We have learned so much in our nine weeks of our mission in Romania. Learning a different culture, not to mention a different language is an ongoing process and we have delighted in all (almost all) our experiences. Our specific assignment is to be humanitarian missionaries. We spend our days contacting agencies, hospitals, charity organizations, orphanages, etc. and we look for ways to help. The projects we write may be as simple as buying desks for one school room or toys for an orphanage or a washer for an AIDS clinic. We have major projects that take months to plan and complete but in the end, we'll have provided wheelchairs for 250 or water for a village. You can imagine our feelings of satisfaction.
That said, let me share a very important word and it's Romanian meaning:
IMMEDIATE~~3 or 4 days or 3 or 4 weeks.
Yes folks, we have also learned the meaning of PATIENCE. Maybe it's because we're new and fresh and have endless energy but we have learned that we can only do so much and then the wheels of Romanian business start slowly grinding. We wait more than we work. They say that December is the slowest month and that absolutely nothing happens the two weeks before Christmas. Missionaries are warned to have a supply of food because even the grocery stores are not stocked and sometimes close altogether.
So, what's so bad about that, you say? You're right. Just go with the flow and enjoy being a missionary tourist. It's a great life! This is what we do in the "down time":
Spend 10 minutes decorating for Christmas. This is our tree! Ghetto!
Hit a Romanian Craft Fair. We ditched our "companions" and had a blast last Saturday at this authentic Romanian Crafters Show. The only reason we didn't buy out the place is that you have to carry it home!
This is my favorite purchase. I collect Nativity Scenes and this one is now my favorite. There is no doubt it's Romanian!
Have you ever seen a husky Joseph with a beenie?
The shepherds look "wise"...
...and the wise men look like shepherds!
Pretzels on a string, anyone?
Masks are big here...and I do mean BIG! I was too scared to buy one.
Wood carvers are everywhere. Spoons are especially popular (and Romanian). I bought one. The carver told me each spoon takes 6 hours to carve. It cost $13.
These spoons take 10 minutes to carve. I bought one of these salad bowls.
In my usual disjointed blogging method, but keeping on the same day...
We rode the metro across town just in time to attend a baptism in our branch. The font was not filling fast enough so 8 missionaries formed a bucket brigade and filled it. Where there's a will, there's a way!
The newest members of the Church in Romania, Mbapou and Dudu (and I'm not making up the names!) Mbapou is a university student from Africa and Dudu is the last of a Romanian family to be baptized. It was a wonderful event. The Church is growing in Romania and we are a part of it!
We love being here!