Romania 2008 Weblog
(copied and pasted in chronological order from original Xanga posts.
Sorry for the bad grammar and punctuation.)
Feb. 28-29 Thursday and Friday
Trouble started right away (i TOLD you i hated airports!) My
suitcases were too heavy because i loaded them with all the clothing
donations from Dollar General (via Orpha's daughter). It would
have cost $100 to let them through, so i had to call Dad, turn the
van around, and repack. It all turned out okay, but at the time i
was SO frustrated to tears. and i paid the porter to move my bags
about 5 yards (into the WRONG LINE!) only to have to drag them
out again, repack, and carrying them back in myself. So yeah...
some airport employee got paid for nothing
I finally got on my flight, and it was very pleasant. I think i like Air
France. The food was great, the language was fun, even
the grumpy steward (whom i have dubbed the Flaming French Flight
Attendant) was amusing. (Side note to anyone who
watches Gilmore Girls... he spoke like Michel and had the same
attitude. only he was tall, thin, blonde, and a bit limp in the
Each seat had a television and remote control so you could choose
your in-flight movie, music, play games, or watch the flight
progress. I had some pics of passing over Ireland and arriving in
Paris... but i later formatted my memory card and lost ALL photos of
Not that i saw much. it was cloudy at Charles De Gaulle, and i
spent most of the time on a wild goose chase thru the under-
construction airport. The guy back in Dulles told me the WRONG
gate for my connecting flight and i ended up doing a LOT of walking,
trolley riding, and asking WHERE AM I GOING?!?! I finally got to
my gate, and sat around for a while, learning how to use my
camera (which ended up doing NO GOOD!) and suffering from a
stomachache, nausea, a sinus headache that morphed into a full-
blown migraine, and severe disappointment in my first trip to
But i made it to Budapest!!! it was a TERRIBLE trip in everyway,
except i ended up in the right place, at the right time, so i was very
thankful for that. And it was the first of many reminders that i
came to SERVE in ROMANIA... not have fun in France.
I met the wyoming team and we loaded the buses for Romania. Did
a lot of sleeping, singing, joking, and stupid-tired babbling on the
way, and finally made it to Beius.
I am staying in a little "apartment" between Peter and Ana's house
and the kitchen/medical clinic. I have my own room and a HOT
SHOWER! The other room was occupied by Abby (17) and Elsha
(17) from WY, but now that they've left i've got the place all to
myself. quiet... and a little lonely.
Mar. 1, Saturday
We introduced ourselves over breakfast. There are about 18
people. Each morning started with devoitions lead by Jeanne,
Kent's wife. Our "theme" was the doxology, and we started devo's
every morning by singing the traditional doxology, and a beautiful
contemporary version, led on guitar by Kent. Someone has donated
a gorgeous Taylor guitar to REMM, which Kent claimed, having his
own guitar lost with the rest of his family's luggage... it arrived a
few days later.
We toured the coffeehouse, and orphanage, and played with the
girls at Casa Iosif. they are SO CUTE!!! The little Romanian that i
know has helped so much in communicating. I still don't
understand a lot, but you can tell they appreciate my efforts! We
sang songs with them, and a few "performed" for us.. i have video
While the dentists made appointments with the foster kids, we
prepared goody bags for the upcoming school programs. We filled
bags with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, stickers, and "how to
brush your teeth" papers. We had about 150 to take into the
villages/schools. The dental hygenists showed a power point
(complete with video of monkey "kirby" who knows how to take
care of his teeth!), demonstrated brushing with a big set of teeth,
and handed out the bags.
Saturday night we had a birthday party for Pamela, who turned
7. She has a new interest in soccer, so she got soccer presents,
and a soccer-field cake. However, she's still into SpiderMan! (just
last night she talked on and on about all the spiderman stuff she
wants - like "chiloti cu SpiderMan!"... Spidey Underpants!)
She served us all cake, and then we played with balloons and her
new toys. I have video of this, too.
the day ended with one of those fantastic romanian dinners a la
Buna, and music.
Mar. 2 - Sunday
We went to church in Tinca this morning. On the way, we picked up
Catrina. We saw a man laying in the road who looked hurt - Peter
said he was drunk. It was sad not to be able to help him, to watch
him try so hard to get up, but just collapse to the ground. It was
unnerving that he was crawling on the railroad tracks... there's no
way he could get up if a train came.
At the church in the Gypsy village we shared lively songs with the
congregation at Pastor George's church. Morgan (17, Wyoming)
plays the bagpipes, and burst our eardrums with a beautiful
rendition of amazing grace. The pipes were a big hit in all the
churches... "never had THOSE before!"
after the service, we went upstairs to see the fellowship room where
they hold bible classes, and feed the kids everyday. its a nice
facility (indoor bathroom!!!!) with a kitchen, tables, chairs, clean
walls and floors. George thanked us for coming, showed
appreciation for the well, and we had coffee and light
refreshments. Their next prayer is for a baptismal.
then we drove to see the well. it rained the day bfore, and there
was LOTS of mud.. but i got to see the well and take video of the
crystal clear water from it. Very cool.
After lunch, we unpacked, settled in, and then went to another
church service in Tarcaita (Tark-eye-eetsa). Its very helpful to hear
so much of the language and songs. I'm picking it up faster now.
Mar. 3 Monday
for the first time, REMM sent a group into the local technical school
(Beius' own Vo-Tech!) We were shown around the school and spoke
a little bit with some students. mostly it was just establishing a
presence there and building good relations. We visited the
computer lab (where everyone was playing games and Instant
messaging... the teachers insisited that's not what they do all day
) we got to visit the art studio, which was AMAZING. very good
work. i was soooo aching to go back to school and take art classes
i spent the rest of the afternoon and evening sick in bed, sleeping
and fighting off a terrible stomachache and nausea... i blamed it on
the cabbage rolls we had for dinner the night before. i was half-
joking, but later in the week when we had them again, i got sick
again. so no more cabbage rolls for me!
