Thompson Family Visit!

What a fun (and tiring!) week it was with my cousin Vivianne (Okay, fine.. VIV!) and her family.  Not only was I able to show them the gorgeous countryside and mountains of Romania, but also the great food and nightlife of Bucharest. But most importantly, the reason I am here… we went to visit some of the families in our homeless communities and drop off clothing donations brought over from England. They arrived at the perfect time weather wise and we crammed so much in I feel like they don’t NEED to come back (but i HOPE they will!)  Here’s just brief look at some of the things we did while we were out of Bucharest.

The first few days we were in Brasov, Bran and Sinaia to not only visit castles, but to enjoy the beautiful mountains, changing leaves, and perfect weather!

 

After a few days of hiking, castle visits, amazing meals, and beautiful scenery, we headed back to Bucharest.  The Thompson’s brought out tons of clothing donations so after a morning of sorting the clothes into age for a specific family. We then headed out to deliver them! I am kind of used to my living room looking like a Salvation Army but here is proof. Also, please ignore the crooked frame, it annoys me too.

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Off to deliver clothing to a family that has seven child, the oldest five attend school.  This, unfortunately, is a very uncommon situation with a family we have just started working with. They actually want and are fighting for a better future for their children.  Hope Rescue Centre is very excited to assist this family with the needs they have, buying school books for their children, gas to heat their one room and cook with, and of course, winter clothes for the upcoming snow season.

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The Thompson’s were all surprised at despite their living situation, how clean, respectable and “normal” the children looked. If we would have seen them at the park, we would have thought they were from a middle class family in Bucharest. I told them this was uncommon and assured them at our next stop, India, the children would look and behave much differently. They did not disappoint!

Dropping off the clothes at India was completely different as I knew it would be. James basically opened the suitcase and the kids stormed the car and took as much as they could grab.  Even if it was one sock or one glove, they happily grabbed it and ran home to safety!  Although it was wild, the children were still excited to have new clothing to prepare them for winter.

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And of course, I can’t finish this blog without a few thank you’s! First of all for the Thompson family for coming to visit! For those of you that don’t know, I grew up with all of my family living thousands of miles away in England, so the fact that my cousin can and wants to come out and visit is a huge blessing for me. I love having visitors but I have LOVED their flexibility, adventurous spirit (even if it does mean waking up at 7am to go hike) and especially their immediate love for the families I work with. Thank you James, Vivianne, Melissa and Lara for an amazing week and for all of your help!

And secondly, to the families of Royal Russell school and The Minors Nursey School who generously donated clothing and money to help these families.  Families you haven’t met, yet still care for. It is overwhelming for me to see people from so far away care about these children and want to help in anyway they can.  There are plenty more opportunities to do so and I hope these photos and stories from the Thompson’s encourage you to continue supporting these families from afar. Thank you so much!

 

Until next time,

Blessings from Bucharest,

Camilla

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Autumn Update!

Hope everyone is back into the swing of things after summer. I have to admit, I am feeling much better, with the weather finally cooling down after weeks of 100 degrees! I am back into my routine and looking forward to the very exciting next few months!

September was a great month which included my birthday, my SEVENTH birthday celebrating oversees! In Romania, it is tradition to pay for all your guests on the day of your birthday and I have avoided having a party for this exact reason! But this year I did and I was more than happy to pay for the day for friends who are super supportive and make life here great! Here is the group picture from that night! Some friends that I have known since my first short term time coming out in the summer of 2011, and some new friends that will relocated within the next year or two (trying not to think about it!)

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After Bucharest I was able to go to London to see my dad and aunt for a weekend. I dont know why I am posting this picture because I look like I just rolled out of bed (I probably did) but I know that pictures make reading blogs 1000x more exciting…. sooooo…. here we are.

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It is crazy to think we are already a week into October. I have to start planning dates of the camps already, planning international Christmas fundraisers, and preparing for a short term volunteer. Which brings me to THIS news- for years people have shown interest in coming to help around Christmas time. I am always swamped with gift wrapping, gift delivering, Christmas parties etc etc etc and always need extra hands. This year I finally have someone coming out to help me- Vanessa! She has come out to Romania twice on the RHCC teams to help with camp and this is going to be an entirely different experience, and much colder. Anyways, I am going to have Vanessa blog soon about the details so I wont go into too much depth but I am so excited for the extra help and cannot wait for her arrival in early December!

Speaking of Christmas/December etc etc etc I am not the only one starting to prepare for it. I have to say a huge thank you to the church my mum attends and a church that is and always has been VERY supportive of my work over here for preparing some gifts for the children for Christmas. They spent all day Saturday cutting and sewing and making these for the children out here. I can wait to receive them and hand them out!

Next week my cousin, her husband and their two children and coming out to visit me from England! I am so excited to show them Romania.  They have paid for almost 100kg of luggage to be brought over and are coming with tons of clothing and shoe donations from the schools they work at. Not only do I get to show them the beautiful mountains of Romania, but they want to see some of the homeless communities to deliver the clothes. They also want their children to see how harsh some of the conditions are here, but mostly to be thankful and grateful for the lives they live. The girls already know how to say “hello” and “goodbye” in Romanian (not without laughing though) so I know it’ll be a great trip!

Stay tuned for Vanessa’s blog post about her story, her love for Romania, and her upcoming two week mission trip in December!

Thanks for reading!

Blessings from Bucha!

Camilla