Many of you are waiting anxiously to here about my first day of volunteering. I have to say, I am speechless. It was wonderful, humbling, heartbreaking, peaceful, thought provoking and fun! My adorable roommate, who is a frequent volunteer of Romania, couldn't sleep last night because she was so excited. I dreamed Romanian words and still didn't have them down today (I will by the time I leave). After breakfast, we headed to the hospital. This is where the volunteer program has moved due to the Tutiva (sp?) clinic closing some time last year. There we found 4 children; yes, orphans, for us to care for at the hospital: Dalia, Mariacleopatra, Christian and Allena. 3 more were in isolation due to a stomach.
Yes, they are all as adorable as their names sound. Allena, the only mobile and most alert, squealed in excitement when she heard us speaking English. She has dwarfism. She knows the routine and was excited to have people to climb on, lead around, and be silly for. Dalia, who had a fever, wanted to be carried around. Dalia was born missing 3 of her extremities. She only has a right leg. She is beautiful and has so so much potential. It was reported that she has recently been looked at for prosthetics (FINGERS CROSSED). Christian, well if you don't want to hear the most sad story skip this part. He had only been there 3 days and was found being kept in a building with cats and dogs. In just one day with Robin and Kristin, two of our team members, he went from stiff and not wanting to be touched to laughing and grasping things. Finally, sweet Cleo. She has hydrocephalus and we were told had little to no brain function. She received a shunt last year (she is 4 years old). Well, my therapist friends will get this... She drinks from a bottle without difficulty, responds to sound vibration, and today I heard her laugh out loud when I was playing with her. I think she has more than a little brain function. She even went with our host, Dan, to another center to pick up 2 more children who needed stimulation/play/interaction. I'll tell more about them tomorrow. Let's just say that if you ever wanted to make a difference in the life of children who desperately needs someone, this is the place to be. This is where I was meant to be, right here, right now; it's a God-thing. See my pictures and you will understand, maybe... If not, book your flight and come see for yourself.