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Monday, August 23, 2010

Dan's wheelchair

The Long Weekend!

Good intentions but a busy last few days. First week of Summer School went very smoothly and we have enjoyed amazing hot weather.
Friday we went on the 'obligatory' visit to Bran Castle, home of Dracula. Ignoring the "Dracula" bit it is an impressive castle in a pass through the Carpathian Mountains dating back to the 13th or 14th Century. Many improvements this year with really interesting displays of photographs and info on Romanian Royal family.
Saturday another bus tour (hiring the A/C minibus is so so worth it and probably cheaper for 18 people. We went to Sinaia, a winter ski resort and site of the Royal Summer Palace, Peles. Small but beautiful. Again the sun shone all day. It was a relief to go 3000 feet up in a cable car for an hours break and a birds eye view of the valley below.
Foolishly offered to cook for the team over the weekend, hard work but everyone enjoyed and everyone survived!
Today was beginning of second week. Each day we have different clients although most are regular. The crafts are going well and I never cease to be amazed at the talents of our friends. Today we finished with our usual sing song and three of the clients decided to get up and give us a "song" each. Brilliant.
Team is going well, the odd little 'issue' but they never cease to surprise me with their maturity in expressing forgiveness and reconciliation.
What have I learned these last few days (and the weeks before)? Grace and patience. At least my need for both in large heaps.
We had to make a change in the team a short while ago. I asked the airline if they would waive the usual fee in the circumstances. And they did cos we are from "Elphin"! Another airline I forgot to book assistance for my daughter and they arranged it although it meant they had to change her on to a later flight, no charge again!
One of our days out we must have spent a total of 2 hours during the day just waiting for this one or the other who had got lost, wandered off into their own wee world or just gone! Patience, just a little patience.
One last point. Everyone's favourite is Dan, a paraplegic, 26 years old. It is amazing that his wheelchair is still going, it's awful. Yet it seems impossible to replace. I think we are going to makethis a mission!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 2

A bit cooler today. Apparently it was 39C yesterday but today it was in the low 30's! Quite humid and we had rain showers in the afternoon. School went well and time flew. Puppet show "An audience with Moses" went well and the singing is getting longer each day. After dropping off theshoppers at bus terminal a few of us took an adventurous and lazy drive round the local countryside and visited the fortified German Evangelical Church in Harman Pictures of their sophisticated pews tomorrow.

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day of Summer School

Well, here we are. First day of Summer School here in Sanpetru Romania. Yesterday we negotiated the local transport system to finally arrive at the "French" Church 30 minutes aftr their service started. So we only caught the last one and a half hours! Two sermons! The first was by an American visitor who was great. A lady translated it ino Romanian. Then the pastor preached and the lady translated it into Romanian. There is no French, it was just that the Church, "Grace" Church was started by a Frenchman.
We then had a beautiful Italian lunch, pasta or pizza, cost about 5 euros. After a quick walk round centre we got buses back although 6 of the team walked the last 5km rather than wait for the bus that never came.
Today we had 14 clients, a few less than last year, and only one new one. I guess it was in the mid 30's but everyone managed brilliantly. Craft was messy but fun, table tennis was surprisingly good and Abraham visits the "Go With God" Trvel Agency puppet show was very well performed. Has anyone seen a Yeti? Well, no, not yeti!!
Told we could use the minibus for the first time so braved Romanian traffic to get supplies from Carrefour. Survived.
Quiet evening before Day 2 arrives. Photos to come on soon.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Leaving on a jet plane

Just packing the bags before our minibus arrives at Noon. Always wonder what we'll leave behind. Hopefully only the damp cool days! Will arrive at Sanpetru about 2am tomorrow. Sleep, Church, orientation and prep for Monday morning as the Summer School is starting 2 hours earlier at 10am.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Romania 2010

Tidying up loose ends. Hopefully last team member has got her passport today! Nothing like a bit of stress and excitement heh?
Still a couple of thousand to be banked and then we can think about packing. Liz has spent the whole day slaving over the ironing board putting the prints on the team's polo shirts (bright yellow this year - change from pink!)
Can now see the top of my dining table and the floor of my study. Progress indeed.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting started at last. We are just finishing preparations for our Summer Mission trip to Romania. Our team of 12 will be leaving on Saturday to go to Sanpetru, a lttle village 5km from Brasov. We will be based at "Hephzibah", a Special Needs Respite Centre run by Fundatia Poplars. There we will run a Summer School for the clients with art, crafts, music, sport, games, puppets and story-telling.
This is our fourth visit in 8 years and we are all looking forward to the adventure. For the last three months we have been busy fund-raising and once again we are overwhelmed by the generosity of people.