We went to the local elementary school ("catrina's school") for VBS,
dental presentations, songs, and talking. We did the "wordless
book" presentation (pages with colors: yellow- God's holiness,
black-sin, red-jesus' blood, white-cleansing, green-spiritual growth,
blue-heaven) then we made the beaded bracelets with all the
colors. I sang some songs (a romanian one, with the help of Ninu,
our translator) and we moved on to other classes. While the rest of
the group moved on to do VBS, i was recruited by Catrina to stay
behind with the dental presentation and sing songs. I'd sung
'Beautiful Scandalous Night" in Tinca, and she just LOVED it, so she
asked me to sing it in every class Catrina told everyone
sometiems she talks to me on Yahoo messnager, so then everyone
wanted my SN, so i gave it to them... now i have a bunch of little
romanian friends who chat with me online, and they can teach me
Romanian and i can teach them english. fun fun.
after one class, one girl asked me to write my name in her notebook
so she could remember me... suddenly EVERYONE wanted my name,
and i ended up signing autographs for ten minutes! haha! and
then one wanted kisses (kissing on the cheek is customary here),
and suddenly i was giving out kisses... hahaha.
the kids from Catrina's class remembered us from last year. they
are so cool, and have a great teacher! they sang us a lot of songs
("old mac-doh-nahld had a faaarm") just love those kids.
that afternoon we went to the storage rooms of Casa Iosif and
sorted clothes! it was easier this time- no specifics, just sort them
by men, women and children, and we leave it up to pastor George
to pass them out to families as needed. It's okay that i had to leave
most of the clothing donations behind. They have TONS of clothes...
they can't keep up with them.
then we went down and played with the girls some more, and Tim
gave them harmonicas. somehow Nati always ends up on top of
me... haha. instead of barking this time, she just blew the
harmonica in my face. The caretakers' latest goal is to teach the
girls to behave like little ladies, and NOT jump and climb all over
their visitors. it's a slow process... they are so cute, who can resist?
That night we went to the coffeehouse for music. Kent and I played
guitar, and we sang some stuff. good times.
Mar. 5 Wednesday
Last year on the way to Tinca we stopped at a construction site that
looked like a pile of dirt... we went there again today, and now
stands the Nursing Home and Rehabilitation center in Ripa. its a
very nice place - simple compared to the assisted living mansions
they have in the States, but incredibly well-maintained for a
Romanian facility. Peter said its the nicest home he's seen in
Romania, and hopes it will set a high standard for taking care of the
elderly. We were supposed to be on a schedule, but they just
wouldn't let us leave! they wanted to show off their building, and
rightly so. it was very nice. we had refreshments afterward (no
one here takes NO for an answer...!)
The mayor of Tinca (the whole town, not just the gypsy
village) accompanied us to several more facilities. There is an
"orphanage" for disabled kids. they actually have 8 different houses
each with staff and caretakers, and then a central building where
they go for treatment and physical therapy. It was very nice to see
such a helpful facility for these kids.
We also went to another facility for disabled teens and adults. They
have all kinds of rooms for physical therapy, music, art therapy, all
kinds of stuff. it was really nice.
we finally got to the gypsy village, where we dropped off the food
and clothes from Agape, and went upstairs where they were feeding
the children lunch. I later realized, looking at my pictures, that they
were covered with dirt from head to toe... but whenever i'm with
them, i never even notice. we set up the power point and taught
them about dental hygiene, then handed out the toothbrush
bags. Elsha did the wordless book presentation with Melinda
translating, and we made the bracelets. in between i sang some
songs and they sang back (a lot of people know Aceasta e Ziua
Domnului - This is the Day that the Lord has Made) so i'm learning
it in romanian, and even when i sing it in english they sing
along.) Then Tim handed out harmonicas, and we hung out for a
while, then headed home. We were very pleased that the mayor
stayed with us the whole time. Peter let her know she could leave
whenever she was ready, but she stuck around, and we're very glad
Mar. 6 Thursday
We went to the school for VBS again, then went thru the market on
the way home. We talked, somehow got into british accents, and
probably the funniest part of the day was when NINU corrected MY
english. HA! its funny though, as my romanian gets better my
english gets worse... i can never get the right words out anymore!
we did various projects this afternoon. i went to the bridge and
finally cleaned up the mess from SATURDAY'S birthday party! time
is so non-existant here! i had a lot of balloons to pop.
we hung around town a bit, and played cards at the bridge.
Mar. 7 Friday
Finally my turn to go on an Agape Run! Gianni drove us (he's so
funny!), and Melinda came along to translate. our first stop was at
the home of Gisela (friend of Gianni's wife Monica) and her son,
"johnny" (so as not to be confused with Gianni) Johnny had some
complications at birth, and his brain didn't get enough oxygen,
leaving him with some disabilities and unable to use his legs. He
was sleeping when we arrived, and was tired and confused at all the
strangers in his room. but as he woke up he smiled and "talked" a
bit. before we left we all gathered around and prayed for Gisela and
Next we went to see Roland, another disabled boy. He was also
sleeping, but didn't wake up. It looked like a very tiny child, no
more than 6, under the covers, but his mother said he was 28. He
was sick today, with the flu or something. His father was an
alcoholic, and left for Spain. his sister is 17 and in school, and
"normal" except for some anxiety episodes. We prayed with them,
The next family was large - 17 children, who slowly were trickling
home from school. It was actually NICE today, sunny and warm,
and we played some soccer with the kids. its interesting how the
larger families seem so happy and healthy, with both parents,
whereas the ones with only a few seems so broken.
The last stop was in Chiscau, near the Bear Cave. This family had
13 kids, and they make little bear souvenirs to sell outside the
cave. they showed us their clay bears, and i think were going to
give them to us, but we paid for them, and now have souvenirs
from the site we saw last year . They had a very nice little
fountain/pond in their yard, which they proudly turned on for
us. Nice family.
we enjoyed the scenic ride back home- snowcapped mountains,
sunny sky, hilarious conversations with Gianni and Melinda. good
that night we picked up the girls at Iosif's and went out for
pizza. They are very well behaved for all the excitement of dining
with a bunch of Americanii.
After dinner we hung out at the Bridge. we go to the Bridge a lot...
its a nice place. good pastries.
Mar 8 Saturday
We were supposed to go to the mountians today, maybe for some
skiing, but it was raining and cold, and the report from the
mountains was YUCKY. So they took a group to the Bear Cave
(Pestera Ursilor) and the rest of us went to the warehouse to finish
the bunkbeds our construction crew is making for the girls. They
finished up the rails, ladders, and mattress slats, and we sanded
everything for a couple hours. they look really nice.
rain rain rain rain, all it did for two weeks was RAIN (excpet friday
when it was lovely!) we moped around for a while, and were
playing card games at the bridge, while i charged my iPod. not
knowhing Ana was downloading LOST onto iTunes. so when i came
to retrieve it, Mihai (16, Stei, RO. this kid speaks PERFECT
english.. .no accent at all) wanted to listen to some Relient
K. that's when i realized my 5500 songs had been replaced with the
87 from Ana's iTunes library. i was in shock and awe and
disbelief. so i went home, let out some steam, and played Tumnus
(my guitar) for a while. and eventually i got over it. Another slap
over the head from the Man Upstairs as a reminder of WHY i am
Back to the bridge tonight to play some more music.
