Grapes, Graciousness and Goodbyes

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September 29th 2012
Published: September 29th 2012
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Going into a Saturday workday is often'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 left, we need to finish!” Some moved from grasshopper to teacher, but in the end, we all felt we contributed. Some spent time on building relationships – ‘God bless your life’ was heard and others spent time with the children – helping the shy kid come out of his shell. As the local mailman said when he was told US volunteers were here to build, “WOW!” as he continued to look, continued to be amazed. We felt the same amazement as we felt their passion. One of our favorite workers lost his wife last year to cancer….he came out of his shell with us this week – feeling the healing power of love from our group.

We got back early to pack and a number of us decided to donate clothes and shoes (can you see the spouses smiling?). After a nap or a run, we all gathered for our final dinner with the Habitat Comanesti crew. We were again touched by their graciousness as they presented us with local pottery, certificates of volunteerism, and CDs with Romanian music. We had Vasile, Cristina, Mitrel, Gheorghe, Elana, Georgiana, Stefia, as well as their niece. Hugs, handshakes, more hugs, and promises of future meetings. All hearts were touched….smiles from everyone!

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