Romania 2011 Day 10: The Final Countdown
Well here it is the last day in Romania. This was, as expected, an emotional day. It was the sadness of knowing we are leaving dear friends but also anticipation andexcitement of seeing our families and friends in America again. The last few days were tiring days but very rewarding. The only disappointment from VBS was not being able to do the weather balloon trick in Varfuri. And so we rectified that this morning. A small group went back over today and about 20 kids turned up to see Savannah get in the balloon. We were in the same hall that VBS had been in and when the balloon popped it was, by far, the most impressive bang we had had all week. It really did sound like a bomb had gone off. Also the wave from the rush of wind was pretty impressive as well.
After this we returned to Pucioasa and went through the routine of packing and loading vans. Gradually we were edging closer to the goodbyes. All loaded up we went to the church to have pizza with our Romanian friends and as always they would not us leave without providing us with personalized gifts. Again out of the little they have they gave so much. It was great to see the reactions of Oana and Emma as we gave the laptops for college. The tears were plentiful (form the ladies and Don). For the person who gave me a donation to use in Romania I had waited until the last day so I could see where the greatest need was and it came down to Marian needing his car fixed desperately. The money went a long way to allowing him to get his only means of transport back working. He sends his heartfelt thanks.
At about 2:30 p.m. we set off for Bucharest. As always the driving provided for some fun. In Romania the traffic lights are on the side of the road not overhead. In Targoviste Don went through a traffic light and then I saw cars coming across the road and realized it had changed to a red light. I had to break a little firmly. Russ had the 2 second delay and ended up having to put his brakes on rather abruptly. Izzy has recovered from the seat belt bruise but it at least we didn’t crash 2 rental cars. Halfway to Bucharest we came up on a big red truck which Don proceededto overtake. As I came up on the truck I saw the blue lights flashing and saw the word “Pomperi” on the side of the truck. I was already committed and so continued to overtake the fire truck. Yes we had just overtaken a fire truck on the way to put out a fire. I am not sure which was more troubling, the policeman on the side of the road who I thought for sure was going to pull us over, or the fact that we had overtaken a fire truck because it was going so slowly. I guess if your house is on fire the firemen go just to tell you how your house burned down to the ground because there is no way they could get there soon enough.
When we got into Bucharest Don, Russ and I decided to have some with everyone and pretend we were lost. Russ had asked Oana to get him to a certain road and when he thought we were there he took over leading. The problem was that we weren’t on that road. I recognized where we were and saw us miss our turn. Russ finally realized we were not in the right place and so
we pulled over. You know when you are asking a toothless street cleaner where to go you are desperate. Surprisingly he got us back on track. It was then that Don took over and then relinquished the lead to me. I recognized where we were but took the wrong exit off a roundabout. Now it was my turn to pull over and ask for directions. I think I picked the most technically armed incapable person in Bucharest. He had every technology gadget including two GP units, phones etc. but somehow failed to get any of them to work. The best he could do was tell me to go left. He did invite me to sit in his car as he spent 20 minutes showing me how he couldn’t use all of these gadgets. I also shared a couple of cigarettes with him. I didn’t smoke one but felt privileged to spend my time with his second hand smoke.
We did go to the end of the road and take a left and then as we got to the end of that road and looked and saw a monument that I recognized and knew where I was. Russ was behind me and also saw the monument and recognized where we were. The problem was that it was two different places and so I went one way and Russ went the other. Don was torn whether to follow me or Russ. Let’s just say that 2 minutes later I was at the hotel and had unpacked and checked in and gone back out on the streets in the car to find the other 2 vans and then returned to the hotel. It was about then 30 minutes later that the two vans turned up behind a taxi
Of course Don, Russ and I had staged the whole thing so everyone thought we were lost. And if you believe that I have a house for you to buy in Jersey City.
This year we stayed at the hotel for dinner and it was definitely the right decision. The food was good and the entertainment was tremendous. This came from the stupidity of the table bolstered by the group singing at the restaurant. It is the same group that has been there every year we have been to Romania and every year the lead singer’s pants seem to get gaudier andgaudier. I am not sure whether he thinks he looks good but we were not the ones to tell him he didn’t.
We need him to be that way for years to come. He also seemed to speak English with a lisp which really got uncomfortable when he tried to say “I have a special song for you and it came out “I have a special thong for you”. Sue really had a bad visual image of this error. In general the Romanian songs are lively but lively soon becomes outright annoying especially when you play the same thong, I mean song, for 20 minutes. Don ended up paying the singer to pick something else.
Tomorrow we get up at 4:30 a.m. in 4 hours to leave the hotel by 5:30 a.m. The majority of the team will be America in the evening. Savannah and I will stay in London for a few days.
1 Peter 2:9 - But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light