Mar 9 Sunday.
We went to Gianni's church in Carpinet, which is really really really
small. We picked up Mihai in Stei (Shtay) and had him and Melinda
to translate. Tim preached, and i played some music. i sang Agnus
Dei in Romanian, to the surprise of a few, and it was REALLY cool to
hear the locals singing along. Morgan played bagpipes again (really
not an indoor instrument.. but enjoyable anyway... if you cover your
ears!) and we had a good time. The other half of the team had
gone to another church, and came back to Carpinet to meet us,
then we went home.
we had free time all afternoon, as Wyoming packed up. we played
31 and Spoons at the Bridge, then wandered around town with
Mihai for a bit. Of course, it was RAINING again, so it was kind of a
dismal boring day, as was most of the last two weeks. The
memories and experience are wonderful, but there is a lot of
boredom in between that i can't tell you about. but i'm learning to
keep busy, and prepare things for the next day when i have down
time. I've been sketching some, too.
Sunday night we went to another church, in Beiusele (Bay-OOSH-
ell-lay) Small, remote village with an aging congregation, but good
anyway. i took a break from singing/playing and enjoyed the
service, prayer, and listening to Kent sing.
At home in the dining room, i saw what appeared to be Ana giving
massages... no, she was doing lice checks. apparently some of us
had it. she suspected i might, but i'm hoping it was just my hair gel
that was dried and flaking, and dandruff. So we all took lice
showers tonight and spent hours with fine-tooth combs
Mar 10, Monday.
Wyoming left this morning. Ever since... NO RAIN! hahaha. i feel
bad for them that it rained all the time they were here, but i'm SO
GLAD that its warming up! They left me their extra lice
shampoo. after they left, we stripped the sheets, and washed
EVERYTHING in hot water. i cleaned up our "apartment" a bit, as
well as the dining room, etc.
Went to the Bridge, and spent a few hours downloading my pictures
on Peters laptop, and updating some, as have read for the past few
Then i got sick again. i laid down after lunch, played guitar a bit...
threw up yesterday's cabbage rolls... had some hot "cleansing yoga
tea", then walked to the orphanage.
i met Mihai on the way, and they put him to work hauling
wood. Anca and I went upstairs to gather craft supplies, and when
the girls came home we played soccer and tag.
They had some friends over from school, and when Geta saw me
she grabbed my hand, pointed at me, and bragged "Vorbeste
engleza! Vorbeste engleza!" (she speaks english!) so i poked back
at her and said "Vorbeste romaneste! vorbeste romaneste!" (she
speaks romanian!) She giggled at that... she's so cute.
Delia is a great athlete, and ALL of them are better than i am! and
they know it! "football" is SOOOO much more popular in
Europe. They are born with soccer skills.
we played inside for a bit with balloons and stuffed monkeys
(maimuta; my-MOOT-sa), washed up for dinner, and i ate with the
girls. i think it was Pama who brought over a tiny little chair for me,
and carefully placed a foam "cushion" on it. i sat at the head of the
table, Geta on my left, pama on my right. Pama scooted closer to
me on the corner, but was ordered to move back. She insisted that
if she moved back, she was too close to the heat stove, and was too
hot.. (in reality, being closer to ME was closer to the stove... but of
course she didn't see it that way!) all thru dinner they stared and
giggled at me. how intimidating little girls can be! hahaha.
after dinner, i showed them how to make beaded bracelets, and
Anca and I picked out letter beads for all their names. It went
rather well, until they realized it was quite funny to throw beads all
over the floor and "accidently" spill the cups full of beads. oh
well. so we finally finished, they gave their bracelets to "Mommy
Anca", then got ready for bed. I had to leave then, so i could walk
home with Anca (alone in the dark.. no good!). Geta wanted a
goodnight kiss. of course i obliged.
needless to say, i slept well this night! i was so exhausted! in a
Mar 11, Tuesday
I spent all morning at the Bridge, typing up a report for Peter, a
2007 survey of the REMM ministry for one of their donors.
after lunch, i wandered around town (i do that a lot... boredom is
not hard to find here!) every day though, i force myself into a store
or two to look around, and overcome my fear of not understandng
romanian. but all i have to do is say "nu vorbesc romaneste" and
they understand. ironically, i end up speaking to them in romanian
anyway, telling them that i'm from america and speak english!
I went back to the Bridge to finish up the report, and was going to
leave for another evening at Casa Iosif, but got the news that the
girls were sick. Bug going around. so i stayed and talked to my
mommy on Yahoo Messanger, a bit with dad, and a few words with
Gavin. very nice
went home really tired, and was in bed by 8:30
Mar 12, Wednesday
Lots of clouds, but STILL NO RAIN! yay! another breakfast of corn
flakes and milk - SOOOOO good, believe it or not... i miss cereal!
Dia, Dora, and Nati stayed home from school today, still down with
the bug. so i went to Iosif's to entertain them. we played with
balloons, puzzles, and a big pile of dress-up clothes... the hula skirt
ended up on my head, and i must say i look rather stunning with
long green hair. Nati was a fairy and walks much better in over-size
high heels that i do!
then i went upstairs to sort clothes. SO MANY CLOTHES. for the
girls, for the other 28 foster kids, for Agape... i organized the shoes,
some hats, scarves and mittens... they really could start their own
little thrift shop.
went back downstairs, watched Scooby Doo with the girls, played a
bit, starting watching Return of Jafar (Aladdin), then they ate
lunch. Melinda and I sat watching the cartoon for a while... without
the kids... oh to be young again!
So then i came back home for lunch, and headed out again for the
Bridge to organize my pics, write my emails, and update xanga,
which is where i sit RIGHT NOW. i can't believe i'm caught up!
i think i'm supposed to go back to the orphanage now... i should
probably go find out!
