Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Team Bucuresti: Kristi (MT), Jenny (PT) and me (OT)

Today marks my 12th day here in Bucuresti, the capital city of Romania. We (Jenny, Kristi and I) have been traveling each day to a local children's center/orphanage where we have been working with children from the orphanage, as well as with some of the children from the community. Most of the children are on the autism spectrum, so Kristi and I are feeling right at home! The center has some amazing equipment (including suspended equipment/swings, rocker boards and therapy balls) so I have been in therapy heaven!!!!

Making a Roxana sandwich, or once Kristi composes the words,
a "sarmale" (the traditional Romanian stuffed cabbage roll)

Catalina swinging!

The equipment was primarily donated from Inimi Deschise/Children to Love (CTL), the ministry that is hosting us. Lili, one of the CTL workers, has also spent time in California and was trained in using the Picture Exchange Communication system (or PECS for all of my therapist friends reading this!), so the the center has a PECS program, which includes time in the "sensory stimulation room" and the "occupational therapy gym". However, the staff didn't know how to use the therapy equipment, which is why we we were invited to come. Lili has been working with children at this orphanage for about 12 years and has an incredible heart. Her love for the children is contagious!

Lili and her new swing. Jenny and I picked up this swing at the Ikea store in Bucuresti. The kids are loving it!

Last week I was asked to do a 3 day training course on sensory integration (SI) theory, assessment and intervention, and yesterday I did another training on how to manage aggressive behaviors. All of the trainings went exceptionally well and the staff have all been so attentive. We have also been able to come along side the staff during treatment sessions, helping them to implement the new strategies. It has been such a treat to do true SI work again, plus we have seen some amazing results with a few of the children in just the past week and a half! This has been so encouraging not only to us, but also to the staff. Oh so many stories I want to share...perhaps in another blog. Today we have to say goodbye to all of our new friends (both staff and children), so it will be a bittersweet day. Please pray that the workers will have seen beyond our tangible help and will have experienced glimpses of our glorious Savior, and that through those glimpses their hearts would be changed.

Say Cheese: Group picture with the staff

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