We’ve just returned from our week’s stay in a small village in the countryside near Ploiesti, a few hours drive from Bucharest. When we arrived 7 children in total, aged between 9 and 17 were there to greet us; others were away for the summer, including 2 of the older girls in Norfolk, UK. The children were fantastic and welcomed us immediately – quickly teaching us some Romanian language whilst they picked up more english words – “Wonderful” was a particular favourite, which they defined as “bine, bine, bine, bine” (good, good, good, good!) The village is very small, with 2 small shops, the Romanian Orthodox Church, which we went to on Sunday and a small school.
Life in the country is incredibly different to in Bucharest, and to the UK countryside we’ve experienced. Each morning and evening we watched as cows, horses and workers with scythes and pitchforks went out to the fields for the day and came home again. We spent the days with the children playing monopoly, badminton, football, painting masks and drawing pictures and sampling Romanian home cooking, courtesy of the wonderful Flori and Margareta. We walked down to play in the stream and watched cows being milked. It was a great experience for all of us (some were a little more surprised at life in the countryside, complete with 6-8 legged friends, than others!) Ines took us to visit Bran Castle out in the mountains (reputed to be the home of Dracula), driving through the city of Brasov.
The children have such a good relationship with each other and those who care for them – their ‘mamas’. They are a really loving and happy family, supporting each other with their different backgrounds, ages and outlooks. It was a privilage to be welcomed in to the family so wholeheartedly and invited back again next year…