colleagues went and that they said “America is like a dream. It’s like a piece of heaven on earth.” My eyes are continuously being opened here – both to the good and the bad.

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