Thursday, November 18, 2010

Volunteerism Study

As you may recall, I'm doing an independent study on volunteerism. Below are three surveys to help with my research, and it would be great if you could choose the ONE survey whose description applies to you and complete it.

For those who participate, there will be a random drawing for a $10 Starbucks gift card. You will be asked to enter your email address for this drawing, and the winner will be notified by email.

The surveys will be available until 11:45pm PST on December 1st. Please share this post with your friends, so they can take part, as well!

If you ever perform volunteer service but have never traveled internationally with the purpose of volunteering, go to the Volunteer Motivations survey.

If you HAVE traveled internationally with the purpose of performing volunteer service, but NOT on a Global Volunteers-Romania trip, go to the Volunteer Motivations: International survey.

If you have traveled to Romania on a Global Volunteers trip, go to the Volunteer Motivations: Romania survey.

Thanks so much!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

End of the Road

Raul came back to the clinic Wednesday afternoon! Unfortunately, I had taken the afternoon off and could not be there to greet him; instead, I was sleeping in between suffering from the "plague" (the stomach virus that others had gotten). But on Thursday and Friday, I spent a lot of time with my little buddy. I had resigned myself to not seeing him before I left, but when he returned, I was so happy because he looked great and had his wonderfully happy disposition back. So it was nice to know I'd be leaving with my last memories of him being happy and smiling, rather than him being miserable and sad. And he is SO CLOSE to rolling over completely! There was talk on Friday of moving a bigger crib into his room because he was getting too big for the other one, so I bet he'll be on his belly as soon as they switch.

So that's my biggest update regarding the kids. Also, Nicoletta was up to 9.7 pounds as of Friday afternoon.

After dinner, the other volunteers and I returned to the clinic for our final goodbyes. I held Nicoletta for a bit, gave the other kids kisses, and then I went in to see Raul, as I knew my goodbye to him would be the hardest. And you know what? The silly boy was asleep! I didn't want to wake him, so I just patted his belly, told him "I love you," and left.

My flight home was uneventful. The flights and layovers went by fairly quickly, and the only delay occurred in Pittsburgh, when we had to wait about 20 minutes for my luggage.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Days I-Don't-Know-Which

Sorry for the lack of updates. It's been busy, hot, and miserable here, and quite honestly, I'm ready to go home. I haven't been in the "blogging" mood, and there really hasn't been a whole lot to say. But here are some general updates.

Over the past few days:

*Cristi-Daniel returned from the hospital in Barlad last week. After about half a day, he was put into isolation due to diarrhea. (He got ca-ca on Jane's shorts and leg. Poor Jane! And poor Cristi, of course!) He was pretty subdued the first couple days, but he's getting back to his usual self.

*Lea-Celine was also put into isolation about a day after her return. They say it was because she had diarrhea, too, but the reason for her diarrhea was more likely the fruit that she was given the day she got back, after two weeks of whatever food she got at the hospital.

*Little Andreea is taking little steps (with help), and yesterday, I "tricked" her into standing on her own--for about two seconds. Roxie is also working on standing, and she's getting better at it (again, with help)! We've been trying to get the twins to say "Mama," and one day last week, Whitney actually got Roxie to say it! She hasn't said it since, though.

*On Wednesday, Marius walked all the way back from the front gate, holding one of Carla's fingers. Way to go!

*Roxie held her bottle by herself for the first time.

*Susan brought out a tub of water and some rubber duckies, and the kids (Alex, Alina, Ion, Petre) loved splashing in it!

*Nicoletta was pretty fussy for a few days, and yesterday she had a fever of 102.8. She's still hovering around 9.5 pounds. She was pretty content today, and her temperature was down.

*On Friday, Big Andreea smacked her head on the door and got a big goose egg on her forehead.

*Mihaela loves the fairy wings that Kristen brought, and they suit her well.

*As of yesterday, the majority of the kids are "sick." Some have fevers (some high, some low), some have red throats, some have spots on their tonsils. So not only have many of them been miserable for the past two days, it's also INCREDIBLY hot this week, and we're not allowed to go outside. In some rooms, we can't even open the window or turn on a fan or open the door.

*Kristen taught Alina how to flex her biceps.

*Yesterday I went with Dan, Susan, Jane, and Kristen to the place in Barlad where Ana-Maria, Sami, and Maiastra now reside. We were afraid of what to expect, and wow, were we pleasantly surprised! The kids live with other children with disabilities, as well as caregivers, in a house, and it seemed so much like a family! It was really nice, and the kids seemed to be doing well--especially Maiastra, who was more focused, social and interactive. She still loves to look through transparent things, so she latched onto me so she could play with my glasses, but once she started pulling on them, I had to take them away. Ana-Maria, they say, hasn't made much progress, but she looks better, at least. She was kind of unkempt last summer, and when I saw her yesterday, she was cleaner, her hands looked better, etc. And Sami, well...I'm not sure how much progress he has made, but it was nice to see him, all the same. :-) There were other children there, as well; some with Down syndrome, like Sami, some with (I think) cerebral palsy...One little girl in a wheelchair reminded me of my Big Andreea from last summer, and she had the biggest smile and the most adorable giggle when we tickled and talked to her. And there was a little boy who was blind and had psychological problems, but blindness was his only diagnosis.

*No news about Raul...I've pretty much lost hope that he'll be back before I leave. Even worse is that I didn't even get to say goodbye to him the day he left; they just took him while I was in with Nicoletta, and nobody told me until after the fact. Very sad about that...But I hear Caroline will be on the next team, so I know that once he returns, he'll be getting plenty of loving and attention.

I'll try to post tomorrow about my weekend trips--both Sighisoara and Bucharest. For now, here are some pictures. I haven't taken many in the past few days, but hopefully I'll be taking more the rest of the week. Tomorrow, we'll be taking my computer to the clinic so the kids can watch a movie--we rented The Hunchback of Notre Dame on iTunes!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 31 and Pictures!!!

Lea-Celine returned today! She has quite a short haircut, and she clung to Kristin (or maybe it was the other way around haha) all day. Andreea (the big little one) gave Celine kisses. It was cute.

It was confirmed today that Raul's platelet count is too high, which means his blood is too thick, and he's being put on blood thinners. We don't know when he'll be able to return, but Dr. Delia said she would try to find out.

Alexandra learned how to blow kisses today! She also says "pa" and "bravo".

We decided that Daria is going to grow up and solve all the world's problems.

Mihaela told us today that Daniela has something called "Turner's Syndrome." I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I think it's chromosomal. I'll look it up tomorrow. Also, someone had said that Daniela would be going home soon, but it seems like that theory was wrong. Not certain.

Nicoletta was fussy most of the day, but she did eat most of her lunchtime bottle. And she enjoyed a nice massage with baby lotion this morning, as did Maria and Alina.

Maria spent a lot of time in the preschool room and the nonmobile room today. She loves the "Glee" covers of "You Keep Me Hanging On" and "Somebody to Love."

I'm going to Bucharest this weekend! Yes, that means I'll be spending more money, but everyone is going, and while before I wouldn't have minded staying here by myself, I've made some friends on this team and would like to join them. We'll be doing a quad room at the Marriott to save money, and we're getting massages--which I desperately need right now.

Some of us may be going either this week or next week to the facility in Barlad where Maiastra, Ana-Maria, and Sami are. We can't take cameras, though.

Speaking of wellness, once we got into Barlad tonight, I found myself feeling incredibly drowsy, overheated, and generally unwell. Going to bed tonight, and we'll see what the morning brings; I may have to take the a.m. shift off.