Wednesday, May 26, 2010


For the past few months I've been delinquent in my today I did a catch up day!  You can read all about what I've been up to in Romania on this blog: or my H2H blog:

A New Hobby!

With all the weddings, babies, birthdays and such I have taken up a new hobby....cake making and decorating!  Here are some of my attempts, although, I think I need some classes!
Wedding Cake for Robi and Alina's Wedding
Baby Rebeca's 1st Birthday Cake
Robi and Alina's Civil Ceremony Cake
Costel's Birthday Cake
Andreea's Birthday Cake
Extra Cake for Robi and Alina's wedding

Wedding of the Century

On May 8th, H2H hosted its first Christian wedding ceremony at the team house.  Robi and Alina commited their lives to each other for better or worse, through sickness and health, in richer and poorer, till death do they part.  It was fun to be apart of all the preparations and program.  Pictures are worth a thousand words so here is the day from all the pictures taken on this day...
Jim walked her down the aisle
With this ring, I thee wed
Lovely flute music
Mr and Mrs. Robert Vaduva
H2H staff with the bride and groom
This is the cake I made for the big day.  It was three tiers and I hear it was really good.  It was gone by the time I served it all...
No wedding is complete without games!  Games?  Yes, as is typical Romanian fashion we had games.  Since Robi and Alina will be becoming parents in October or November we wanted to see who would be dressing the baby.  I think Alina will be doing the task!
Don't jump!!  Really it was a joke!
May the Lord bless this new family!

A Wee Little Trip to Scotland

To celebrate Kirsteen's birthday and to prepare ourselves for the upcoming spring and summer, the American and Scottish staff and I decided to take a wee little trip to Scotland...home of Kirsteen...our wee little staffer.  Kirsteen wanted to show us a little bit of her world and it was fun to meet up with some of our friends that had visited us in Romania on tenderfoot trips.  We were all split up amongst these friends and they showed us such wonderful hospitality.  So here is what we did:
Day 1:  We took a day trip to Edinbourgh where we met up with Leslie Cameron (who has been over to Romania numerous times).  We had lunch with Leslie and then went to visit the Edinbourgh castle.  And of course we shopped the Royal Mile.  I even found a wee little kilt for my nephew.  We found this piper and paid one pound to take a picture with him.  After arrving back in Glasgow, we were all invited to Wanda and Brian's (where Krista and I stayed) for a wonderful dinner.  They told us about halfway through the meal that we were eating Hagis!
Krista and I at Edinbourgh Castle
Day 2:  We took a bus tour of Glasgow.  Unfortunately, it was raining that day and so we were forced to sit inside.  However, Mark took one for the team and sat outside in the rain and took pictures.  Our wonderful friends in Scotland hosted us at the church flat for a yummy dinner, birthday cake for Kirsteen and fun games led by Maggie (who has also been on numerous trips to Romania and has promised me a picture for my wall in my apartment).  smile
Here we are shopping in Glasgow.  We were trying on all of these hats and this lady just came up put one on and we all snapped a photo!
Day 3: Our hosts took us for a day trip to see some beautiful lochs, the coastline of Scotland, and Inverary Castle.  When we arrived home we went to Wilma and David's home and ordered in fish and chips.
At the coast in was a wee bit cold!
Here we are all at Inverary Castle
Day 4:  Departure Day.  We attended the service at Kirsteen's church and then left immediately for the airport.  Much thanks to all of my Scottish friends for hosting me and making me feel welcome...especially Wanda and Brian for the home stay!  It was wonderful!

Rebeca's 1st Birthday Party

A month ago, Rebeca (H2H's first baby and my first "grand-daughter") turned one year old!  We invited her over to Pipera to have a birthday party, cake and presents!  She was so cute in her birthday dress and I gave her little silver shoes to go with it!  Cake was everywhere, but she didn't tasted good!!  Here is our sweet little Rebeca on her day!
She did not like that head band at all, but alas, we got a good picture!  smile
With the birthday girl!
That candle just wouldn't stay on straight!
Yummy, Yummy!!  She had cake everywhere!!

Robi and Alina's Civil Ceremony

A little over a month ago, Alina (2nd generation of girls) got married to Robi in a civil ceremony in Rosiori de Vede.  Alina had been dreaming about this day for a long time.  We hosted a small reception down in Rosiori.  Everyone had a good time.  I made the cake....practicing for the big day!!  Here are a few pictures from the day...

The happy couple!!
With the H2H family
With the cake I made
Cutting the cake I made...Casa de Piatra!


Since I moved to Romania, I have been dreaming about going to Poland.  Everytime the word vacation comes up, I always say, "How about Poland?"  Well, this year, my dream came true.  My friend, Kristen, came to visit me in Romania and she wanted to take a side trip.  She had suggested Poland but only if I would go to Auschwitz with her; which was no problem for me because that was one of the main reasons for wanting to go to Poland in the first place.  So I started looking up prices and was able to find a pretty good deal.  So, we were off to Poland.  We stayed in the city of Krakow--touring around the city, visiting the Schindler museum, an art museum, Wawel Castle, and finally on to Auschwitz.  It was very surreal to visit there and to see the buildings where the Nazi soldiers kept their prisoners and to actually walk the grounds where so many people were tortured and killed.  There were three rooms that we saw that really saddened me: first, a room full of hair that had been shaved off of the women as they entered the camp, second, a room full of shoes--probably the best shoes these people owned, and third, a room full of luggage that had been confiscated as the prisoners came into Auschwitz.  It is so easy for me to take life for granted, so the next time I find myself doing this, I'm going to remind myself about the suffering that these people went through.  It was a nice little vacation and I'm so glad that I went and that my friend Kristen could come see my life here in Romania!
Kristen and I at Auschwitz-Birkenau


A few weeks ago Catalina met with her mom for only the second time in her life.  We met her on the steps of the courthouse in Bucharest.  Catalina was filled with emotions that day...happy, sad, nervous.  You see when Catalina came to the Girl's Transition House she did not have a birth certificate or any form of identification (in Romania it is called a bulletin).  Costel, our Romanian president, made a couple hundred phone calls and located her mom in Bucharest.  She and her current husband agreed to help us.  Thus the meeting at the courthouse.  That day, we went to the mayor's house in the sector that she was born in to try to get a copy of her original birth certificate.  Of course they wouldn't give it to us because we didn't have any act of identification saying that she really was and is Catalina.  Her mom's word was not good enough.  To make a very long story short, the mayor sent us to the town (Rosiori de Vede) where she was registered and we were able to get her a provisional one-year bulletin.  Now we can go back and get the original birth certificate.  The other thing that makes this whole story very interesting is that Catalina's mom is deaf and mute.  She is able to speak/mumble a little bit, but because of her disability is illiterate and doesn't write.
Catalina and her mom
So, why is this such a tragedy?  I can't imagine being in Catalina's place, being 26 years old and meeting my mom for the first time.  Catalina went home and met her mom one other time, however, she didn't like it and missed her friends at the orphanage, so she went back.  Why did her mom not fight for her?  A question that I don't have an answer to.  My prayer is that this meeting we helped to spur on will be the beginning of a relationship between mother and daughter.