We left Seattle at 9:55 pm on Thursday night and got into Bucharest around midnight on Friday. We were very tired from the trip.

The last two days have been interesting; not fun, but interesting. We were met by Eugen at the airport and he graciously helped schlep our bags to his little truck and then carted us about 30 minutes to the apartment we've been loaned for our stay.

The apartment is in one of hundreds of concrete blocks of buildings resurrected by the Communist government decades ago. They are aging and, for the most part, in sad shape. They are quite ugly. The city is dirty and the people seem fairly poor and not very happy. I would smile at people walking down the street and they never smile back and look at you rather suspiciously. Romania has only been free from Communism since 1989 (The revolution). Capitalism is taking its time to take hold.

We woke early on Saturday morning and took a long walk trying to find food. We ended up eating a chicken hamburger at 8 in the morning! Strangely, they put greasy, limp potatoes on the burger.

We met up with Imogene, our host, around 10. Her cheerful face and strong Southern accent were a great comfort in this very strange place. She immediately packed us up in her car and carted us over to the church where she put us to work sorting children's clothing into bundles for delivery to the orphanages.

We worked all day, met a few helpers, had a lunch of bread, cheese, ham and cake, then back to work!

We have to put together packages for over 2500 children in the next few days. We have a feeling we won't get them all done. It seems a daunting task.

By the end of the day I was pretty burned out, having only about 8 hours sleep in 2 days. We found a restaurant not to far from our apartment that seemed decent (most places seem very dirty and not sanitary). No one spoke English, so we pointed to a word we understood: Spaghetti. It was ok, not great though.

Back to the apartment and try to sleep....

Sunday was beautiful. We went to church with Imogene and Dale. The people were so very friendly! They all came by to kiss our cheeks and say hello. Some spoke English and were very proud to talk in our language. They were some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Imogene and her husband Dale took us out to the only American restaurant in town: Ruby Tuesday. Loved it. We toured Bucharest for a while and then visited a family where the girls all had lots of cross stitch items they sold to help raise funds for schooling. We bought some items from them and had a wonderful time with the family. There were 6 girls, 3 of which had been adopted from orphanages a few years back. It was a lovely afternoon. 2 of the 3 adopted girls were still following the Lord.

It is about 9 am and we're heading off to work again. We will keep you all posted.

Kat and James


Brenda Frank said...

Wow, Kat! Your trip has definitely been unique already. I look forward to seeing (reading) it unfold. Thanks for the updates! :)
- Bren

Ricky said...

Getting out of your comfort zone is always hard. I'm proud you continue to challenge yourself, despite the ability to live in comfort the rest of your life. Rosie and I are praying for you.