Saturday, February 27, 2010

First Trip to Gavojdia Orphanage

Here are some pictures from our first trip to the Gavojdia Orphanage, about fifteen miles away from Lugoj. There are about 60 kids at this orphanage and they range from 4-17 years old. A lot of them still see their parents every once in a while but are sent back here because they can not afford to take care of them. Thirty years ago, during Communism and under the reign of Ceausescu, the orphanage was in much worse shape. During that time, the orphans were treated "like animals"; they were beaten, abused, and most of them could not talk before the age of 8 or 9 because no one had taught them how to speak. Since the regime fell about 20 years ago, a huge effort has gone out to help out the orphanages in Romania so things are much better now. It was an incredible experience to be there and we will be going back often, which I'm thrilled about.

Today we went and helped out Manu again at the school, this time moving huge, muddy pieces of lumber in the rain. They're hard working guys and a lot of them were orphans during Ceausescu's time, so they were eager to see what I thought of the orphanage. I found it funny that someone asked me if I knew Russian. After this, we walked home, took off our shoes and dirty clothes, and went to Susani for another children's meeting. This time we went to a further village, Nevrincea, which was probably the poorest village I've seen so far. There were several kids waiting for us, and once we got back to Susani it was clear that we had more kids this time. We sang and danced with the kids, then we were treated to Adina's homemade "sarmale" (a traditional meat dish), and talked while eating sunflower seeds.

Tomorrow, we're doing the Eucharist again with the elderly ladies around the village. I'm excited to see them again. Also, I'll be going to a couple classes this week with Danny and Ruben at a seminary here in Lugoj that they go to, which should be interesting. And next week, we'll be going to a teenage prison to do prison ministry with some people from North Carolina. Things are exciting here to say the least. Take care and have a great weekend.

Oh, and a funny story: I scored a goal while playing soccer with the older orphans yesterday, and everyone on my team started giving me high fives and congratulating me. I had no idea what was going on, probably because they all said that it was "next goal wins" in Romanian and forgot to tell the American on the field. So I basically scored the game-winning goal, which beat the opposing team in which every player was an orphan, and I was oblivious the whole time. Talk about a bittersweet moment.

1 comment:

  1. Dude i miss you. It was good talking to you this last week twice. Update on us....we lost our intramural championship...again. But just wanted to say i missed you