Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Week 1

From my last entry you may remember a painting that came to my mind while I was on a walk on my last day in the states. It was of 2 children in a dangerous situation being protected by an angel. The night I moved into my host-family’s home I found this picture hanging in my room. It’s not exactly the same as the one I remember from my childhood, but it is close. I was and am reminded that I am not alone and that I am where I am supposed to be.
The picture of the kittens in a basket of yarn also hangs in my room. It’s actually in 3-D, so from various angles their little faces stick out. A few steps outside the drop-in center a dead cat has been laying for several days. I don’t think there is any coincidence in these two images, just thought I’d mention them; and the fact that my love of cats has not deepened even when homage is being paid to them in an ornate gold frame hanging in my room. If anything it makes me chuckle when I’m by myself in my room, where a picture of an angel protecting children also hangs reminding me that I am not alone, and so maybe Somebody chuckles with me at the silly ornate framed picture of 3-D kittens sitting in a basket of yarn.
My first few days in Galati have gone well. When I rolled into town with David at 2.30am Thursday morning, I slept at Rachel and Ana’s place, which used to be Ron and Audra’s, where I stayed when I visited in October. I woke late in the morning and successfully navigated my way to the drop-in center from memory. I stayed a few hours and watched the kids recite Psalm 23, which was really precious. I ate a little soup and then went back to the apartment where I slept for several hours. In the evening Robin and Josh accompanied me to my host-mom’s apartment.
The apartment has 2 rooms, one is my bedroom, and the other is a living/bedroom for the host mom. Her name is Irina (sp?) and she has made it her goal to teach me Romanian, which is really sweet. However, mostly it is when I’m in the fog of jet-lag, early morning sleepiness, so I have a hard time deciphering what she is saying, whereupon I stand stupidly trying to understand what she has said and she demands that I repeat a response such as: Beine, again I’m unsure of the spelling, but it means well or good. On the whole, the living situation is going well and I’m certain I’ll learn much from Irina.
On Friday I tried to withdraw funds from an ATM when the machine decided to eat my card. Robin was with me and we went into the bank in order to retrieve the card. They were able to get the card out of the machine, but would not give it back to me as they discovered a hold had been placed on my card. We spent the rest of the day trying to get in touch with my bank via Skype. In the end they released the hold on my card (it seems that the time I had spent in discussion with my bank about going out of the country and making note of this on my account did not actually make it onto my account, and therefore a block had been placed on my card). They also said that the Romanian bank should give me my card back the next day. So, on Saturday Robin, Josh, and I went back to the bank where we were told that the card would not be released unless my bank sent an official paper authorizing the release. Voices were raised (mainly the woman working at the bank) and we left determined to figure this thing out. I did, however, have a small feeling that I would not be getting my card back. Which turned out to be the case. When I spoke to my bank they said that it was not their policy to distribute such documents, but they would expedite a new card to me. I’ll see that card in 1-2 days. Ugh. On the whole, though, I wasn’t stressed or scared, just annoyed and knew that it would work itself out. And it did. I was grateful for Josh and Robin’s generous presence, as well as for their Skype account and calling card, spaghetti dinner and potato soup lunch. And for Rachel’s prayers, dreams of cookie shaped ATM cards, and ability to cover my rent for a few days.
After these events, I went grocery shopping with Josh and Robin to the piazza where I purchased pasta, a lot of salami, cream for my tea, and homemade honey. It’s good.
I slept until noon on Sunday (which is the day I write this) and anticipate a week of language lessons. I start these on Monday with Lau, who is also on staff with Word Made Flesh. Life is already decidedly different as I spent Sunday mostly reading and dreaming of a much needed shower on Monday morning (I didn’t think my hair could get quite so greasy…see attached photo).
I may be over the hump with jetlag, but we’ll see. I discovered that the surge protector I purchased for my laptop doesn’t in fact fit my laptop, which is a bummer. And then I accidentally dropped the converter and broke it, so I’m unable to recharge anything. I have another one, though, in a bag I need to get from the Chronics. Ahhh…the troubles. (I’m smiling). I also need to get an alarm clock as the watch I brought that has an alarm also has a dead battery, which I didn’t check before leaving, along with the surge protector I didn’t check. And I’ve been using the alarm on my cell phone, but didn’t bring its charger as I didn’t think I would need it. However, I’m well supplied with underwear, socks, and t-shirts. I wonder, though, if the shampoo I brought is what is making my hair extraordinarily greasy.
Anyway, enough of my rambling. I’m doing well, and I’m not alone.


aimee walnofer said...

I'm praying for you, April! I got chills when I read about the picture hanging on your wall and it's similarities to the one you described in your last post. What a neat little message from God!

JamieB said...

i was cracking up at the cats! Soo funny, and so great to think that God has sense of humor too... thanks for updating. I love you.

Heather said...

Oh, sweetie. That grease in your hair. That's nothing....:)
I love this. I love you there, with homemade honey in your tea and Josh and Robin at your side.
I love knowing who you're with and Who your with. The One who hangs His angels on your wall!

la femme elisabeth said...

i miss you...and your greasiness. :)

Jennifer said...

I'm glad to hear that you made it there safely and are settling in. Do you have an address where things can be mailed to you?

thesix said...

wow! I read as if I was right by your side. Praise the Lord you are safe and sound in your perfect place! Prayers are with you!

Courtney said...


Praying for you and so happy to read your update. I"ve been thinking about you often. Love you, and will write soon.


Dad (aka Mel) said...

I LAUGHED. Welcome to post Soviet society... Right down to the loud woman at the bank, and them wanting paperwork for EVERYTHING. Showers only once in a while too. And a Babushka who will make it her mission in life to see to it you gain 10 kilos and.... Well, nevermind :-)
I have a favor to ask. Could you do a darker background on the blog. Either that or dark letters. It's hard for these old eyes to read when the letters and the background don't have much contrast. Thanx, LOVE YA

Kathryn said...

I've been smiling for the last 24 hours to myself, since checking your blog yesterday. Partly because of God's presence and faithfulness, and partly because those kittens are hysterical. So good to know you're there and getting settled, however chaotic that may be.

Jeff and Aimee: said...

Just so you know, Delaney loved the kittens. At least they have one fan!


jo said...

Bepo, we really miss you and hope you are having a good time!! We love ya!!
Whats wrong with the cats? Its an awesome picture haha love, sarah micah seth and jo

Anonymous said...

See here or here

Jason & Kris Bauernfeind said...

i really hate to say, 'i told ya so' on the atm card, but actually... i do like saying that... anyhow glad thing are going well. may the Lord open doors for you that you didn't expect!

JEM said...

Been checking your blog daily to see how things are... Glad to see that you're online and that things have started off well. We're praying for you. Much love, jm

jo said...

Bepo, I miss you so much!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you come back soon.


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