Oklahoma comes in late tomorrow night. maybe i can hitch a ride
on the van to budapest, and spend some time in
oradea??? computer shopping??? who knows. Romania knows no
pics are up on photobucket, video and more pics to come.
Mar 13 Thursday
I started captioning my photobucket pictures. wandered around
Beius for a while... after lunch i chatted with melinda a bit while we
waited for Ana to come. Then we took down the Valentine's decor
at the bridge, and i dug thru the box of Easter stuff, and designed
some spring decorations... it took a few hours. i didn't really like
what i had to work with, but it turned out okay. I'm trying to get
away from Michaels, and here i am making bows and wrestling with
floral tape. fun stuff.
pretty low-key day.
i woke up about midnight to my door opening, and light coming on
and shrieks of "GASP! there's someone IN there, i saw it move!" ...
"is it a guy or a girl?" ... "I don't know!"... "umm... okay, lets get
out of here!"
Oklahoma has arrived
i guess someone forgot to mention that i had already established
my dwelling here.
Mar 14 -Friday
so anyway we met this morning over breakfast, discussed
we went to Nicolae Popviciu ("catrina's school") again this morning,
where i suddenly become a rockstar with her class. I'm finally
learning names, mostly of the girls who run up and hug me every
time i come. they are so sweet. we went to a few classes, sang
songs, talked with the kids, and with one class we did the bead
then we took the scenic route home, ate lunch, and here i sit
updating you all.
peter says a computer in Romania is going to be MORE expensive,
so i guess i'll just schmooze off everyone else until i get home, then
maybe i'll buy one for NEXT TIME! ohhh, next time. i can't believe
i've been here for 2 weeks already. feels like i just got here. and i
hate that i only have 2 weeks left. i'm going to be so distraught
having to leave. ugh.
that's all for now. tonight we go to the orphanage, maybe play in
the park with the local kids, and tomorrow we are having games
with all the orphans and foster kids. should be fun.
oooooookay... that's all for now!
March 15 - Saturday
We rented the gymnasium of a local school, and held "Olympic
Games" for all the foster kids. They are all very happy to see each
other again. It was great to meet the kids i've been hearing about
and seeing on the Casa Iosif project, but never got to see in
person. they are so cute!
we started by just playing a bunch of games while people came
in. Soccor, basketball, frisbee, tag, "volleyball" with beach
balls. lots of fun.
then we did some creative relay/foot races. we did a backwards
bunny hop, and everyone was nearing the finish line, and little Geta
was about 2 yards from the beginning, stuck, but jumping with all
joy, and not going anywhere. that girl is just ADORABLE! then we
divided up into smaller groups and went around to different
"stations" to play some games. my group dissolved and ran amuck,
but everyone was having tons of fun, so i just went around playing
basketball while kicking a soccor ball, then spiking a volleyball, and
throwing plastic rings... all sorts of fun stuff.. and working on my
One of the foster girls, Mia Sorina became attached to me..
literally! she latched onto my arms, and wouldn't let go! poor Nati
came over and looked at me with these big, betrayed eyes. I try to
play with them all, but they ALL want SO MUCH to be special to
someone. I met Ica, who carried around a Shrek doll, and liked
playing "monkey" with me. Maria and Oana played "volleyball" with
me. Little Catalin and Robi ran around to their hearts' content.
THEY NEED FAMILIES!!!
the urgency for the opening of international adoption is becoming
SO clear to me. i can talk about it all i want, but until i see these
kids who just CRAVE love and attention, it just doesn't sink in. they
are SO CUTE. my camera batteries died that morning, so i have to
steal pictures from the other team. they also have a lot of
video. so precious. how anyone could abandon them, i don't know.
it breaks my heart to see them without families, and it's just all the
more heartbreaking to think of what may happen to them in REMM
doesn't get more support. It's bad enough they don't have
permanent families, but they are in GOOD hands. If they lose the
care of REMM, i don't even want to think about what will happen to
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray, and consider how you can help.
at the end of the games, each child was called up to a podium,
given a gold medal and a gift bag, and a poloroid for the frames
they made in between games.
then we went to the Bridge for a pizza party. Mia insisted i sit with
her, and between waiting for drinks and pizza, she caressed my arm,
and watched over little Catalin. she tried on my sunglasses, and
was very proud to look so cool!
we hung out for a while, Daria sang some songs in english (i'll try to
get a video to you!), we played in the yard a bit, then everyone
went home exhausted.
after a brief nap, we plotted practical jokes against the boys (THEY
started it!) and hung out at the bridge. We stayed late, playing
spoons with Andreea, Stephanie, Serban, Alex, and some guy i
don't know... it got a little violent, and we broke one of the glass
easter globes i had decorated... so we learned to play Egyptian Rat
Screw (aka Mexican Rat Face) which i still don't understand, and
had a great time beating each other up.
the walk home was COLD but BEAUTIFUL!! finally a clear night,
moon and stars! i froze my tail off getting pictures of the stars, but
they look great!
March 16 - Sunday
We went to Stei for church this morning. a very nice one. small,
but nice. The girls came with us, and were very well
behaved. They sang a couple songs.. OH MY GOODNESS are they
ever adorable!!! Then we came home and they ate lunch with us.
here i sit at ye olde Bridge, talking to some of Catrina's students on
IM and updating ya'll, trying to get some more pics up. *THANK
YOU, Tim for leaving me your memory card! i am using it!*
Thank You everyone for your prayers, and please continue to pray
for REMM, for Romania, and for all the kids. And for me. I wouldn't
say that i have any "answers" or "direction" right now, but i have
definitely been learning A LOT. God is speaking.
HAPPY PALM SUNDAY!!!
i have to go now to church again, about an hour away... going to be
a long night.
to finish up Sunday:
we went to a larger church in Tulca. It was very nice. they had a
brass ensemble, drummer, piano, and very nice people.
cabbage rolls for dinner! i ate the inside only... thus far i'm feeling
then we went to the Bridge, i hung out with Melinda for a while, and
stephanie and andreea. Alex (16, Beius) came by with his dog, a
BEAUTIFUL Siberian husky, named Leia. (to which all the americans
reply, "like star wars?!?") i played with her in the park for a long
time. she's so cute... i think i like huskies because they kind of look
like cats.. with the pointy ears and whatnot.. haha, i don't
know. anyway, she loved biting me, and jumping on me, and
knocking me on the ground and sitting on my head. GREAT FUN.
dinner time. more about TODAY.. tomorrow!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Happy Good Friday Eve!
