It's been awhile sinced we blogged, but we have been busy!!!!!
As one of the many highlights of this trip, Sweet Sleep invited one of our previous translators, Olessa, to come and talk to the girls 5th grade and up, about how to prevent human trafficking out of Moldova, which is a HUGE problem here. Olessa now works for an NGO here called OSCE, and I can't believe how well the anti-trafficking training session went over with our 40 girls. Olessa made her talk fascinating to the girls and engaged them in some great conversations about their future plans in life. She helped them to think for themselves about the kind of women, mothers, leaders they might someday be and gave them some basic tools to make that future a reality. Olessa blessed us with her experience and her knowledge! We can't wait for people like her to keep changing Moldova, one child at a time :)
Our last day of camp was a special graduation ceremony for the Seniors (ninth grade is the highest grade for orphans here). We arrived in the morning to find the entire orphange transformed in their nicest clothes including some Cinderella-esk dresses for the senior girls. It all unfolded much like an American high school ceremony would, with awards given for academics and there were many speeches, which was all fine and dandy in the hot sun for two hours UNTIL.... 12 Ninjas unloaded from a truck and crashed the party. And by ninja, I mean NINJA. Like samari sword, black head to toe and neck snapping their way through what turned out to be a "gift" performance to the seniors by the Moldovan Special Forces Unit. Uh, it was unbelievable and also SO bizarre. "Congratulations orphans, here are some ninjas." This just goes to show you that you really never know what might happen on a trip to Moldova. Come see for yourself!
I have to say, this trip I bonded with one particular trouble maker, (read here, the new love of my life) Sergio who is 13 and a kick in the pants. After learning my name, he followed me around for three days repeating it over and over and over. By the third day, he never left my side. It's odd, but we actually had our best times without a translator present. We bonded over frisbee, hand slap games, singing songs and teaching each other Romanian/English. On the last day he asked me if I would be back and I sadly told him no, we wouldn't come back to his orphanage. He smiled and said to me "Don't cry Amy. I have Jesus in my heart and I will see you in heaven."
From the mouth of a babe. Okay, well if I wasn't already crying, I was after that. As we drove away, he called my name again and made the sign of angels wings and winked at me. See you in heaven Sergio. Praise God.
It's been a wonderful wonderful wonderful trip and I can't wait to come back. God has blessed us so greatly with health, safety, wonderful hardworking translators, great weather and an awesome team. All praise belongs to Him.
Much love, Amy