Journal entry by: Jennifer Maddox
Monday, June 15th, 2015: First day at the hospital FLEW BY!
Libby and I are returning to Barlad for the second time; the first being winter of 2012. This is Margaret’s first time in Romania but her third trip with Global Volunteers. Terry arrives in Romania for her first overseas volunteer trip bringing with her many years of experience as a foster mother.
Our team’s first day at the hospital flew by as we took in all the new experiences. We reached the top floor of the hospital to find 7 children – from 1 to 10 years old. Two of these children are familiar to Libby and me from our last time here, Delia and Yanoutz. We remember both of them well from our prior experience and love getting to see them again and observe how each has changed.
At first, Delia said “No” when one of us approached, preferring the arms of her loving Coca. By the end of the day though, Delia had spent time laughing and playing with all of us. It is amazing how she has grown and developed. Her determination allows her to overcome so many challenges.
Margaret brought some splints for Delia’s arm and she spent much of the day getting used to them and was feeding herself yogurt after just a short time. Though she enjoyed the splint with the spoon, she was less sure about the splint that holds the marker though we hope she will warm up to it over time.
Here is a video of Delia using her new splint with the spoon:
With Margaret’s expertise in physical therapy, she took time with each child, assessing their abilities and needs and then working with each of them. Georgiana was intrigued and watched as Margaret engaged each child. Of course she also wanted her turn. All the team members learned from Margaret and hope we can engage the children as she does with core strengthening and new language skills.
It was great to see Yanoutz spending time in the playroom. Libby enjoyed a morning holding him, feeding him, changing him, and soothing him when he became upset. Terry spent the morning with Alexia and her skill with babies was evident in the loving way she cuddled and played with her. Of course, all day, new needs arose so we all got a chance to spend time with each one of the children – feeding them, changing them, reading to them, cuddling with them, exercising them.
When we left the hospital today, Dan took our team of four to Mihaela’s class at the high school. We sat in the front of the classroom and answered their questions about things we do in American and our volunteer experience in Romania. The students were were mature and impressively well spoken in English. Meeting them was a highlight for me.
By the end of the day, we were all ready for a nap – the volunteer team more than the children. We enjoyed a quiet dinner and will sleep well tonight. After all, there is always something new and different
awaiting us at the hospital.
Message of the day:
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us “The universe, ” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest- a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” – Albert Einstein