DON'T FEEL OBLIGATED

to read everything in here... i tend to get carried away, but that's okay because i do not want to forget one moment of this experience

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

it ends here

“anyone looking into my diary expecting to find a day-by-day account of rescuing children would be stunned. it is, rather, a narrative of defeats, disappointments, unbelievable betrayals, discouragements, frustrations, obstacles, criticisms and weariness.

scattered among those are the few successes that have made it all worthwhile.it has definitely been panning for gold: much effort expended and tons of sand processed to gain a few precious flakes.” john kachelmyer,romanian child activist
"the way you are with these kids... i dont know how you do it. i can't be like that. you're so natural with them, you make them laugh and smile... you hold them and kiss them and let them touch your face and hair...

you don't need to serve a mission for your church, your mission was to come here with these kids. i know your religion is important to you, but this was more important. i think God knew what He was doing when you decided to come here.

for three and a half months, you were eight angels to these children. this is why i continue to do this work with you every year. so thank you!" our dear friend, mario

"…there is one responsibility which no man can evade and that responsibility is personal influence. man’s unconscious influence is the silent, subtle radiation of his personality—the effect of his words and his acts. these are tremendous. every moment of life man is changing to a degree the life of the whole world"
david o mckay

…the kindness of continuing to help the children, even without apparent results, must continue. Jesus never told His followers that the hungry should be fed only if they respond. the act of kindness itself has its effect.

Monday, August 11, 2008

days 103 & 104

we were a half hour early to the branch picnic, but we ended up getting there an hour and half late because we were waiting at the wrong place. of course our shepard president popovici came and brought us back to the flock. while we were waiting for him, whitney taught us a dance, as shown below. it was a really nice afternoon and fun to spend it with my romanian family. we walked home in the rain, and stayed up really late baking banana bread.




today was our last sunday and it was perfect. they enjoyed our bread and were excited about the cds we burnt them. tomorrow at fhe will be the real goodbyes. tomorrow i will say goodbye to my kids too, and visit marion for the last time at the hospital. wish me luck!

Friday, August 8, 2008

days 99, 100, 101, & 102

sorry again for slacking.

story #1:
once upon a time there was a really bad storm. at the same time no one was home to shut our window. therefore, our bedroom on the fifth floor flooded and our mattress that is also on the floor was soaked. we hung the blankets out the window, and made a new bed on our hard wood floor.
a few days later, our land lady gave us our blanket back that had flown away, whoops.

story#2:
once upon a time it was our child's birthday. we were so excited and got all the supplies needed for the best party. we carried it all the way up to the hospital and he wasn't there. we held strong and didn't cry until elyse spilled her juice. it was the breaking point.


story #3:
we said goodbye to our workers today, friday. it went well. we are going back on monday to say goodbye to the kids.

story #4:
i took marion outside for ice cream today and somehow we cut his finger.. it was pretty deep and rather bloody. he was so tough and the nurse wasn't too mad. i saved the bloody wet wipe to show elyse, because she wasn't there today.



okay i have to get going to dinner... ill write more later

6 days!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

as promised


footage from the bubble party with marion and marius





video

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

day 98

song of the day: rehab remix by amy winehouse with hot chip

we got two new girls in our room at the orphanage and they are difficult. the other kids have cuts and bruises all over them from these two darlings, but whitney and i have a game plan. we have been taught how to handle joys like them and the strategy is to take the abuse and pretend like nothing is going on. we will see how it goes. i'd rather them take their anger out on me than my kiddos.

have i mentioned that i am in the branch's special choir? haha so i have been attending these special choir practices where we do warm ups and split off into parts and armstrong uses words like retard and pianoforte, haha and i nod my head and try and keep a straight face. i guess i am not a good liar because he noticed, and was i was given a singing for dummies lesson and now i am an alto or something? anyways, i need to keep practicing my "soulful black lady voice" and "rolling my vowels" or i will be disappointed in come the next practice.



family home evenings in iasi are never dull. any evening in iasi actually. here is a photo of the huge human knot we created with genoveva and myself trying to coach the others...

note to self: always be a coach when playing these games because you can tickle little brothers like radu and he can't do anything about it because his hands are in a knot.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

days 94 & 97 and all the days in between



so sorry for the lack of posts. i can't seem to slow time down enough to find time to do updates.

as you can see, we have had a wonderful time getting prints of our kids. the workers were really nice about it, and even tried to help us. i have realized i love the workers almost as much as the kids. they really do try, and there are some that love the kids like their own, and that is comforting to know. it seems like most of my kids have at least one worker that admires them. i discovered this week that there is one lady that absolutely adores vlad and i can tell he likes her. she doesn't work mornings too often, but at least i know she is there to make him giggle, and kick his crooked legs before she tucks him in at night. Heavenly Father is watching out for them, just as He is me and you. i know it.

