Shopping for groceries has been an adventure here in Romania. Here are a few major differences I have noticed:
- Everything is smaller. The biggest carton of milk is 1.5 liters. Jars of spaghetti sauce are only good for about 4 uses. They do have family size bags of cereal, but they are about a fourth the size of the malto-meal bags I am used to in the States!
- Everybody goes grocery shopping frequently, and each time they go they buy about 3-5 items. As I unload my basket full of food, I feel the eyes staring. No one ever buys as much as we do.
- They do not give you grocery bags. You must either buy them from the store or bring them yourself. Carrying my groceries home is not my favorite. Everything feels super heavy pretty much the second I walk out of the store.
- We have to buy water here, because tap water is not safe to drink. I like carrying this home even less than my groceries.
Monday we went on a huge grocery shopping trip. On Tuesday morning, I woke up to pour myself a bowl of cereal. When I went to open the fridge, I realized I didn’t need to, because it was already open, and had been all night. All of the new food we had bought was warm and ruined. Because grocery shopping is not one of my favorite things to do here, I was kind of sad. I’d also had 3 liters of milk go bad in the past week, so it had been a long time since I ate cereal and I missed it! Thankfully, it was our day off from the hospital, so after the orphanage we went to the store to replenish our food supply. We also bought a roll of duct tape to hold our fridge door closed, because we have noticed our fridge never seals very well. It is not quite as reliable as duct tape in the states, but it has been getting the job done fairly well so far!
This week with the orphanage kids was a little hard. Miranda and I had to work with one of the more difficult workers for a room for a few days. She did not allow us to pick up the kids at all, which was really hard for me. She told us that the kids cry when we put them down, but I have never seen that happen. Our kids our very happy and very quiet for the most part, so I don’t think her reasoning was really grounded. If she tells us we can not pick up the kids again I will probably talk to someone about it, because although I can do things with the kids in their chairs, I can connect so much better with the children when I am holding them.
One of the most exciting moments of the week was when one of my kids said mama. I have been working with him since I got here, and so far he has only been able to say one syllable – ah. When he finally said mama it seriously made my day. I am going to try to teach him a few more words before the end of the summer.
The hospital was a little rough as well. There was one particularly naughty little boy that shocked us all and broke our hearts. He had the the absolute worst black eye I have ever seen in my life. It was literally solid black. The day I went to see him, it was obvious he had been sedated, but he quickly gained energy. His legs were tied to the bars on his crib, and he was not pleased at all. He began to rip his sheets and totally destroy his bed. He thrashed around. When he got really angry he took off his shoes and threw them at the babies. Lexi was a champ and tried to keep him entertained for about a half an hour with pretty much every child song and nursery rhyme we knew. I felt so bad for him, and I can not imagine the life he has known.
Today we had an awesome opportunity! We got to go to a Romanian Orthodox Christian Wedding. It was so beautiful! It was the wedding of the friend of the psychologist at the orphanage, and she was gracious enough to allow us to come. It was at a church near my apartment. It was a small, intimate ceremony and so different from anything I have witnessed before. Here are a few pictures from the wedding!