It was weird to go to the clinic this morning and not see Alina and Andrei. Hopefully we will receive updates on both of them when they return to Tutova.
I forgot to mention in an earlier entry this week that I was blessed by a priest. There was an Orthodox priest (is that what they call them?) walking through the clinic one day this week, blessing the staff members, volunteers, and children he ran across. I happened to be stepping out of the playroom with a baby (I think it was little Andreea) as he walked by, and I kind of expected him to give her a little blessing. Imagine my surprise when he touched the cross to my head, as well! We later saw him from the hotel patio, going from house to house.
I also forgot to mention yesterday that we had a few visitors: three elderly women, patients at the hospital, came to the fence around the playground to observe the children. Ionela, ever the attention seeker, had to go up to the fence to talk to them, and who knows? Maybe they could understand her babbling, because we sure couldn’t! It was a nice visit, and the ladies left with smiles on their faces.
Today Alexandra had another beautiful moment with one of the other children. While we were outside, she was sitting near Amy J., who was holding Maria. All of a sudden, Alexandra reached out to pet Maria’s foot, with a small smile on her face. It warms my heart every time she does something like that.
This evening, we went to Barlad for our usual Tuesday/Thursday outing…although tonight was quite UN-usual! Our first stop was the Penny Market, where Susan was going to have a short visit with Ioana, a little girl she worked with as a volunteer a few years ago. Ioana is a beautiful little girl and seems to be doing very well in her foster home. She also still plays with some of the other kids whom she had known at the Tutova clinic (who have also been placed in foster homes). It was great to watch the joy on Susan’s face as she talked to Ioana. I can imagine how wonderful the experience was for her.
Dinner was at Mihaela’s apartment. It was a tight squeeze, with eleven of us (plus Delia), but we made it work! Mihaela’s mother made a delicious meal. After we grazed a bit on grapes and plums, Mihaela brought out two platters of homemade meatballs and sliced tomatoes. Every other time on this trip that we’ve had meatballs, I haven’t liked them, so I was a bit hesitant. Well, I tried one tonight…and then I ate four or five more. They were amazing! I would have had more, but when asked if we wanted more, everyone else said, “no, we’re fine” so I went with the crowd.
And it’s a good thing I did. There was a second course after that! Two whole chickens with yummy seasoning, surrounded by (and stuffed with) vegetables. I grabbed myself some chicken breast, potatoes, and cooked carrots (the best cooked carrots I’ve ever had). It was a great meal…and then the dessert came out. It came from a bakery, and it had frosting/pudding type stuff in the middle layers, with little pineapple chunks, and grapes on top! (It looked like a grape had been swiped from the top of the cake…I wonder who the six-year-old culprit could be.)
No pictures from Thursday; the batteries in my camera died.