July 4, 2008 (Friday) The Lord’s Hand In My Life: I’m an American…
July 4th isn’t the same when you’re not in America. There aren’t fireworks going off everywhere, parties going on or people exclaiming “Happy 4th of July!” That would make sense considering I’m in Romania. Whitney S. and I were talking about how we were a little sad that we aren’t able to join all the festivities…but it’s okay we are going to have a celebration tonight of our own.
For the first time in a long time I honestly felt proud to be an American. I don't think one is able to fully appreciate how great America is unless you visit other countries. America truly is an elite nation - we are blessed in every way by being an American. If you don't believe me take a trip to an underdeveloped country and visit their hospitals. You will change your mind real fast.
To start my July 4th off I woke up with bites on my lower back/side…there were about six in a cluster. I thought it was flea bites, but I think they are scabies! AHHH! I’m going to have to do another treatment of cream tonight. Sick. I feel violated – how dare bugs be under my skin…DISGUSTING!
When we arrived at the orphanage the kids were all outside. The second I walked outside Andrei sprinted at me and ran into my arms. I love it when he does that – I don’t think it will ever get old. Andrei played like he normally does. He swang in the swing, and did his normal routine of running to every possible toy. Then one of the workers brought a live turtle in a box outside. Andrei was absolutely fascinated. He was afraid to touch it. It was hilarious. He would put his finger where the head was and its head would jump back. Then he would jump back. Then he would try again. At one point I got him to stroke its back, but he was still very hesitant.
I also played with Alex for a while outside. Yesterday he threw up so the workers wouldn’t let him do much but sit on the bench with me. He has cerebral palsy, but he is very alert. I just chatted and laughed with him on a bench under the tree. He’s such a smart little guy. When it was time for Andrei to go inside he threw a nice little tantrum. He was kicking and screaming at the top of his lungs right as we walked by Dr. Ciobano’s office (Director of the Orphanage). Dr. Ciobano walked out to see what the commotion was. I just smiled at her and said “nu mai mult afara – nu fericit” (no more outside – not happy). Then she laughed and went on her way. The way he acted you would think I was killing him. Embarrassing! Kids sometimes…
Inside the orphanage I played with Maria for a while. I was sitting there playing with her, and she was lying on her back on the mat and all of a suddent she jumped and did a 360 degree turn. I was like “Wow! Where’d that come from?” She is so funny. Then if I would move away from her she would scoot over and flop herself on my leg. Whenever she does that she wants a little love and a little cuddle time. It’s so cute!
We ended up leaving the hospital early today so we could get everything ready for the party. It was so hot today. All of us were completely drained of any energy because of the heat. At the hospital we played with all the kids as normal. Nothing too exciting to report – except I love them! Marion was so cute today. I love the way his mouth drops open out of excitement when we walk into the room. Then when we leave he screams bloody murder….at least it means he enjoys it when we come.
Our July 4th party went amazing! We invited everyone from the branch and a ton of people came. There were probably about 30 people. We had sandwiches that tasted amazing - along with chips, cornbread, cookies, peach cobbler, and Kool-Aid. We all sat on blankets underneath a grove of shady trees and chatted and had a good time. We also sang the Star Spangled Banner and waved our American flags around. Then we had a water balloon toss game with blankets. Everyone including the sisters had a absolute blast! After all the balloons were gone we all got in a water fight. We started throwing water – then we started putting ice down each others shirts and pants. Everyone had a blast! Elder Armstrong came up from behind me and dumped a bucket of water on me. It’s okay though because Elisa dumped a bag of ice water on him later. She got him back for me. Then all us girls were throwing ice down each others shirts and pants. It wasn’t bad down the shirt, but if they got it down your pants it made you dance. I got Annie, MacKenzie and Mindy pretty good…it was so fun! I honestly don’t think it could of gone better. It was the perfect July 4th – minus the fireworks.