Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day 2

I slept very well last night, despite the loud, exciting wedding reception that was going on. I did wake up a couple times through the night, mostly after 6:00 when the sun was up and shining through the thin, light curtains.

Today’s breakfast was muesli (I think?) with dried fruit in it, plus bread, jam, tomato, and what I think was a pickle with some kind of dill spread on it. After breakfast, we waited for Mihaela to come for orientation, at which time we went over (throughout the day) team goals, a crash course in the Romanian language, schedules, and Global Volunteers policies.

We also went to the clinic for half an hour, to visit the children and help with their afternoon feedings. I fed Ion (pronounced ee-wan) and played with him until he was taken to have his diaper changed and to be put back into his crib. Then I held “Big” Andreea (there are two Andreea’s), who has cerebral paralysis and was just laying in a bouncy chair. She is, indeed, a big, solid girl—-almost four years old-—and, because she is very stiff, she was difficult to pick up. But I held her and talked to her, getting a couple smiles out of her before it was her turn for a diaper change.

Lunch happened in the midst of orientation, and it was a cucumber and tomato salad (guess what, I ate a few slices of tomato! My adventure for the day, as I don’t care for tomatoes at all…), soup with (I think) couscous, potatoes, carrots, and onions, then an entrĂ©e of chicken and mashed potatoes. Yummy! I didn’t finish all of the chicken, though, and I took my leftovers (and a couple other people’s) out to the Mama-dog who hangs out at the clinic and desperately needs to gain weight.

Dinner tonight was pasta with mushroom sauce; my adventure quota for the day had been filled already, so I scraped off the mushrooms. Then dessert was ice cream. Soooo good.

After dinner, we talked a bit about journals/Messages of the Day and signed up for dates for those. We also discussed the possibilities of weekend trips and how to arrange those. Ten of us are going to Transylvania this weekend, and Amy D. and I briefly talked about the possibility of going to the Black Sea next weekend, so we’re going to look into that.

Finally, we got our child assignments. There are 15 volunteers at the clinic and 19 children, so each of us will focus on helping one or two specific children—-although we are not limited to caring for and playing with that particular child. All evening, I had been wondering if I really had a preference for a certain child or if I would just take whichever one needed me, and all evening, I had Big Andreea on my mind. So I chose to take her on, and since her journals weren’t in the stack Mihaela had, Terri took me over to the clinic to get them. I will spend the rest of this evening looking up cerebral paralysis and finding out little things I can do to help her development (exercises, etc), so if you have any ideas, please let me know.

No pictures today, as I didn't take my camera to the clinic. Someone did take a picture of me with Ion, but I don't know if/when I'll get a copy of that. Hopefully we'll all share pictures at the end.

Another thing: for the first week with the kids, volunteers are currently required to wear face masks, due to yet another outbreak of H1N1 (aka Swine Flu). Face masks + heat/humidity = no fun, but a necessary precaution to make sure none of the children are infected if any of the volunteers happen to be.

Pictures tomorrow, I hope! :)

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