WOW its been a while. i've been busy... doing... stuff.
it's been a rough week, and i don't have my notes with
me, so i can't update right now... i can't keep track of
ANYTHING i did without writing it down!
i've caught a bad cold, though, so if u could pray for my
health, that'd be great!
it snowed yesterday! and today. just some flurries,
nothing on the ground, but its terrible how nice and warm
it was getting, then all of a sudden BITTER COLD and
oh well. c'est la vie.
one week until my last night in Beius . honestly what i
dread most? is a million people saying "HEEEY, how was
your trip? what did you do? tell me all about it!!!". i
just... canNOT sum this up in words... i'll give them my
website and say "here, look it up". it's indescribable.
goodbye for now. maybe i'll have time for some serious
blogging tomorrow. maybe. no one really knows.
cu dragoste si maimuta,
Mar 17 - Monday
This morning we visited the elementary school in Remetea,
Melinda's hometown. Several of the foster kids also live in that
area. I saw Mia Sorina again, and she was so happy to see me. We
acted out the skit of the wise man and foolish man building their
houses on rock and sand. the "houses" were actually a pyramid of
6 people. My part was the WIND. i just had to blow around in
circles and knock over the sand house. woohoo! except i tripped,
and ended up IN the house! haha.
That morning i taught Okla the song and motions to "the wise man
built his house upon the rock", and we taught it to the kids. We
also taught them "Deep and Wide". They sang Ode to Joy for us,
and we sang it back to them in English.
We had some question and answer time, they like to talk about
"football" (soccer). We played "heads up seven up" with them,
which is funny, i remember playing it in elementary school! We had
a lot of fun.
one of the students who lives near the school has ostriches. so he
took us to his house, and we got to see some of them. they are so
Then we went to visit Calin, a boy from Casa Iosif who is being
fostered by Melinda's aunt. He couldn't make it to the Olympics on
saturday, so we took him a medal and a gift bag. He had broken a
bone, i think his shoulder or collarbone, or something, while playing
a game, and his whole torso was wrapped in a cast. He seemed
happy to have visitors, though and some new gadgets to play with.
On the way back to the bus, we saw Claudiu, another foster child,
and gave him his gift bag, too.
after lunch, some went on an Agape run, while some cleaned at
Iosif's, and Elliot, John, and I chopped wood. well... i hauled it in
the wheelbarrow. not strong enough to chop (yet!). It started
raining really hard, but we kept working.
when the wood was stacked high, and the girls came home from
school, we played with them for a bit, then went home for dinner.
It was Andreea's birthday, so we had a little party in the back of the
bridge. Plans continued for the "chicken in the boys' bedroom"
fiasco... but fell through once again.
Mar 18 - Tuesday
We pioneered REMM into the public schools of Tinca. The mayor
accompanied us again, and she and all the teachers were very
proud of what they accomplished. They were very proud of their
integrated classrooms, teaching Romanians, Hungarians, and
Gypsies alike. The school as a whole had a strong Orthodox
background. They sang some songs for us, and we talked with
them a bit.
after class, a few of the team went to see the Rehabilitation centers
and orphanages that we had seen the week before. the rest of us
went to this beautiful Orthodox church and got to look around inside
and take pictures. ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!! I'll be posting pics
on PhotoBucket. we got to speak with the priest a bit, then go back
into the courtyards and see an OLD original church from.. a really
long time ago! The sun came out and it was a beautiful day!
Then we went into the gypsy village in Tinca, and did VBS with the
kids. We did the Wise Man and Foolish Man skit and song, and a
few worship songs. Then we took polaroids of each of the kids, and
they made a foam frame to put their pictures in. they were SO
HAPPY to see themselves develop! Then they went upstairs to have
their hot lunch, and we went home for a LATE lunch (3pm!)
It was too late then to do an afternoon Agape run... so i don't
remember what we did. probably hung around the bridge and/or
casa iosif, and once again plotted the Chicken Scandal, but it fell
Mar 19 - Wednesday
We went to another school in Beius, again a first-time connection,
so it was mostly talking and the kids performing for us. One
student was a well-known folk singer, and i don't remember her
name, nor have i ever heard of her... but she sang for us, and that
was cool. not so much teaching from us. There seems to be more
work needed in this place, from a spiritual and social standpoint
(our work with gypsies was not much appreciated here), but they
were very attentive, and welcomed us back again. so hopefully
we've built a bridge.
when we left the school, it was snowing!
After lunch, we finally had the agape run, but to leave room for the
'newbies' to experience it, i stayed back again. hauled wood at
Iosif's with Josh and Zac, and eventually broke the axe flurries
fell now and then, and it was very cold today.
We played with the girls when they got home, then met up with
Ninu (Ursu, the dog, tried to eat him... but i rescued him.. since
when am I the one who ISN'T afraid of enormous dogs?!?) we went
to a youth/high school service at a Pentecostal church. it was fun..
singing, good message.. good stuff.
i myself was experiencing some emotional and spiritual
distress. everyone left the church without me, and as i walked
home alone in the dark, i began to boil in my misery.
so i walked around, mostly by the river, for maybe an hour,
releasing some steam and stress.
went to bed without dinner.
no Rooster Fiasco.
Mar. 20 -Thursday
i slept in, skipping breakfast. i needed some "fasting and prayer"
this morning. I read the bible and prayed a lot, and don't know that
i got any "answers", but got a lot of good stuff to chew on. i
needed the morning off anyway... i have a bad cold, maybe another
sinus infection? blech.
It's market day! i went around to some stores, but couldn't really
understand the sales clerks.. when they started looking at me with
suspicion and followed me around, i just left. forget them.
hung around all day at the Bridge, the clinic, market,
whatever. Peter and Ana have been traveling a lot to Oradea for
meetings, so they've been doing important things, while we have
been having some more down time.
We went to Casa Iosif to present the girls with Easter dresses and
new outfits from Okla's church in Tulsa. They were so cute, trying
everything on.. including frilly dresses with pants and
sneakers... so cute!
Geta accompanied us home to eat with Elliot and our team. such
big brown eyes you have never seen!!!
Then we went to the Bridge for a game night. we had invited a
bunch of people from the church last night, and we finally gathered
a group in the back to play spoons. Then we headed upstairs with
about 25 people, and played Mafia... which got me SO CONFUSED
so i played checkers with Ani, and observed the insanity of the Mafia
game. Everyone was really rowdy, and poor Ninu was trying to
keep things organized in both Romanian and english... everyone
yelling and telling jokes... it was so funny!
and finally... *drum roll please*....
