This was a fabulous week. I had 3 days of work, and then I headed down to the black sea. The orphanage was great this week, but a little bittersweet. A few of the kids went in to foster care or were adopted, which is so so great because a family is definitely the ideal place for these children to be, but we have grown to love them and will miss them. We are so happy they going to homes though! Here foster care is pretty much like adoption. The family will take care of a child until they turn 18, but will usually continue to help provide for them after that because they have become part of their family. I also find it interesting that most people want older, not younger children here, whereas in the US, I feel like people usually prefer to adopt babies. One of my original babies left this week though, and I am so happy for him. He does have a heart condition, but other than that he is a happy, energetic little boy and I am so glad he is going to grow up in what I hope will be a loving home!
We were still not allowed in the wing of the hospital with my baby girl this week, but I had an awesome day at the hospital on Wednesday. The kids there were just so happy when we came. There was a new perfect baby there a floor we had never been allowed on before. Apparently there was nothing wrong with him, but he is only 2 months old and mother abandoned him. There was another little boy in the room next to his that was seriously one of the most beautiful children I have ever seen. Bright blue eyes and blond hair. He did have a mother, but kept peeking around the corner when we saw that we had bubbles. He was just too precious so we played with him for a while too. His little laugh was just so happy!
On Wednesday night, our train left Iasi at 10:30 pm. It was a horrible night. Even though I train went overnight, it wasn’t a sleeper train and we didn’t have our little compartments like we thought we would. The 6 of us in our little group were facing each other at least. It was pretty much impossible for me to sleep. They didn’t turn the lights off and I just have a really hard time sleeping sitting up. The train is stop and go, and we definitely waited in some super sketch train stations around 3 in the morning. At 7:30 am we finally rolled in to Constanta. It was weird because it was morning but it felt like there was never a night. We got a taxi to our hotel, put on our swim suits and headed straight for the beach. Here are a few pics…
Pulling in to Constanta! We were so tired.
The rest of the day we explored and hung out at the beach more. Because we were so exhausted we called it an early night, and apparently we were a bit of an anomaly in Mamaia for this reason. One of our cab drivers asked us what we were doing in at the black sea. The girls told him we were there for the beach. He was a little baffled, because according to him, no one goes there for the beach, they go there for the clubs. We definitely got some invitations over the few nights we were there.
Day 2 was a full day on the beach. We went and bought a volleyball, and some Romanian 20 something year olds came and asked to play with us. It was so fun! It was fun to talk to people our age and get their take on different things and learn about their school systems and jobs and lives. They were super funny, and they really struggled to say some of our names. We had trouble with one of theirs too, so he told that his name was just Bryan.
That night we went to the mall in Constanta. We took a Gondola ride halfway there.
After we got off we walked through a little carnival and city park. It was fun to go exploring!
When we got to the mall there was an elephant in front because of a circus that was going on. It seemed a little sketch because no one was really watching him and he didn’t have much to fence him in, but naturally we took pictures with him!
On our last full day, we went to the beach (again). Lexi’s birthday was Sunday, so we celebrated Saturday since we were on train pretty much all day on Sunday. We went out for dinner at a little Italian place on the boardwalk. When we walked up, there were 3 guys sitting outside at the front of the restaurant, and we realized they were speaking English. Turns out they were Marines. We were all a little excited because we never run into Americans here. Ever. Everyone here also assumes we are British or Italian, and are always surprised when they find out we are from America. They tried to buy us drinks, but we are Mormon BYU students interning with orphans – so that wasn’t happening. In the end, they just bought 6 tequila shots for themselves. Here are some pictures from dinner.
After dinner we went and got mocktails on the beach because it was Lexi’s 21st . We went to cute little place with awesome chairs and the nicest waiter ever. He made us delicious special grapefruit drinks in honor of Lexi’s birthday, and brought us blankets because it was chilly. It was so fun!
Sunday we went to church in Constanta before we boarded the horrid train. It was in kind of an out of the way place, but it is so comforting to walk into a church building. I love that even when I feel lost and completely out of place, I can walk into a LDS church building and feel welcomed and right at home, because it is the same everywhere you go.
The train ride home was not quite as utterly horrible as the way there, but 10 hours on a train is never fun. At least we were actually supposed to be awake during the time we were on this one! We played a lot of card games 🙂
Overall, Mamaia was beautiful and I had so much fun with these lovely ladies!