thursday night we made gogosi to give to our workers in the morning. it was quite the experience. i burnt four finger tips and probably all my roomates after i splashed oil on them when i jerked my hand out of it... maybe, being a professional gogosi maker isn't the best idea.. also, it totally slipped my mind the next morning was friday, and in the orthodox church they don't eat any animal products on wednesdays or fridays, so because there were two eggs in our chocolate filled goodness, my workers weren't allowed to eat them. we all had a good laugh about that. they were still very appreciative and brought them home to eat after midnight.

friday we also had a bubble party at the hospital with marion. it was really fun. when the nurses handed him to us they warned us to not let him get his brand new white outfit dirty. he is 2! that is an impossible task, so what did we do? nakie nakie baby baby. anyways. he had fun playing in our bucket of homemade bubble solution till he splashed some in his eyes and used his soapy hands to try and rub it out. we felt bad, but it was also a little but humorous. pictures will come later. but in the mean time here is a family photo from last week:

also, we are getting ready to celebrate marion's second birthday on august 7th. he is growing up way too fast.

saturday was spent doing homework and playing sports. it was the last sports day, and one of my favorites.

today, sunday, was our last fast sunday here. it was really great. i love love love the members here. i pray they always stay strong, that their investigators find the truth, and that the missionaries will be guided to those that are ready. they deserve it. president popovici will always be a hero in my eyes, as well as all the relief society sisters and the stoica family.

my experiences with the branch have definitely added a few tallies to my pro column about going on a mission. one day at a time.

well, that is all i can come up with at this moment. my days are numbered and as of today, i am so excited to come home.

love and miss you all! cu mult drag!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

days 92 & 93

song of the day: alaturi de ingeri (along with angels)

things are just zooming along here. nothing super exciting has happened at either the orphanage or the hospital. we are working on our brigance tests with our kids right now and starting to write instructions to the next group about each kid.

i am reading a book entitled the odyssey of a romanian street child. it is really interesting and humbling, but also inspiring.

we played a never ending game of musical chairs tonight at outreach to some great romanian music. we had the sisters over for dinner last night. sora betham has a mini-missionary companion. she is a romanian who is serving with her for half a transfer. haha poor thing, seeing them together adds a tally under the con side of the list i am creating.

i got hit on today by a lesbian lady at the hospital. it was the creepiest experience of my life. its times like that i am grateful i can say, "nu inteleg, im pare rau" and make up little songs in english like, "go away creeper, and quit talking to me".

well. two weeks from right now i will be walking around austria on my first leg of the trip home. crazy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

days 90 & 91



if you see a frowny face, change it to a smile,
make the world a better place, by smiling all the while.

well, i am back to work and back to smiling. today was a wonderful day with all my kids getting hand prints and foot prints on everything in sight and a few pieces of paper. all my favorite workers are on this week and our flirty arrogant physical therapist left for his vacation. sang a few rounds of the good morning song to the smiliest baby ever, and enjoyed a lovely fhe.

to end the day, we decorated eggs with wax we melted from crayons as a romanian craft. another highlight of my day: having this beauty as the background on my computer. if you came to visit romania and saw the mannequins in the store windows, you might understand.



anyways, mom, hope your open house went well. good luck with your first day of kindergarten tomorrow.. you are all grown up, i am so proud. just kidding, but seriously, those kids are so lucky to have mrs. scott as a teacher.

p.s you should get those books for your classroom... and the berenstain bears. and where the wild things are. and of course the giving tree, and the places you'll go, and the love you forever, like you for always one.


best news ever!


marius leaves for america in seven days!!! sea world and disneyland watch out! we are all so excited and are grateful for the answer to our prayers.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

days 88 & 89




the goodbyes have already began. this is going to be harder than i expected and i thought i was expecting the worst.

friday was elisa's last day at the orphanage, and i had to leave when she said her goodbyes to the kids.

we had a branch activity on friday and the best part was sora maria's song. she wrote and sang a song for us, and it was very touching.. and i'll have everyone know that she started crying first!

after the activity we went to our neighbor's house to visit. she is so sweet and she is leaving to go to america for a year to live with her daughter who is going through a divorce. she is cute and makes sure that she speaks really slowly so we can understand. she started crying when she said this. i wanted to cry as well.

"daca nu este dragoste, nu este nimic"

the more strangers i get to know, the more my faith in good people, doing good things is restored.

speaking of good things. we gave teo her going away present today. hopefully her and marius and ionut will leave for america this week. she also gave us pictures of our kids, but i have decided to not post any on here. no offense, but they are too special to me. but if i came home with nothing else, but those photos i would be so so happy. teo is an amazing person who has taught me a lot.

sorry, i haven't been in touch with anyone lately. there is just not a lot of time left here and it has been hard to be motivated to write. none the less. thanks for the support and prayers.

elisa leaves in three and a half hours. she will most definitely be missed.


Friday, July 25, 2008

wisdom from roberta

It takes strength to be firm; it takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to stand guard; it takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer; it takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to fit in; it takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend's pain; it takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide feelings; it takes courage to show them.

It takes strength to endure abuse; it takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone; it takes courage to lean on another.

