November 22, 2015

Tea time with Adele

Cutest handmade mug EVER. Found at Pebs in Brasov.
As I write this, I am sitting in my apartment...in the chair right next to the heater...with the coziest slippers on. I'm patiently (or maybe not-so-patiently) waiting for my teapot to whistle so I can make a nice cup of tea. Side note: I have been quite obsessed with tea lately. I'm about to enjoy a cup of peach and mint tea (in the mug pictured above) while listening to Adele's new album on a Sunday afternoon. Hence the title...which has nothing to do with the rest of the post.

I have about five blog post ideas floating around in my mind, and yet this post is not one of those ideas. I am going to work on getting those posts out, but I thought I'd take some time to write about my week. As the weeks go by, I continue to feel more comfortable, and settled, into my roles here. From the beginning, I've felt comfortable, but I'm pretty amazed at how that has continued over time. Anyways, on to the week in review...

Monday: I actually stayed home on Monday morning due to not feeling the greatest. While in Bucharest over the weekend, I woke up feeling dizzy in the mornings. This continued on Monday morning so I decided to have a slow and quiet morning at home. I made my way to Veritas at noon in order to have lunch with everyone. Then, it was time for Kids Club.

Such a sweet, sweet boy.
I was just talking to a friend about how I've gotten so much joy out of Kids Club lately. It continues to present it's challenges, but I still love it. Each of the kids in Kids Club have a special place in my heart. I know I talked about them in the last post, but I really, really love them. I feel like I'm finally building relationships with them, and even somewhat of close relationships with a handful of them. Obviously, the more I learn the language, the better and easier this is. I can actually have conversations with them now, and understand when they need something, which makes a huge difference. Just this week, I received a hug from a little boy (not the one pictured above, by the way) who I've never seen hug anyone. He's been opening up to me (and others) more and more, but the hug really blew me away. I almost didn't know what to do because I was in such shock. It was a lovely moment that I will not soon forget.

After Kids Club, I went up into the citadel for Monday Night Supper. I usually arrive early since I just go right after Kids Club. I got to spend time with a friend's baby while dinner was being prepared for the group. Then, I enjoyed the company of the other ex-patriots (Americans, Canadians, a German, a Brit...the cast of characters change from time to time) while eating a delicious meal of salad and tortellini, followed by a slice of southern hospitality pie (yes, that was the name of it). And to finish the meal, we enjoyed a lovely hot cup of apple cider. I always forget to take photos at Monday Night Supper...one of these days.

video

Tuesday: I always start Tuesday mornings with Romanian class with Adela. Our classes usually end up being a combination of learning a new topic, random questions of language things that I've come across during the week, and review of past topics. Then, I was off to Veritas for lunch with the staff. I think I've mentioned this in other posts, but the Veritas staff eats lunch together every day. It's quite nice...and the food is delicious. Then it was time for Kids Club again. We've started to practice for the Christmas program, which I'm excited for!

After Kids Club, I walked home with Brittany (Romanian Studies Program student) and Jenny (volunteer from Germany). Brittany and I have supervision each week, and this week it fell on Tuesday. As a supervisor with the Romanian Studies Program, I meet each week with the student(s) to review the week, see if they need anything (information, resources, etc), and basically do a check-in regarding their internship. Following supervision, we had a Skype meeting with Brittany's professor, which was nice. After they left, I made dinner, my famous one-pot pasta, and worked on planning and preparation for the rest of the week.

These boys were ready to party!
Wednesday: I headed down to Veritas in the morning to help prepare everything for the massive birthday party we were having in Kids Club. We had a fall birthday party to celebrate all of the kids' birthdays that took place from September to December. It was quite the event as we had 15 birthdays to celebrate!

Most of the birthday kids! Some were absent :(
We decorated the room, prepared small gifts for each of the kids with a birthday, set out activities (games, puzzles, coloring, etc), and made sure the cake was ready. The lovely ladies who work in the kitchen made a delicious cake for all of us to enjoy. Kinga (one of the social workers) has friends who put on puppet shows so we also made sure the space was ready for their presentation! After lunch, I went outside to play with the kids. School gets out at 12:00 pm for the elementary kids so they usually arrive between 12-1 pm. The kids ate lunch at 1:00 pm, and then we let them play outside for a bit while the puppeteers were getting prepared. The kids really enjoyed the puppet show, as did I! After the puppet show, the kids were free to enjoy the activities such as playing musical chairs, doing puzzles, coloring, running around, etc. Basically, they just got to be kids for a bit.

