Blogs from Bacau, Moldova, Romania, Europe

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Europe » Romania » Moldova » Bacau September 29th 2012

Going into a Saturday workday is often tricky....it's not the same...the 6th day of the week....second hand market on the corner....feelings of T-H-E L-A-S-T D-A-Y. There was no painting, mostly flooring, some shoveling, but the mood was one of completion. How can we finish what we started; how can we clean up the site for the next group; how can we say goodbye to our families, our Romanian co-workers, our passion for volunteering. The team rallied in the afternoon to shape up the site and prepared for the next Habitat team to arrive in just over a week. The Romania team was tired, the Thrivent team was tired, but we wanted to make it right, get us where we needed to be. The team felt the need to finish…’hurry up, we only have a half hour ... read more
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Europe » Romania » Moldova » Bacau September 28th 2012

We started today with the unique opportunity to meet with the communication specialist at the Mayor’s office in Moinesti, the location we are actually building in (Comanesti is where we are staying). We learned a number of things about the community, their vision for the future and how they are working to inspire the youth in their community. We were recognized by the community and received our own certificate as official friends of Moinesti! Then we headed back for a full day at the work site...the normal painting, flooring, and trim, oh my! Dantes and Vasile did their best to get us going through out 4 work places (houses). We have earned their trust and teams were free to use the few power tools they have. The first day we had flooring issues with the floor ... read more

Europe » Romania » Moldova » Bacau » Bacau September 27th 2012

We started our work day on Wednesday with our regular amount of painting and flooring, but soon a dump truck arrived and Karin's eyes lit up like a kid getting a birthday present (Happy Birthday to Michaela Martin and Campbell DeBoth btw). Almost everyone took a turn running a shovel or wheelbarrel or both! Unfortunately, no rakes were available, so we had use the shovel for both. For those veterans of Habitat, day 3 is usually the day you hit a bit of a wall physically. Your body does a 'what the heck are you doing to me desk jockey?' While there were a few more breaks, everyone powered through and felt a sense of accomplishment! We were rewarded with a dinner at George's home. George is the executive director of Habitat Comanesti and on the ... read more

Europe » Romania » Moldova » Bacau September 27th 2012

The day started with a plan for a half day of work at the site as we had afternoon plans for touring. We went in with enthusiasm to hit it hard and fast and get as much done as we could. We divided quickly into flooring (most of us) and painting. We soon were reminded that we are dependent upon the Romania counterparts and today the electric company showed up to set up the 4 unit apartment complex. We peeked in the power box and for the 4 unit complex and saw 8 circuits of 220 power. With the U.S. at 110 power, it isn’t an apples to apples comparison, but most U.S. single family homes have 15-20 circuits. We finished what we could and headed back to our place to eat lunch and shower up. ... read more
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Europe » Romania » Moldova » Bacau » Comanesti September 25th 2012

We were asked to spend our day today at the Habitat for Humanity Comanesti warehouse as opposed to painting - which half of us were fine with the change of pace. Little did we know that 7000+ boxes of flooring in 30 different shades waited for us. So, as you can imagine as we unstacked and restacked box after box we all heard someone say - No, that one is different! Before we got too far into it, we also got to move some furniture out of the way and three team members spent a good part of the day organizing hundreds of paint cans. Think of cleaning your garage and then the garage of all of your neighbors! One of the highlights of the day was sharing the volunteer experience with 6 kids from a ... read more

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Europe » Romania » Moldova » Bacau September 24th 2012

Here is our quote from the team lead(s) and attached is our team picture from Comanesti Romania. Names left to right Bottom Row: Karin Vukich, Becky Teschke, Deb Countney, Carrie Herrmann, Wende Arnoldussen, Ray Sorenson, Noreen Hannemann Back Row: Mike Martin, Paul Johnston, Pam Wilda, Dennis DeBoth, Heather Hesse,Don Stingle,Britt Lindley Quote from team leads... It's incredible to work for an organization that gives employees the opportunity to demonstrate to those in need, not only generosity, but also how to serve others. We are able to put to action both our values of faith and that of Thrivent Financial through our Thrivent Way mission and values. Our team is passionate about the need to demonstrate the values of volunteerism to those that have both personal need as well as the will to change the problem of ... read more

Europe » Romania » Moldova » Bacau » Comanesti September 24th 2012

"Karin, you missed a spot!" -- Yes, we spent most of they day painting - or 'var' as they refer to it in Romania. The problem is, it wasn't the wall that was missing paint, just her left knee! The 'white wash' paint wasn't as thick as we were used too, so most of us painters today took a bath in white. Others enjoyed putting down flooring with a cork looking design. Our co-workers for the day included Radu, Dante, Cipriah, and Viarsales as well as our Habitat contact Christina. The weather was beautiful, sunny in the low 80s. We realized our spot as we sat and enjoyed our freshly made chicken schnitzel and fries and tomato -- while the workers walked away to enjoy their bread with salt. Poverty exists even with those lucky enough ... read more

Europe » Romania » Moldova » Bacau » Bacau June 15th 2010

I had hoped to buy some tuica from the gazda daddy but the day on the mountain was so long I didn't have time to ask him and it seems he kept it stored at his other house. Tuica is the thing you want to get homemade and this was my last chance. I have to settle for the half quart I already have. God knows what he thought when N came to him at 11pm wanting a liter of it. Leaving Brus was somewhat of a challenge. I never have trouble waking up early, but the maxi-taxis can be very unreliable. The one I was catching was supposedly all the way to Bacau at 8:00. It showed up at 9 and was going less than halfway. It placed me in Comanesti and no transfer in ... read more

Europe » Romania » Moldova » Bacau » Comanesti June 14th 2010

In my attempt to see more obscure parts of the countryside I contacted what turne out to be a rather eccentric American teacher that I spent a few days with. She revelled showing off her village. She graciously arranged for me to sleep in a spare room of her gazda's (host/landlord) house. There was some confusion in getting to her village because the auto gara (bus station) she was used to using was unmarked to anyone walking by - an unfortunately common thing in Romania - and when I asked a city bus driver where the autogara he took me to a completely different place. This set me off-schedule, but still close enough not to upset my host. After a couple errands in toen we boarded the train for her village. Unfortunately, I just missed the ... read more

Europe » Romania » Moldova » Bacau » Bacau June 11th 2010

I had not planned on going to Bacau because the friend I had intended to meet would not be there. However, with the time on my hands it would be interesting to re-visit old haunts. It was cool that I was able tell the bus driver exactly where I wanted to go so as to find the net cafe I knew so well. I needed the cafe to google-up a pensiune so I had an economical place to stay. The net acfe I knew so well for so many years had closed and, again, finding one was difficult. With guidance from someone I was reminded of one I knew from previous visits. Of the 4 full hotels I knew in town the cheapest was $65 per night and "wasn't all that." It the intervening years I ... read more




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