Sooooo, I didn’t hit my 3 America updates like I wanted to. But I DO have a big old post today jammed with pictures and work/personal updates! So much has happened since I arrived back here a couple of weeks ago but before I dive into those updates, let me cover the end of my America trip as briefly as possible.
I was still speaking and presenting and meeting with supporters until the day before I left. I am so thankful I was able to speak at Voyages at RHCC the final Sunday I was home. Since day 1, over 4.5 years ago, Voyagers has always welcomed me with open arms and been so incredibly generous and supportive of me. The people remember me, my journey, my love for Romania and have a connection to the children in Bucharest now. Having these people supporting me and this mission, and praying for these children, is one of the greatest things ever. SERIOUSLY. I still get super emotional when people want to join in on this journey with me, I am still overwhelmed that people in the South Bay now have a heart for Romania, for Bucharest, and for the children I work with. SO THANK YOU!
Before I do move on to life in Romania I have to do a full blown “Grammy Award” thank you speech. I HAVE TO. Not because I don’t want to, but because I was so incredibly spoiled by everyone in America that I can’t move on without thanking so many people who made my trip so fun/successful/eventful/etc. Since the second I landed in America I have been showered with gifts, money, treats, clothes, nail appointments, facials, spa days, cook books, and everything else in between. More importantly, friends have flown into LA from all over America to spend time with me, friends that have been my biggest cheerleaders since day 1. Friends that I miss DEARLY (like, my eyes are watering in the middle of Starbucks right now) but friends that understand that although we don’t see each other as often as we want, that we are just as close as we ever were. SO, before I do have a full on meltdown in Starbucks, thanks. Every person reading this blessed me in a different way while I was in LA and I am so appreciative for our friendship, even if we are physically… thousands of miles apart.
OKAY ITS DONE. Lets get down to life here. Without going into TOO much detail. The last two weeks has been a bit of a hurricane. I dealt with major jet lag…. and I think it was my body also recovering from a crazy 6 weeks. I don’t think I left my apartment for 48 hours. Ok fine, I didn’t leave my bed. But then….I MOVED apartments! I found a great place in a great location and snapped it up immediately. That’s what you have to do here. I moved all of my stuff. Alone. Yes, people offered to help but I kept thinking I was almost done and then I would have to move more stuff. When I moved here four years ago, I was able to fit my whole life in 3 suitcases. That is no longer the case. (pun intended) I am going to do a video blog of my new apartment… so stay tuned! Weasley is adjusting nicely FYI.
I also got started on my residency paperwork. I have a whole heap of paperwork that I need to get done in the next 6 weeks (for residency, for my car, insurance etc) and if you know ANYTHING about Romania its that they aren’t really known for their efficiency. So…. the next few weeks aren’t going to be the most fun for me BUT I will be praying for patience daily!
It was also Easter on Sunday so I was able to do a little work with Hope Rescue Centre. Shopping for food and delivering it to some of the families we work with. Thankfully, the weather was nice so we were able to stay for a bit. But these living conditions. I am kind of jaded now, just when I think I have seen the worst of it, I come back and reality slaps me in the face. This is real life for these people. Be thankful for what you have (couldn’t be more cliche, but seriously) and think before you complain about something.
If you follow me on Facebook, skip this next paragraph you’ve already read it! Before I moved, I was able to see a family that begs outside of my building for one of the last times. I have known them for the year that I have lived in that neighborhood. The kids are sweet and cute, and the mom is hilarious. She calls me “beautiful princess” every single day thinking I will finally give her money. I never do, but I do feed them often. Before I moved I took this picture with them, promised to visit and said that I would take them food shopping so they could have a big Easter meal and enjoy being home instead of outside begging. Within, 15 minutes of me posting on Facebook I had MANY people wanting to donate to feed them. Thank you to Cathy and Lauren for your generous donations. We went shopping for tons of meat and cabbage for a traditional Romanian meal. I told the kids they could pick ANYTHING from the store and they both chose one Kinder egg. I love these pictures. Their faces are 100% happier.
On a darker note, I start school this week. wahhhhhh. No one likes school, no one likes going back to school, but I know once I am there it’ll be fine. I meet great people, improve my Romanian, and challenge my brain to actually work once in awhile.
Other than that, I am flying to London in two weeks for 48 hours. To pick up another suitcase full of donations from my cousins school and to see some family! The month of May is already hectic and crazy but so good. It is sooooooo good to be back here…. even though the weather is this:
So glad I packed away all of my winter clothes. Oops.
Til next time.