Sunday, May 23, 2010

House of Joy Foundation Pictures (Susani, Romania)

Here are some pictures from the foundation we're working on for the House of Joy. These pictures were taken before the 9 straight days of rain, but as you can see we've made good progress.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Five Straight Days of Rain

I sort of forgot to update this and just realized it, so my apologies. I've been very busy going to Gavojdia Orphanage and working on the House of Joy construction lately. I will put pictures up of the House of Joy construction site when I get them from Ovidiu so everyone can have a better idea of what things look like here. It's been raining for five straight days here and has been way, way too cold for May, which is actually very bad news for the foundation. We don't quite know how all this rain will impact the foundation (and the group coming over in three weeks), but as soon as I know I'll put up a post. Why is the weather so abnormal and could potentially be a problem for us? I blame Iceland.

This week my roommates have class all week at Grace Baptist Church here in Lugoj. They are enrolled through a branch of Covington Seminary in South Carolina, and a couple professors from there are here this week. We'll be making a quick trip back to the teenage prison tomorrow morning to visit some of the inmates again and give them some pictures also. Life is good here and we're excited about the group coming over. It was great getting to Skype with some of the kids at Pioneer this past Sunday morning and good to see some familiar faces again.

And a funny story: I just got back from watching my roommate Ruben play in a soccer game with Ovidiu. Besides it being in the low-40's and cloudy, it was hilarious watching them play with the 60+ person crowd composed entirely of older men. Every one of them sported a bald head or a stylish mullet, ate a bag of sunflower seeds or a ham baguette, and a collective smell of light beer, cheap cigarettes, and old-man Romanian musk. I found out that most of them were betting on the game and were taking calls during the game to get scores from other games in the area they had bets on. The whole time I just was just wishing the crowds in American sporting events would be half as fun.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'm Loving Type A Personality Week

The title says it all: after four months of random spurts of Type A personality, this past week Type A has burst onto the scene with a vengeance. I might be tempted to say we've gotten more done for the Pioneer group coming over in the past week and a half than the entire four months I've been here. Several factors have played into this, most notably the warmer weather, but it's been a drastic change. I was almost tempted the other day to make a "to do list", but decided that was too American.

We've arranged a bus with a bus agency, purchased iron, remodeled the old bar/disco into a place for meeting on Sunday nights, played soccer at Gavojdia Orphanage, settled all of our authorization requirements for the House of Joy, and eaten many a Turkish kebab. It's been busy, busy, busy; ironically, much busier than whatever "busy-ness" I discussed in my last post. Waking up early, working all day, eating a kebab for lunch, and then having more work has become our "routine", a word that I've never used in my first four months here.

We're still doing meetings with village teenagers in Susani on Fridays and village children on Saturays, where we play games (as shown above) and do VBS activities. The big news is that we're finally opening the renovated club this Sunday. After all the dust, drywall, concrete, and "mysterious mixture" we've encountered, it's exciting to finally open it up to the world. Most things with the group this summer have been squared away, which is also exciting, and all we're waiting on is to start pouring the concrete for the HOJ foundation. And I'm positive that Spring in Romania is might be a step above fantastic. Life is good.

Funny story of the week: I was chased by two wild park dogs for "not knowing my boundaries", saw a pig at the orphanage that was the most colossal monstrosity I've ever seen, and celebrated Cinco de Mayo today by eating a Turkish kebab. Every day brings new experiences and crazy, crazy encounters with local Romanians.