Wow, what a day. We started out today going to the orphanage and meeting with Ms. Galina. She talked with us about several different things. She talked about how long she has been working at the orphanage (she calls it an “institution”) and how the work is wrecking her health. She’s been there for 18 years, and the comment about her health may be a bit of an exaggeration, but then again, maybe not. She also told us that she knew visits from people like us are a blessing from God. That was really good to hear. The most important thing she talked about was how the government of Moldova is trying to close all of the “institutions” like Internat II in hopes that it will somehow help Moldova get into the EU. She made it very clear that she’s not a fan of the idea, and even remarked that no one has invited them into the EU, an no one outside of Moldova seems particularly interested in them joining. We talked for a good while about all of that and asked a few questions. All I’ll say about it all is that I shudder to think what might become of these kids and all the others like them that will just keep being born into this country in the years to come.
After meeting with her, we went to the gym to hang out with all the kids for a while. We talked, laughed, and had some devotional time with them before leaving with our kids for lunch. We took them to a pretty nice restaurant and had a nice lunch that everyone seemed to enjoy. After lunch we got back in the vans and D’Ann started the Petrica sugar fest with a few Hershey’s kisses. I should mention that Petrica had ice cream twice yesterday. We took the kids bowling at a place called Ice Bowling. Now we all thought that the name indicated that ice was somehow involved in the bowling, but it turned out to be just a regular bowling alley with a strange name. We had a great time though. I think most of the kids had never been bowling before. I know Petrica hadn’t, and he had a great time. He did really well too, breaking 100 in both games. Late in the second game I realized that he was doing so well that I should try to make sure he won. I was trailing him by only three pins in the last frame, so I decided to throw a couple in the gutter and celebrate his win. I didn’t want to be too obvious, but I got the first one in the gutter with no problem. I then stepped up to throw the second gutterball, but it slipped from my hand before I could intentionally throw it across my body, and I threw a perfect strike. I guess it was actually a spare in this case, but either way I beat him by a few pins. I felt really bad, but he hardly seemed to notice. I hope that doesn’t keep me up tonight.
After bowling, a few of us had to go to the airport to pick up the bags that didn’t make it with us on Saturday. I remind you that this is now Monday. After we got back to the house Jen noticed that there was a red tag around the handle of one of her bags that read “rush”. Truly hilarious. While we were gone to get the bags, the others that didn’t need to pick up any bags went downtown to walk around with the kids for a while. Someone had the great idea of taking them to a pastry shop. D’Ann said that Petrica got some sort of thing that was just pure sugar. Then, he started pouring packs of sugar into his Sprite because another kid was putting sugar into some coffee drink that they got. To top it off, he then started eating packs of sugar. After all of that, we all met up at a pizza place for dinner. After his dinner, Petrica had an ice cream sundae. We were laughing and joking about how much sugar he had had today, and how he would probably be up all night. He told us that he would probably throw up tonight. I asked him if it was worth it and he said it was. Good times.
D’Ann and I are just so happy to be here sharing these experiences with Petrica. While I was gone to get my bag, D’Ann taught him to say “I love you” in English. With a little bit of prompting he said it to me in the van on the way to dinner. It may not have been completely spontaneous, but I know he meant it, and that’s all that really matters.
Tomorrow we plan to take the kids to buy food and then to distribute it in the deaf village. That should be a really good experience. D’Ann and I will also have our conference with Ms. Galina to talk about Petrica. I’m really looking forward to finding out whatever she can tell us about him. Stay tuned.