- I've been working the night shift at the orphanage almost every night the past week. It's my favorite shift, so I don't mind that I've had to work extra hours. I'm willing to give up basketball to be there to put the kids to bed. I just think that somebody should be there to go to each bed and tell the kids, "Good night, I love you." No three-year-old should go to bed without that.
- The night shift gets tougher, though, since each night I get begged harder to stay behind. The hardest is the last room, where all the oldest kids are, since they're three and four years old, and they actually understand that I'm leaving for the night. Gabi tells me to sit down next to her bed and stay the night with her. Sanda comes over to order me not to go back to my house. Nati comes and crawls in my lap. Pamela offers me her bed. It gets harder every night to say no. I'd honestly stay if the workers let me.
- A new team is here from Wyoming - they're the first big team whose principle language is English since the beginning of the summer. It's nice to have a loud dining room again. One bought a duckling in the marketplace today ("Sixty cents!" he said. "It was a bargain."). Naturally, it's incredibly cute, but the little thing won't shut up. Plus, there's poop everywhere. Its name is George, or maybe Wilson, depending on who you ask.
- I'm trying to befriend the stray horse who has been hanging around by the clinic. She's an old, swayback pure white retired cart horse, and I have dreams that someday we'll become such good friends that we will ride bareback together everywhere. She remains skittish and aloof, but I hold out hope that I'll break through, and we'll be best friends, like the Black Stallion and whoever rode the Black Stallion.
- In the meantime, I've been riding around on a bike that Chris found. It's an rusty red grandmother bicycle from the seventies, with three speeds and "Free Spirit" emblazoned on its side. It also has two flat tires and a lot of loose parts, and so the Romanians laugh whenever I ride by. I don't care. I'm trying to teach myself how to ride with no hands. I'm up to a full second.
- I finished the first draft of one of my screenplays, and sent it out for critique to a few people whose counsel I trust, and who I figured probably didn't have much of anything better to do, anyway.* Never underestimate the power of intelligent people with too much time on their hands. I might later post a second draft and submit it for general review to any readers who also seem to have more time than they know what to do with.
- And finally, my dad sent me some pictures that he took of me with the kids at the orphanage. I'll post them soon, possibly within the hour if I can get them up in time. If not, you might have to wait another week.
* This is what's known in the business as a "defensive comment." If anyone complains that I didn't ask for their opinion on my script, I can simply reply: "Oh! Well, I figured you were too busy." Of course, if you made it this far on the post, we can be pretty sure that you weren't.