Sunday, July 7, 2013

Play Dates!

This past week Hannah and I, along with a few staff members, took some of our children into the community for special play dates. For some of the children, even the car ride was a first! 

On Tuesday, we took Fluturas, Ramona and Ana to Herastrau, a large park in Bucharest with an abundance of activities. The children enjoyed seeing the lake, feeding the ducks and swans, seeing peacocks, playing in the children's park and drinking juice. Ramona and Ana mastered the teeter totter and loved swinging on the large swing. Fluturas was fascinated with the water and enjoyed feeding the animals "pufuleti". We ended the day with a trip to McDonald's. Fluturas was all about the fries, Ana loved drinking Sora Graciela's soda and Ramona joyfully ate her ice cream! Despite a few challenges, it was a successful day.

Thursday, my dear friend Lili arranged to take me, Hannah, Ema (one of the caregivers) and the three Ioanas to the zoo. Hannah has really bonded with Ioana "mica" (little Ioana). Ioana mare (big Ioana) looked at the lions and tigers with such interest and helped to pull the other 2 children in a wagon. Although she is basically non-verbal, she often exclaims "oh dear".  After exploring the zoo, we took the children to an outdoor restaurant. Hannah was able to get little Ioana to taste the chocolate filling from a croissant. This is huge as Ioana mica eats very few foods. Ioana mare eagerly ate mini croissants and pretzel sticks, foods that are a real treat! The greatest surprise was watching Ioana "the twin" independently reach for mici (a type of Romanian sausage)! She also did amazingly well with drinking flavored water from a sports bottle. 

Tomorrow morning we leave for "camp" with 5 of our children: Alexandru, Ancuta, Laurentiu, Liviu and Luminita. The children have been asking for weeks how many more days until we will leave for "tabora" (camp), so today when I was with them, they squealed with delight when I reminded them we were leaving in the morning! Thanks to the generosity of another foundation that I have partnered with in the past, FARA, we will be staying in a small village house up in the mountains. It will be wonderful for the children to breathe clean air and be able to stay outside all day. Our theme this year is "God keeps His promises" and our activities will be all about Noah's Ark. Please be praying not only for the children, but also for the workers, that Hannah and I would be Salt and Light. 

Joyfully His,
Dawn (and Hannah)

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