Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 3

This morning, we went over to the clinic in time for the 9am feeding. Lea-Celine, Ion, Cristi, Andrea, and Petre are in a kind of isolation because they have Candida (yeast infection). When we arrived, each of them was having blood drawn; the nurses had a hard time finding a vein in Andrea’s arm, so it took a very long time to finish her blood drawn. The poor girl was screaming bloody murder, and I can’t blame her. I’m sure it hurt terribly.

Celine had already had her blood drawn, so I sneaked past the nurses and aides to get her out of her crib. She was unsure at first, then reached out for me and allowed me to hold her. She insisted on showing me her arm, which was a little red and had some dried blood on it, but she seemed fine. All the sick kids’ mouths are blue from the medicine they have been given for the yeast infection (a medicine that, I’ve been told, is pretty much obsolete in the U.S.).

Because they are sick, we could not take them into the playrooms with the other kids; we had to either stay in their bedroom or take them to the preschool room. Guess which room we chose? The one with the table and chairs and toys and radio, of course! I had read in Celine’s journal that she likes to feed herself, so I sat her in my lap and held the bowl for her. She grabbed the spoon and went to town! She does quite well with the spoon. Ion was eating with a spoon for a little while, too, as he sat with Anna, and a couple times he held the spoon up to “share” with Anna. Celine saw that and immediately held the spoon up for me to “share,” as well.

Celine ate most of her food, and Cristi finished his bottle. Andrea refused to eat, as did Petre (though in the end, I think he did eat SOME). I’m not sure how much Ion ate. It seems that most of their mouths are fairly sore and that it hurts them to eat.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t so great today—it kept threatening to rain all day. The kids wanted so badly to go outside, but we couldn’t take them, so they had to settle for looking out the window. They enjoyed saying “bye” to the people walking around and pointing out the “hum-hums” (dogs).

I stepped out of the room to go and visit the other kids, some of whom I met last summer and some I had yet to meet. When I returned to the preschool room, I found that Celine had thrown a fit and was taken to bed to calm down. An aide gave Celine her morning snack in her room, and I fed Marius his snack in the mobile playroom. He would barely pause to take a breath after each bite of yogurt!

I got a hug from little Mihaela, who immediately reached a hand down my shirt, as if she were looking for something. Anna had warned me about this current fascination of Mihaela’s with looking down shirts, but I guess I hadn’t expected her to shove her entire arm down there and almost dive in!

A short while later, I went and got Celine again; she had calmed down but had been left in a walker in her room by the aides. I took her back into the preschool room for a while, but it was obvious that she was getting tired and wasn’t feeling very well. She didn’t want to do anything except be held; she didn’t even want to look out the window! She began screaming again, so I took her back to her room and just held her, rocked her, and sang to her, and it seemed like she might fall asleep. She didn’t, but she was calm-—until I went to take her back to the playroom. So we stayed in her room for a while, talking, looking at books, and looking out the window.

Eventually we made it back to the preschool room, where Celine, Andrea, and Ion were given small cookies. Celine ate hers with no problem; Andrea took a bite of hers and started crying, I guess because it hurt. Ion, apparently, wasn’t chewing his cookie well enough (again, probably because it hurt), and he ended up choking on it. Lisa (a physician) had to do a mini-Heimlich on him, and he brought the cookie back up (and then some), but he was okay after a few minutes of coughing and catching his breath.

The kids had their diapers changed, and Ion blew me a kiss as he went into get changed. Then it was time for lunch (for the kids), and I don’t know why, but even our older kids (Celine, Andrea, and Ion) were given bottles this time. Celine had done so well with the bowl and spoon this morning, and I wonder if that’s why she refused the lunchtime bottle. The aide in the room told me to try putting her in her crib with the bottle, but it didn’t work, so another aide took over to try to make her eat at least some of it.

So after lunch for the kids, we put them all to bed and headed back to the hotel for OUR lunch, which was soup and salad. I didn’t eat much; some of the noodles out of the soup, some bread dipped in the broth, and a few pieces of cucumber out of the salad. By the end of lunch, I was exhausted; I guess the events of the weekend caught up with me.

I went back to my room and took a nap, and when Anna came in to see if I was going back to the clinic this afternoon, I told her no. (In fact, I apparently dreamed and/or hallucinated that whole scenario three or four times). I was just too tired, and I had a headache; I wouldn’t have been of much use over there. I went back to sleep, resetting my alarm every time it went off, but I guess at one point, while I was half asleep, I reset the CLOCK and not the alarm. So I got up, thinking it was time for dinner, but I actually had about half an hour, as the waiter in the restaurant informed me. Yeah, I felt pretty dumb. Oh well!

Dinner was chicken strips and risotto (I LOVE RISOTTO). We got ketchup to have with our chicken, but when I was about halfway finished, I found a dead fly in my ketchup. I don’t know if it started out there, and I’d just missed it when I was spooning the ketchup out, or if it landed in there afterwards and died. It looked fairly dead, so I think it was the former. Gross. That put me off my chicken and ketchup for the rest of the meal. Dessert was a fruit crepe; I think it may have been prune. I tried a bite and didn’t finish. I had planned to NOT buy much supplemental food in Barlad when we stop at the grocery store tomorrow, but I think I might have to. Not a lot, but some things—granola bars and such.

I argued with myself about whether or not I should post the thoughts I’ve been having on team dynamics, as I certainly don’t want anyone on my team to read this and hate me! So I AM going to post about it, but I’m pretty impartial and middle-of-the-road about it. The thing is, I (so far) like everyone on my team as much as I like anyone else I’ve just met. There are a few girls my age and younger, and then there are a good number of older people (mostly ladies; there’s only one man).

Obviously, with the age differences, there will be some disagreements and different perspectives on things. For years, I’ve tended to gravitate towards people older than me because I feel that, oddly, I relate to them more in a lot of ways. That’s just been my experience. What I’ve noticed with this team is that there seem to be a lot of personality clashes. Maybe my observations are wrong, but that’s what I see. I hope these clashes (mostly between different age groups, I think) don’t cause any problems.


  1. Thanks for the pictures of the kiddos Alex! Paula looks really good! All those blue mouths crack me up!! Blue medicine for EVERYTHING -- mouths or butts!! :-) Someday I am gonna buy me some of that miracle drug!

  2. Great job Alex!
    Looking forward to reading your adventure.
    It can be hard to have all these different personalities thrown in together and have everyone gel. Perhaps that could be a thesis for you? lol...
    many blessings,

  3. The kids all look like they had blue raspberry sno cones :) Better the sno cones would have felt better in their mouths!