It takes strength to love; it takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive; it takes courage to live.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

HAPPY PIONEER DAY


even though i am a million miles from the salt lake valley, this year's pioneer day will stand out forever. we had no bar-b-ques, or fireworks, but i have been thinking a lot today about how much i am going to miss this branch.

the branch members here are the pioneers of romania and i have truly grown to love them and have learned so much from them!!
video





love love love

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

day 85

"true saints of God love life; they enjoy themselves. they are lighthearted and upbeat despite the realities of life. they have a larger perspective that keeps them going and helps them focus on everlasting things. because of Christ and the great plan of happiness, we can have joy in this life- even in the midst of trial and heartache."

i love the daily bits of wisdom my mom sent me with.

this morning when i got to the orphanage they had brought all the kids outside except for my three loves. so i snuck upstairs, shut the doors, turned off the soap operas, turned on some muzica and held and loved those archy back, scabie covered dolls. luckily i got caught by the nice worker and she just laughed and walked away.

i am going to go back to my black sea post and add pictures right now

Monday, July 21, 2008

day 84

today was monday and it should really be called funday.

i was so excited to go back to work. the trip to the black sea was fun, but it made me really trunky and homesick. i have been so lucky in iasi - i haven't really gotten too down or homesick. i think it is because of my lovely kids smiles and kisses.

anyways, work was wonderful as always. haha vlad fell off the swing today.. it was funny but he was tough and we were good. vali, our deaf gypsy boy was so so happy today it made me so happy. his laugh is my favorite because it is really quiet. you can only hear it when he gasps for air when i pause from tickling him for fear i might suffocate him. at noon, we hurried to elder barclay's last request before he gets transfered tomorrow - to play frisbee. original teams were brought back and of course go go go gogosi stomped.

we stopped at home for a sec and ran off to the hospital where i spent time with this lovely lady:

this is the second time leah has been brought to the hospital and she is adorable. please see below: (also, as a warning. this video has graphic sounds of everyday life in the hospital. o and also a sick nasty whitney who had just walked up literally hundreds of stairs in an unairconditioned hospital after walking for thirty minutes outside in 87* weather. sorry.)


after cuddling with her and talking with the moms in her room i headed out to my family portrait appointment with elyse and our child.



as parents, we don't look amazing, but we got marion to smile on the first try and so it is staying.

elisa and i went to the mall this evening and found the best surprises.

we had dinner with our friend from andrieseni, teo, the priest's daughter, and she came to FHE with us and had a really fun time. the lesson was great and our game of mafia somehow turned into a water fight and it was wonderful. we walked home in the rain, said noapte buna to the misionari and had a little group meeting. we presented teo with a journal where we all wrote little notes and put photos inside. sorry and thank you grandma, we used the journal you gave me. we couldn't find a nice one here and knew they would love it. and she did and almost cried when we gave it to her, and she said the village is going to love it. so gracias, multimin, merci frumos, and thank you.

well i am foarte obosita and need to get some somn.

hahaha don't worry, there are car alarms going off everywhere from the piercing lightening that just struck. i la la la la love thunderstorms almost as much as jumping into puddles or the ocean. mom and dad remember in texas, when it would thunderstorm, all us kids would get scared and ended up in your room? i hope my kids aren't too scared tonight at the orphanage.

days 79 - 83

day 79: wednesday

i was really bummed to wake up smelling like yucky scabex cream and having to reapply it and wear it all day.

i found out the story of my new little boy i talked about a few days ago. he is a gypsy boy from a family with six other kids. none of the kids ever wore any clothes. he is deaf and frustrated not being able to communicate, so he has major behavior issues. anyways, it is common in romania that physical disabilities are considered the same as imbecility and so he was seen as a curse and was kept isolated from the rest of the family. and like we assumed he was physically abused. i am so happy he is at the orphanage now! (update: today is really monday and he was so so happy today! we had a great day together)

also: i love marion! and here is proof that he does smile around me:





we got on a torturous not sleeper train around 10 pm and had a long uncomfortable trip to the black sea.

day 80: thursday

we got to our cute little hotel thing, took a quick nap and headed off to the ocean. spent the day there.



day 81: friday

whitney and i decided to wake everyone up to beautiful day by U2 this morning and i don't think they appreciated it.

we got up and went to the ocean. highlight of the day: riding behind a jetski on a banana tube thing, even though we got dumped off out in the deep water and was scared of big giant fishes.




another highlight of the evening: dance party/dance off. there was definitely some soulja boi lessons and bootyliciousness. haha we have the best 3.5 minute video that i will probably get in big trouble for posting, but am considering it.

day 82: saturday

another day at the beach. highlight of the day: playing beach volleyball. low point: the creeper at the gogosi stand.





look at kenzie playing ball with a romanian... haha

it started pouring and we had fun


day 83: sunday
another 10 hour train ride but this time in the middle of the day with no air conditioning and a fat man sitting on my lap. true story, if you want to know more youw ill have to skype with me or wait till i get home, because visual aids are needed. i la la la love i pods and church music, and poor president monson got sat on too when the man sat on my ensign when i went to the thing they call a toilet.