Friday, July 22, 2011

Romania 2011 Day Two: What Day is it?

Romania Day 2: What Day Is It?

First, let me apologize for not sending a blog last night. The place we are staying for the youth retreat does not have Wifi and when you see the schedule we went through I hope there is some mercy in understanding why.

The flight from London to Bucharest was on time and I think everyone tried their best to get a little sleep. At the end of the flight I was brought back into the realm of different culture = different norms. A few of us we were sitting towards the back of the plane and once we had landed the usual mad rush to stand up and get your bags pursued. I think this is a worldwide norm. What was a little different was the older lady who was sitting at the back of the plane who decided she needed to get to the front. I assume she thought the rest of us we were just stretching our legs and really wanted to stay on the plane to enjoy another gourmet meal. She proceeded to push her way past every single person the young and the old alike. I wondered how long that would have lasted if she had done that on a flight in America.

Having collected the 29 checked bags we loaded up trolleys and rolled trolleys and bags out to the rental car. Damien, who somehow managed to not even have a carry-on in his hands, did a great job of making sure that the rest of us including the ladies, both young and less young, didn’t drop any of the bags.

One of the Romanian teenagers, Solomon, is attending a Christian music college in Romania and the day that we arrived it was his birthday. To be able to complete the college three-year course he has to have a classical guitar which he does not have nor can afford. Don had a classical guitar at home that he no longer needed and so he brought that over to give to Solomon. It wasn’t until we were in the Romanian airport that Izzy asked why Don and brought a guitar case without a guitar all this way. Apparently the case and guitar was so light she didn’t think there was a guitar in the bag. I informed her that it was an air guitar which seemed to answer the question.

From the airport we split into two groups Don, Russ, Izzy and Dina took our youth straight to Bran where the retreat was. Sue and Gretchen had to go to Puciosa to prepare for next week. Having seen the fear on Sue’s face when Don informed her that she was driving a van to Puciosa I thought I had better offer to drive to Puciosa, drop them off and then head to Bran. When we got into Bucharest on the way to Puciosa we realized that this was probably the first good decision we had made. Driving in Bucharest is an art unto itself on the best of days. Trying to cope with traffic while following someone is close to a death trap. Last year we had several near crashes as Stuart led us through Bucharest making right exits off a roundabout from the left lane across three lanes of traffic. Well apparently Romanians do this as well and yesterday we even learned how to do it during rush hour. Then there is the “make your own lane” rule that you have to get used to. At some turns where you cross traffic you pull up behind the car in front to make the turn. As you wait more and more cars join the turn line but over here the turn line isn’t one behind the other but all lined up next to each other. When the other way is clear about 15 cars all make a dash for the turn which is only 2 lanes wide. I think Sue and Gretchen are breathing again and we did make it safe and sound to Puciosa.

From here I jumped in the car with Marius and his wife and baby son and we headed to pick up Marian (the wife of Florin, the pastor in Fieni) and their daughter Demarius and head to Bran. At this point it was about 8p.m., I had not slept properly for 30 hours and was suffering a little from motion sickness. Ahead of me was a 3 hour drive to Bran. Half way there we had winded our way over the first set of mountains and I couldn’t stay awake any longer. I apologized to my fellow passengers for needing to sleep and for the likelihood that I would snore and proceeded to fall asleep. When I awoke we were nearly in Bran and they were all quiet. I think my snoring must have scared them too much.

When we arrived at the retreat house it was about 11 p.m. a few people were still up but most were in bed. I realized I had missed a meal that night but I wasn’t quite sure which meal I had missed. I did have 2 breakfasts and a lunch I think so I guess it must have been dinner. I said a few hellos and then headed to my room. Apparently Marius and Marian had called ahead to Nicu and asked if he would put me in the same room as Russ who is notorious for his snoring to pay me back for my snoring. Little did they know I have been in training for snoring roommates by having my English bulldog sleep next to me. The training seemed to work and I fell right to sleep.

Anyway there is no internet here and I was so tired I couldn’t drive into town to find Wifi. As soon as I have the chance I will find a Wifi and post.

In Ephesians 5:20 it tells us to give “thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. This is one of the results of being filled with the Holy Spirit. After our safe travel all the way to Bran and the joy of seeing our brothers and sisters in Christ from Romania all that we can do is give thanks.

OK - I found internet but I am not sure for how long. Here is the latest post. Because I am in a hurry there are no pictures. I will try again later if possible.


  1. Giles, as always I laughed myself to tears at Don's expense! Thanks for being so entertaining!! I know it will be a blessing there at the retreat and that it will be a perfect spring board for the remainder of the trip. We are praying for all of you and tell Michaila that we miss her!...Paul

  2. Hi' Gretchen. Thanks for asking if the mother of your children, the one who cooks your meals, cleans the house and does the laundry is ok. No worries! We are doing fine...and Michaila misses you too! Kiss the kids from Mama!

  3. I LOVE YOU HONEY and I know you are doing GREAT!!! I know you are loving you DREAM!... Paul

  4. That was suppose to say living your dream...;)