The Rooster Prank came into fruition. Andreea, Stephanie, Christina,
Alex and I followed Serban to his chicken coop, where he obtained a
rooster, and we put it in the boys' room. first in the window, then
Serban moved it to the bed. hahaha.
so we went back to the coffeehouse, where the guys were watching
basketball on internet/tv. Zack and John left, and we followed
behind to see the reaction. we could hear the rooster squawking
when we got home, but the boys were in the diningroom. Elliot said
"did you find anything in your room?" and Zak's like "yeah...
there's a chicken up there..." John didn't even go up yet. He was
so mellow about it, but it was so funny. so we went upstairs to
retrieve the rooster, which put up a good fight. and its all on
video. haha. ... rooster..
then we went BACK to the bridge to play games, and just sit around
and chat. i think i finally went to sleep at 1:30 am.
Mar. 21 - Friday
Okla. has left the building. I slept in, popped some DayQuil,
cleaned up the room a bit, then Andreea and I went to Iosif's to
play with the girls, who were home from school (maybe for Good
Friday?) we colored, played games, dressed up spiderman in a tutu
and did the can-can... yeah, fun stuff!
ate lunch, came to the bridge, and here i sit.
and here i go!
thanks for checking in!
friday the 21st...
yes. i remember it now! haha. andrea and i went to Casa Iosif and
played with the girls, we wandered around town a bit, hung out at
the bridge, i played my guitar some, took a nap, then started
teaching Andrea to play the guitar. its a bit hard with no chord
charts.. but fun anyway.
then we ate Romanian sausage for dinner, which was great going
down, but for the rest of the night we kept burping sausage and it
wasn't so great. hahaha.
we went to Ninuuuuuuuuuu's salon so Andrea could get her
eyebrows down, i looked at hair, (yeah.. i looked at hair...) then we
went back to the bridge, talked with Ninu about his car that got
wrecked because he ran over a dog... and then went home and
waited for Kenosha to arrive.
Mar 22 - Saturday
The team from Andrea's school in Kenosha Wisconsin has
arrived. there are about 20 -25 kids, and they are really nice. Lots
of personality, lots of fun. They brought electric drums, keyboard,
guitars, viola, a whole BAND, and we've been playing some really
good music in the churches and coffeehouse.
I cleaned up the upstairs of the bridge from the mess we made at
game night, so it looked nice for the "tour". I called home with the
phone card Okla left, so that was nice. It was raining and cold, so
we had to give up plans to have an easter egg hunt at the
the other team was "orientation-ing" so i had all day to walk
around... i met Christina outside the bridge, and her friend
Ionut. Christina and i took a nice stroll thru Beius and took silly
pictures of each other. the sun came out and it got warm.
when i got back to the clinic, a bunch of us played soccer with some
local kids. it was really fun. I ended up getting smacked super
hard in the thigh with the ball... but i got over it. still a little
tender! Then it started to rain again, so we went inside and had
they loaded up all the instruments in the vans, and managed to set
up at the bridge. Pretty high-tech stuff! it was nice, i sang a few
songs (well.. "croaked" a few songs.. still have a head cold!) and
talked with Ani, Alex and Christina. still raining. Ani and i walked
home, and then i went to bed.
Mar 23 -Sunday
Paste Fericit!!! happy easter! well, for the americans and
hungarians anyway! Romania mostly celebrates with the orthodox,
which is later in April.
We came down to breakfast to find beautifully painted eggs on the
table. Ninu came over and taught us some easter traditions...
including what i call "egg wars". each person gets an egg. one
says "Hristos ai inviat" (Jesus has Risen!) and the other says "in
adevar inviat" (risen indeed!), and then you hit the eggs
together. whoever has the egg that cracks has to give it up to the
"winner". My egg stood undefeated for a few rounds, then was
slaughtered by andrea's. fun stuff.
We had the pleasure of spending Easter morning in Tinca. Kenosha
brought their instruments, and did worship. They did a 'Human
Video" (a dance/pantomime) about Jesus' crucifixion, Skip preached
a good message, and it was a really great service. Lots of tears,
smiles... good fellowship.
then we went upstairs for goood pastries, soda and chocolate
we got home and had a great easter dinner of fried chicken and
Kenosha had team meetings/unpacking/relaxing, whatever, so i
went to the bridge (as usual!) where i met Ninu, and we talked
about the baptists and pentecostals. hahaha. it's very hard to
explain "non-denominational" here. he read the newspaper, and
translated a review about horseradish... yeah. horseradish. i got a
driving tour of Beius (they are building a theater!) then went to re-
dress for church. some went to a baptist church, the rest of us
went to the Pentecostal church. Romanian Pents. are different from
American... i LOVED the music, they had an amazing choir (even
though it was a small church). the first preacher was good, the
second one was very... loud... and scary.. and i didn't know what he
was saying, so i was terrified. literally shaking. i wasn't sitting near
Andrea or Ninu, so i couldn't ask what was going on... they assured
me later it was nothing bad, its just the way he preaches. i still
don't believe it. I think he condemned me to Sheol... j/k
We went home then for dinner, and got a message "there's a ton of
kids in the bridge! grab your instruments and go!"
so we went and played some more.. a little more simple. most of
the kids had come from the church service. it was
packed. loud. fun... but NOISY in my head because of my
cold. We talked about dumb stuff some more... bla bla bla...
i called home before i went to bed and got to talk to everyone. they
should have told you "hi!" for me!
