Today is Kim Cox's birthday!!! Dan bought a cake so we could celebrate, along with fabulous Moldovan candles that resembled fireworks more than our traditional, small, easy-to-blow-out candles. We won't reveal her age, but you should definitely check back for the pictures later since we can't upload them now.
As Aileen wrote, we went from Chisinau to Balts to meet our translators. A two hour trip ended up taking us about 3 1/2 hours- we're guessing because our first driver didn't know how to shift into third gear, so we were only going 30 mph or less the entire time. We all looked behind us to make sure we didn't drop the transmission. My family will definitely appreciate the "Little Miss Sunshine" reference, sine we all laughed hysterically at that part of the movie. Watching Rusty and Andrei push and run to jump in was one of the funniest parts of the trip so far. I pulled my Moldovan-English Dictionary out during this trip to communicate with our driver. Luckily, we made it to Balts, but the Red Van had the best experience of driving on Moldovan roads and "interstates" than any other transport vehicle.
Today was the first day of camp and everything went very smoothly. Emily told us it was the easiest first day of camp in Moldova that she had ever experienced. All of our hard work and planning did pay off, but there is still a lot to do. The kids are amazing and so well-behaved. God definitely blessed us with children who are ready to learn and have fun. We are working with a local church called "Bethany" from Balts. They are very helpful in communicating with the children and are adding so much to the camp. The translators are so patient with us and we have gotten to know them very well, after only meeting them yesterday. We couldn't have asked for kinder, friendlier people to work with and interpret everything for the children and teachers.
About the bathrooms, since I'm sure you're all wondering... The toilets are new, but we bought our own toilet seats. The bathroom smells like, "Ca-Ca," according to Emily and you can guess what that means in Romanian. Originally, there were doors to the indivual stalls, but we don't know what happened to them... now there are shower curtains for privacy. We took very, very, very cold showers this morning. But, at least we have showers, right? The shower area doesn't smell much better, but as long as you have a "shower buddy," (thanks Nat), then you're better off- they hold your stuff while you're showering. We experienced Jen's dolphin noises, which seriously did sound like a dolphin when she gets under the freezing water.
To my family and friends reading this... I love you and miss you soooo much!!!