I don't seem to have the time to create a full post, so I'll throw out a few bits and pieces to tell you how things are going:
- All the teams have left, leaving only the summer volunteers here for a few weeks. It's very cozy, there's only about ten of us, but I leave for Budapest in a week so I guess I'll only get so much bonding.
- I'm fortunate enough to get to spend most of my day over at the orphanage, which is a tiring but wonderful life to live. I'm finally convincing the kids that they need to learn my name, since I'm tired of being "mommy," or if I'm lucky, "sir mommy." A few have gotten it. It's interesting to be addressed as mommy, but since they don't address the workers by anything else, I've gotten used to it. Still, Pamela was clinging to me as we walked to the park today, and one of the workers told her to get down and walk. "But he's my father," she pointed out. Heartbreak.
- Which reminds me, my understanding of Romanian is getting better. I still only understand about six words, but their common enough words that when they appear in a sentence, I can usually reverse-engineer the sentence to figure it out. This may come back to bite me in the butt.
- I was putting socks on Gabi the other day, and looked down to discover that they said "I Love Daddy" on them. Now, I know that these kids need clothes, and people donate out of the goodness of their hearts, but - sometimes the irony of something is so ugly that you can't bear it. I resisted the urge to throw the socks out the window, I smiled at Gabi, and I put on her shoes. There are bigger battles to fight.
- I'll finish with a story. We had a small team here the other week, two couple, one middle aged, one quite elderly. The elderly gentlemen's name was Homer, and he always gets pneumonia when he goes to Europe. It takes him three to five days to get over it. He would tell anyone who would listen this fact, multiple times a day, and since Homer is quite deaf, he wasn't the best judge of figuring out if you were listening or not. So he would simply announce this, in a loud Southern drawl, at the table from time to time. He spent the rest of the time sleeping. Ron, the middle-aged man who came with him, had about had it with Homer, and would ignore him and continue his stories regardless of interruption. Homer's wife, Diane, was the same way, but she liked to fill the spaces in conversation with updates on people's health: her own, Homer's, government officials, whoever. Therefore most table conversations went like this.
Homer regards him dully.
Homer: I HA-AVE NOO-MO-AN-EE-AA.
Diane: My, my allergies are just terrible today!
Ron (to me): Did I ever tell you about when I was ski instructor?
Homer: IT TA-AKES THREE T' FHI-IVE DAY-AS TO GIT OVAH IT!
Me: Uh, no, you didn't.
Ron: There was this one time when it was ninety-nine below zero...
Diane: The pollen is so terrible here in Romania!
Homer: EVERY TI-IME I GO T' EUROAPE, I GIT NOO-MO-AN-EE-AA!
Ron: And this guy wants to go skiing!
Diane: I'm just all dried out!
Homer: I CA-AN ONLY DRI-HINK D'STAYLLED WA-TER!
Ron: And I'm telling him, you're crazy!
Diane: I keep drinking water, but I don't know how people get by!
Homer: MAH LIVER'S ONLY THE SI-IZE OF A QUAR-TER!
And so on. They're gone now, but Elizabeth turned to me the other day and said: "You know, I miss Homer. I didn't think I would, but I do." That goes for me, too.
That's all for now, folks. La revedere.