Mar 24 - Monday
Back to work! we split into two groups for VBS - one to high school,
my group to Popoviciu. We went to Katrina's class first, and since
i'm not really part of the group's presentation, i sat with the class
and they taught me some romanian animals while they set
Kenosha brought PUPPETS!!! so funny. we did some songs and
stuff, they played Gavin's favorite Audio Adreanline song - Big
House! so now i know the motions!
we visited another class for a short time, then did a presentation in
the 6th grade french class... they learned english during todays
lesson more songs, puppets, question and answer, etc etc.
then we went to the bridge, played Texas Hold 'Em with some kids
who were skipping school (apparently they do that a lot here!)
talked, had fun, then christina walked me to a bookstore, and i
found a small dictionary, James and the Giant Peach, and The Little
Prince, in Romanian. i'm really excited! i had to leave for lunch,
but i'll be going back to look some more. i luv books!
now the other teams are doing Agape, and i have nothing to do until
5:00 when we go to the Hungarian church in Remetea.
and that's the nightly news from Romania. Noapte Buna!
finishing monday-Mar 24
we went to the hungarian church in Remetea. saw Mia and Catalin,
and her ("sisters"?) Naomi and Iohana, and Claudiu and
Calin. Melinda's been sick, so she couldn't make it. Since the
Hungarians celebrated Easter this weekend, they played some
easter hymns on their brass instruments. it was really nice to hear
them - it just wasn't easter without the hymns!
ummm... my notes are at home and i have the memory of a
peanut... so i'll get back to you later...
today we went to Oradea... i can tell you that!
i can't believe tomorrow is my last day. i..... ugh.
it just started snowing again. we had a blizzard in Oradea, and it
was fine here, when i was walking down the street, and all of a
sudden a ton of snow fell from the sky... the weather has been SO
WEIRD. not to mention all the daffodils blooming in the middle of it.
i'm pretty sure i have a sinus infection again.. same kind of
symptoms. a lot of hacky coughing and nasal congestion. blah.
<----- this is about what i feel right now. i'm having lots of fun,
i'm really happy, but in two days i'll be leaving, and i... ugh.
it must have been a loooong monday, it's taken me 3 posts to finish
after church in Remetea we had dinner then went to the Bridge for
the nightly music and games and goood pastries. As the
coffeehouse gets crowded, we usually move upstairs and play
games. Mafia and spoons are always a favorite, and it took two
hours to teach everyone how to play "do you like your neighbor?",
and i STILL didn't get it (though somehow i ended up admitting
sometimes i don't wear underwear.. it's true! i shower naked!)
so i confiscated Ninu's laptop and spilled some frustrations to my
mama on Yahoo. then we had to close up the bridge, and go home,
but i wasn't tired and i needed some time away from the group. So
Serban drove the scenic route home to the clinic, but then we ended
up just walking around town anyway. Beius is a lot bigger than you
first think. The Crisul Negru is a lot prettier than Yoe's Mill Run, you
meet some interesting town drunkards on the street at 2 am, the
dogs howl at the moon, and the smoke rises from the chimneys of
the little houses, filling the crisp night air with a woodsey haze that
makes you want to pitch a tent and sing Kum Ba Yah.
I crawled into bed at 5 am, and only got a few hours of sleep, but a
lot of stress was lifted, a lot of anger burned off, and a lot of peace
3/25 - Tuesday
We went to Nicolae Popoviciu School again this morning, and first
visited Catrina's class. i have to admit, its quite flattering to walk in
the room and have 20 kids' faces light up and they yell "jay-see-
ca!!!!" and bombard me with hugs and kisses and ask me to sit at
THEIR desk. I'd been asked not to participate in Kenosha's
performances, so i sat with a girl (i think it was Anita...) and
watched the puppet show with them. it was hilarious.
i became a student. i sang their songs with them (Read your Bible,
pray everyday... pray everday... pray everyday...), and when the
group left, they invited me to stay.
so i did. i sat thru geometry class and learned about parallels and
perpendiculars. i loved geometry in high school. The kids
presented me with breads and cakes, and easter eggs, and more
hugs and kisses, and during the break we took pictures and
practiced our gymnastics (i'm not as flexible as i used to be
) They asked me to come back tomorrow, but i told them we
were going to Oradea. "Naahh" they said "you don't need to go to
Oradea, you need to come HERE!"
but i had to say my goodbyes, and catch up with the next class.
we walked back to the Bridge and hung out til lunch, then i caught
up on the sleep i missed last night. My sinus infection had returned
and i was all stuffed up and sore-throated...
that's all i remember about Tuesday.. i'm sure we went to the
Bridge that night (we always do!)...
3/26 - Wednesday
Oradea! a road trip with that includes Charles, Tim and Ninu is
bound to be a blast. we played truth or dare on the way, and i
ended up digesting a gum wrapper. i'm so glad i'm not a goat.. i
couldn't live on eating paper all the time .
we went to McDonald's in Oradea, where i had my first
cheeseburger in a month... sooo tasty. i was also delighted to find
beer on the beverage menu.. no, i didn't order it, i just took a
picture. the romanians didn't understand why i was so
intrigued. "you just don't find beer in American McDonalds..."
Ninu's watch was off, and we ended up leaving late. we had to rush
down the street and thru some really cool souvenir shops. i got
some cool stuff, but i def. need to go back to Oradea next time and
see the city. nice stuff.
our van was on the other side of town, so we called 2 taxis to take
us to the christian school chapel. it was a really nice place. they
sang, did their thing, we talked with some of the students, then
headed back out into the SNOW, and went to Emanuel Baptist
University. We'd double booked ourselves, so we were supposed to
present at the university, but missed the time while at the school...
so we ate lunch in the Univ. cafeteria, taught Cheeto some
Romanian pick-up lines (though i'm not sure why "i'm a ninja"
would impress the ladies... ) and finally headed back home. i
slept. i woke up near the clinic to Tim yelling about the hosiery that
had been stuffed in his mouth. endless entertainment.
We had a birthday party in the back of the bridge for Gabi (Pama's
little sister). we ate cake and played with the girls, then went
outside (it stopped snowing!) to play soccer, tag, and Red
Rover!!! it was so much fun. the girls had some trouble with "red
rover, red rover, send Delia on over", so it came out more like "Rub
rova, red robot, Delia!" it ended with a pile-up tackle.
night at the bridge again! music, and games. we tried a "jam
session" which worked now and then, but some people just can't
improvise. i tried playing Egyptian Rat Screw again.. only to lose
within 45 seconds... haha. then eventually the team got the hang
of "jamming", and i was able to join in on tambourine and some
improv vocals. it was a lot of fun.
