Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mama Mia! Cooking in Romania!

One of the classes the H2H missionaries teach at the orphanage is cooking.  There are 4-5 kids in this class and they meet once a month.  So far, they have learned how to make many traditional Romanian cookies and sweets.  They even provided the goodies for a special 'mother's day' celebration and received rave reviews of their food!

During the week after Easter, we had the cooking girls (there's usually one boy but he was out that day) come to the H2H Girls Transition House for a lesson in Italian cooking.  Disclaimer: No Italians were harmed in the making of this excursion.  There also were not any real Italians present during this class.  But we did what we could with what we had ;)

So first, we had a taste test of common ingredients used in Italian cooking.

Dried oregano anyone?

How about onion and garlic?  They actually really like the garlic... weird Romanians [insert your favorite Dracula joke here]

Then we got down to cooking.  We made a Tomato and Mozzarella Salad (new cheese for Romanian orphans!!)

And also a basic tomato sauce and spaghetti.

And Italian cookies of for dessert.  My favorite moment was watching the girls read the recipe and then assign tasks to each other.  Example: "We need 3 cups of flour.  You three each get to add one cup and I get to stir."  Or, "We need 5 tablespoons of baking powder.  You each get to add one spoon and I will add two!"

After a concentrated effort by all, we sat down to enjoy our meal!  The sauce was a bit too peppery but the girls still enthusiastically consumed- they did all the hard work anyway and I think we excited to try a meal that they prepared from the beginning.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

more music and ART!

Yep, that's what we did today... more music and ART!  Music was beginning stuff with the Monkey class (that would be the little kids that can't sit still for anything).  I led rhythm/clapping games with the kiddos... which went well.  Then Kirsteen taught on The Carnival of the Animals.  The kids seemed to enjoy it... they learned about elephants, kangaroos, and birds... so they walked like each animal, picked which instruments should represent each animal, listened to the music, then made thumb print animals...

Here's Matilda working on her animals:

And some of their artwork:

The 'Monkeys' were mainly out of control... as per usual.  This is my favorite 'Bad Kid-' the one who can't stop moving or touching the instruments:

He was pretty devious today- getting a stern talking to by several of our staff.  But I still have to smile even though I saw him getting yelled at over and over again.  While doing an exercise in a small group, I wrapped my arms around him and helped him play a few notes on a keyboard.  He sat attentively while I kept my hand on him and was eager to play the notes correctly.  He even stopped playing while I held him and listened to the other kids perform... so he's not a bad kid all the time!

In the afternoon we hosted the 'Art and Design' class.  My plan was to introduce a bunch of different types of art and techniques.  So we had watercolors, a yarn project, block printing, and MONSTERS!!!  The kids had a blast and so did I... here's more photos:

Loving the monsters... I think they're all worthy of ChristmasTreeFace Creations!  Perhaps an international section of my etsy shop?  We'll see!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter in Romania!

I made it to Romania!  We arrived on Thursday and have been kept pretty busy with the happenings of H2H, teams, and life in Romania.  Life in Romania includes Easter this time.  As this is a major holiday here (stores close, people have work off for the next week, etc, etc) we had major plans.

Our first Easter activity was to visit the orphanage on Saturday.  There were only a handful of kids- those who didn't have extended family or godparents to take them for the holiday... So we brought the party to them!

We had Easter crafts, Jen used Resurrection Eggs to quiz the kids on the true meaning of Easter, and then played games and gave out candy.  Check out our egg relay and 'bunny hop!'

Then on Easter Sunday, after church we invited our Transition House graduates over for a party.   Again, lots of food and fun conversation... and then the first annual H2H Easter Egg hunt!  As this is NOT a tradition in Romania, the kids were very enthusiastic to participate (even though they're all in the 20s!).  In addition to finding eggs and candy, they had tasks to complete for points.  For each point, they could redeem special prizes from our 'store' (deodorant and other toiletries, candy, school supplies, new sheets and towels, soccer balls, etc).  Our biggest 'sellers' were deodorant and sheets!

Today we started our 'field trips' with some of the kids from the orphanage.  We brought a handful of kids that are involved in H2H Music Classes for a morning lesson on Program Music.  The kids watched 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice,' listened to 'Dance Macabre,' and then had the chance to perform their own version of 'Dance' with piles of untuned percussion and recorders!

After music lessons we had a few minutes to hang out with the kids in the backyard.  They loved exploring our house and getting one on one attention from our team and staff.  It was a good reminder of how much a little thing- like sitting next to a kid while they are coloring or goofing off in front of the camera- can make a huge impact on someone's life.  When it was time to go, they all pleaded to stay- or for us to come with them.  While we will see many of them again soon (tomorrow even!) it still is heart breaking to walk arm in arm with a kid to the gate and wave as they drive away. 

On another note, let's see if I can get ONE normal' photo of myself while on this trip.... my bet is probably not ;)

-CtF (with no eyes)