Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Timisoara Day 1

Ah, another satisfying day!  Timisoara is pretty much a whole different world compared to Draganesti, so much so that during parts of today I had to remind myself that I am still in Romania! But I love both areas so much, for different reasons.
Dawn lives on Bach Street!  And today is Bach's birthday!

As I mentioned in the last post, I'm staying with Dawn and her friend Pam.  Both of these women are internationally-minded women deeply committed to improving the lives of children.  Pam has worked on child welfare issues around the world, and is meeting with some sort of important official this coming Monday here in Timisoara to discuss foster care and adoption.  Dawn has been faithfully serving the kids of Romania with the love of Christ for 20 years.  Needless to say, we had much to talk about!

the children's center
Dawn and I walked down to the children's center where she works this morning.  It's actually a pretty cool complex, but is essentially an orphanage that's part of the child welfare system here and in an area with several different hospitals serving this county.  But compared to the state-run orphanage that I visited in Hunedoara in 05 and 06, this place is beautiful.  The kids there all have disabilities of some sort, and many live in cribs and don't get the education that they should, but the place is clean and well-lit and smells fresh and has lots of supplies and bright colors.  I tried to do music therapy there...but it was a little chaotic.  I didn't have a guitar or keyboard, and there were lots of kids in the room with lots of different abilities, and there was the language barrier, and I'd never met any of them before.  There were still some meaningful musical interactions, but I think tomorrow I'm going to try to work with one or two kids at a time with fewer distractions.  Not allowed to take or post pictures of these kids, which is a bummer, but you will have to take my word for it they are beautiful and special.  We also got to enjoy their outdoor courtyard for a while, and meet with a therapy dog!
the courtyard at the children's center

happily drinking an iced latte at
Garage Café!
We came home for lunch, which Pam cooked for us, and then after an afternoon nap went back to the center.  Pam came too, and the 3 of us took 3 kids with us and went for "o plimbare" or a walk, through the town.  I was determined to visit this coffee shop I'd wanted to go to last year, and so Dawn built that into the plan.  These sweet kids walked with us (well one of them was in a stroller), all the way through the 3 most famous, beautiful squares here in Timisoara, and with Dawn's help found my coffee shop.  The kids drank orange juice but wanted my coffee because it was so pretty. I loved the place, and the waiter was handsome with good English, and kindly escorted me to the door to help me bring the 17-year-old in a stroller down the stairs. 

We went to McDonalds from there, so the kids could have some ice cream, then we took them back to the center and went out for a nicer dinner ourselves, at a place called Casa Iosefin.  I ordered a delicious chicken dish with mamaliga, which is a Romanian staple. A glass of wine rounded out the meal nicely, and I am satisfied in body and spirit tonight after such a lovely day.

I love this city and feel so comfortable here.  If only I had time to do all I want to do in all the places I want to be!  I feel like this trip has been so chock full of amazing experiences, and I can hardly believe there are only a few days left.  Thankful for the perfect provision of the Lord - in friendships, in health, in fantastic weather, to name a few things.  Just a few days left, and I'm determined to make the most of them!

I seriously love this city
the closest I can come to posting
a picture of one of the kids.  Here is
part of the back of his head, while he
sat in his stroller and we enjoyed Piata
Unirii together.

graffiti, but true graffiti

Spring has sprung!

On a car: "Jesus loves you! But I am the favorite."  Strange sentiment.

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