Day 2 at the Barlad Hospital. It feels like I've know the kids at the hospital for weeks, yet we just met yesterday. Today was more relaxed, or maybe I should say I was more relaxed. We arrived with stuff. We inventoried and decided that they needed diapers, wipes, paper towels for us to dry our hands and wipe up spittle. We also got yogurt. Several of the volunteers brought clothing donations, and I took my donations today. They were greatly appreciated. We were able to expose the skin of the kids without any of the well meaning nurses getting on to us. In Romania it is believed that children should be kept warm or they will get sick. The hospital is kept very warm and no windows are open (unless we sneak and open one). In addition to this the children are dressed in layers and clothed from head to toe. However, today little Delia was only in a pair of socks and a long sleeve onesie. Her remaining leg, which we discovered today is deformed, was exposed so we let her touch and kick! We also touched and massaged her residual right arm. Actually, Kristin put a chair under a bouncer and helped her use her leg to bounce. We also placed a doll near her arm and she touched it, smiling. She did all this despite the 102 temp which was treated with an alcohol bath. Each child has a similar story. Allena spoke very clear English today, saying "I love you", then promptly whacked Kristin across the face. Day two came with some time out for Allena.
I mentioned in my last post that they picked up two more children for us to take care of over the next two weeks. Gabi and Eunuts are both at the center for children with disabilities. Here is what I understand: This is a place for children, with and without parents, who have disabilities. Most of the parents do not see the kids. Beyond, that I don't know much more. It sounds like the children are just there....taken care of the best that they can. These children come to the Barlad hospital for evaluations and when volunteers are here, brought to the hospital for extra stimulation. Gabi is a beautiful child, apparently a twin. Her sister is with a foster family, is learning to walk, and has taken each of us up and down the hall holding just one hand to practice and get stronger. She is also learning to eat solid food. More on that later. Gabi has a visual impairment, and when she looks at things she uses her peripheral vision. Today she discovered the new kid, Christian, and looked him up and down with her nose very close to him. He loved it and laughed. After her examination, Christian, Gabi and I listened to a Dr. Suess book on my iPhone. She wanted a closer look at my phone and crawled over Christian to get a better view. He did not like that and we had to rearrange so she and Christian would both be able to see my phone. Eanuts is a puzzle. He is fussy and really doesn't want interaction. :( Our team decided to keep his stimulation low the first day, and to try slowly to increase his interactions in hopes that he will become more acclimated. He is a beautiful boy who is one of those kids that I want to help, but we need to wait and follow his lead. We have such a great team, I'm sure we'll figure it out.
What else? Oh, my foodies. We found a cafe, a short walk from the hospital. On our break today, Robin and I walked over and had a mini pastry and chai. I had a beautiful mini eclair. Dinner was at a lovely Italian restaurant.
It was a day filled with food and lots of poop (kisses in Romanian)!!
Looking forward to tomorrow.