Puppet show time!
Kinga presenting the cake!
Then, it was time for the CAKE! Everyone (kids, volunteers, staff) thoroughly enjoyed the cake. Such a treat! The kids were able to play a bit more before it was time to go. We sent them home with smiles on their faces, which always brings a smile to my face as well. The kids with birthdays were pleasantly surprised to receive their small gift. And of course, then it was time to clean. The volunteers (high schoolers) were a huge help, and we ended up having a great time by listening to music and chatting while we cleaned.

Coziest slippers ever made.
When the cleaning was finished, I was on my way to do some shopping with my pal, Timi. She's one of the high school volunteers who helps at Kids Club, but she also goes to the Nazarene church. Oh and she's in the It Takes Courage program that I co-lead on Thursdays...so we spend a lot of time together. She's fun. Anyways, we went shopping because I needed some slippers! The ones I ended up with (pictured above) are so insanely comfortable. After making that amazing purchase, we went to Kaufland (the large grocery store in town) to grab a few things. Then, it was time to head home. I made dinner (leftover pasta), worked on my Romanian homework, did some planning, and went to bed.
We always begin ITC with a FUN game. 
Thursday: Like Tuesday, I started my day with Romanian class. I spend the majority of my Thursdays at House on the Rock, up in the citadel. After Romanian class, Adela and I plan and prepare everything for It Takes Courage, which takes place in the afternoon. We head down to Veritas for lunch, and then back up into the citadel for It Takes Courage. We have a group of 17 high school students who come, which is a large group! We hang out for a bit, and then we always get things started with some type of game. 


As I've mentioned before, ITC is a program that I co-lead with Adela, which focuses on building character in high school students. And it's all done in English. These kids are pretty cool, and I love spending my Thursday afternoons with them. We've been talking about empathy over the last two weeks, and it's been really good. We've had some good discussions, and used various games and activities to help develop empathy. We also watched a really good video, which I posted above because I think it's a good reminder for all. After ITC, I headed home, I think...I can't remember. Oops. 

Friday: Every Friday morning, I make my way to Veritas for staff devotions at 8:00 am. This is always an enjoyable time for me. Obviously, we have devotions as a staff and spend time talking about how the week went in each of the programs (kids, teens, special needs, elderly, etc). We end devotions by praying together for praises and needs related to our programs, but also related to our personal lives. 

Usually, I would go from devotions to meeting with the Kids Club staff in order to do some planning, but not this week. A lady came in to speak about essential oils, which I know a little bit about, but it was still nice to sit in on. I learned some new Romanian words for different plants and fruits so I can definitely say it was educational. After that meeting, I was supposed to have a meeting with Brittany (RSP student) and the Veritas social workers, but we rescheduled it for next Friday. 

After lunch, Brittany, another Veritas volunteer and I headed up to Roberta's house to watch a movie. Along with supervising Brittany, I have also been leading her seminar (weekly course) while Dorothy has been away. During seminar, we discuss various social work topics, as well as covering cultural topics. This week, we watched a film called "The Way I Spent the End of the World" or "Cum mi-am petrecut sfarsitul lumii", which is about a Romanian family during the revolution in December 1989. I watched this film when I was here before, when the other student watched it for her seminar class. It's an interesting film, and I would highly suggest it. After the movie, I headed to House on the Rock for Ceai and Chat. Again, I know I've mentioned this before, but Adela and I host a Ceai and Chat event once or twice a month. Basically, it's just a time and place for local teens to hang out on Friday nights. Sometimes we have a theme for the evening, host a movie night, or just hang out. This time, we watched Back to the Future II. They had watched the first one a few weeks ago due to the date of the future being near. Once the movie was over, we all hung out for a bit and then headed home. 

Well, that about covers it. Hope you enjoyed this week in review. Stay tuned for posts on my adventures with Jessica during her visit, my time in Turkey, an updated Currently post, and some other things :) 

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