The Rooster Saga was meant to continue with Kenosha, but the
plans fell thru.
i downloaded a couple thousand songs from Serban's computer, so
now i have a lot of Romanian music for my iPod. and the Macarena..
which isn't romanian, but it ended up on there anyway
3/27 - Thursday
the bittersweet Last Day. We checked out the market one last time,
and hung around the bridge. the group went to the Bear Cave, and
i stayed in town to walk around and say goodbye to Beius. Talked
with my new friends, visited the bookstore (finally got a bible!) and
the minimarket, and packed up my suitcases.
after lunch the guys went to play soccer with Dani and Alex at Casa
Iosif, and we hung around and talked until the girls got home from
school. then we played soccer and football with them, tag, duck
duck goose, red rover (which again ended in a pile up... with me in
Then we walked them down the street to the pizza parlor, and the
whole team, the girls, the social workers, Peter and Ana, and Pastor
George from Tinca had pizza. i can't believe how well-behaved they
are in public. little ladies
we walked back to Iosif's and played a little more. Sam taught the
girls to beat-box, and it was hilarious. i have video (which is having
trouble loading... i'll get it up eventually!)
then we had to say our goodbyes, even ME, who had stayed thru all
the other team's goodbyes... the girls kept asking if i was going to
cry.. "probably...after i leave!"
i managed to make it out the gate, but the walk home was
accompanied with some waterworks. how do you tell these precious
children that you really do love them, that you wish you could take
care of them forever, that you've enjoyed your time with them.. but
now you have to leave? everyone always leaves them.... no one
ever stays. it's so unfair...
last night at the Bridge. we played our last game of spoons (which
never actually happened... ) and chatted with our friends,
exchanged e-mails and looked at pictures... *le sigh*
waterworks round #2.
Then we finally continued the Rooster Tradition, where the fowl
ended up "fowling-up" the desk (i wonder who ever cleaned that
up...?) and once again catching the bird proved more entertaining
than the victim discovering it. Sam made the mistake of letting on
that he was afraid of the rooster, so of course we chased him
around the clinic, cornered him in a bedroom and laughed
hysterically as he leaped over the beds, eyes big as
i decided that i could sleep on the bus. i could sleep in Budapest... i
could sleep on the plane...i could sleep at home... so while i only
had 7 hours left in Beius, why would i sleep through it??? So i got
the grand tour of Beius by night (it really is bigger than you think!!!)
got attacked by dogs (almost), fell in the river (well, one of us did!)
trespassed on private property (maybe), climbed a hill, howled at
the moon, disturbed the dead, and finally came to the realization
that this would someday be my hometown, so why be sad about
leaving? Nonetheless waterworks round #3 came as the sun was
about to rise, followed shortly thereafter by round #4 of sobbing in
staying up all night proved to be a very wise decision, though,
because as soon as i got in the van at 6am, i fell soundly asleep,
and woke up "2 minutes later" at the Hungarian border (a 3-hour
drive). after getting my passport stamped, i went back to sleep,
and "2 minutes later" (another 3 hours) i woke up at our hotel
outside Budapest. the most miserable 6-hour drive of the trip had
passed in 4 minutes. the hotel was really cool, but i had to wait for
the rest of the group to arrive (they had my reservation). so i fell
asleep in the lobby and "2 minutes later" they showed up and gave
me a room. the rooms were small, with two twin beds, and a
tiny loft "upstairs" that fit one double bed... and ONLY a bed. i got
to sleep in the loft, which was really cool. the bathrooms were
primitive, but provided sufficient entertainment when Andrea told
the girls that the bidet was a foot washer... and they believed her.. i
don't know if they tried it out, but their naivety was priceless all the
We then drove into Budapest, got to see St. Stephens Basilica
(GORGEOUS), cross the royal chain bridge, climb the hill, see the
cool buildings, eat spiral cinnamon bread (*drool*), do some
souvenir shopping, take pictures, etc etc.. yeah. it was Budapest.
we went back into the "city" for dinner and shopping at the market
stands in the square (the large open area where we watched the
violinist last year.. it was now crowded with vendors of clothing,
souvenirs, jewellry, and food.. it was really cool!) the Americans
wanted french fries and soda (i'm no longer one of them... i'm an
American-Romanian-Wanna-Be)they went to Burger King, and i
went shopping. i eventually got bacon-wrapped turkey-on-a-stick
and potatoes from a street vendor. so very tasty..
Everyone always talks about going home. and usually when you are
on a trip with foreign foods, customs, schedules, away from home,
yeah, you want to go home. no matter how much fun you had,
there's just that time when you feel like "it's time to go home now".
i never felt like that.
my entire life had been left behind, and i never missed it. in the
"bad" times i really wanted to talk to my Dad and get some
guidance, i wanted to share with my friends and family what i was
experiencing... but i never "missed" them.
i had no desire to go home and rest. no desire to sleep in my own
bed. no desire to eat American food. i wasn't tired of bread and
soup. even after a month.
we went back to the hotel, and Kenosha had a small baptism
ceremony in the swimming pool. a few students and leaders were
baptized/rededicated. i baptized myself in the shower dead to
dirt, raised in cleanliness.
3/29 - Saturday
got up at 4 am to leave the hotel by 5. we grabbed a sack
breakfast, and headed for the airport. The first group left at 7:30,
the majority at 8:30, and i sat (and slept for "2minutes!") at the
check-in for a few hours because my flight didn't leave until
noon. when my time came, though, i got checked in, went thru
security, was asked questions about where i was, what i had in my
suitcase, etc etc, but everything went VERY SMOOTHLY. i had 2
hours at the gate, so i shopped (duty free!) and slept and waited for
flight went well. watched August Rush, Enchanted, Ugly Betty, and
My Name is Earl. the flight staff was pleasant and FUNNY... near
the end of the flight, for our last snack, they announced they had
run out of orange juice and coffee. "we sincerely apologize for this
situation, but its not like we can go out and get some right
passport control and customs had a little wait, but going thru was
easy as pie. both officers looked at my passport and said "where in
the world is Yoe, Pennsylvania?!?!?!" yeah... i know... i get that a
my baggage arrived safely. my dad was there to pick me up. we
drove back to Yoe. i had a hard time saying "i'm going home". it
really doesn't feel like home. its like... a pleasant visit to my old life.
i still have a job! i have to admit part of me was disappointed, but
its a good thing. i'm still full-time at Michaels, so now i can make
money faster, save faster, and get back to Beius faster!!!
i'm so excited for my future. i don't know WHEN or HOW, but i'm
pretty sure i'm going to end up in Beius. To go 5,000 miles away
and feel like your home?!?! that has to mean something! i've
been begging God for direction all month, and i'm still not sure if i'm
taking the direct flight or the scenic route, but there's a huge arrow
pointing EAST. its pretty cool. i'm pretty blown away by it.
life is good.