So I have a new friend named Sabir. He's about 8 or 9 years old and he comes looking for me every day as soon as we arrive. My voice is starting to return to normal, but for most of the week it's sounded like Frank Pentangeli from the Godfather. So I've been telling Sabir all about Italian recipes and complaining about the Rosato brothers; of course, he has no idea what I'm saying - he just likes the way I talk. Then he tries to do the same thing.
I also have another friend named Alina. She and I spent about an hour taking pictures this afternoon. Alina would see something interesting, run to it, take a picture, and run back to show me. Then we'd repeat the process over, and over, and over, and over, and...
And then there's Doina. I think she just likes me for my cool sunglasses and snazzy camera.
It's funny how certian orphans stick with you all week. There's no real rhyme or reason to it - it's like they decide you're going to be their "person" for the week and that's that. Next thing you know, you have a permanent, orphan-shaped appendage that was somehow attached to your body without your consent. I can think to past trips to Moldova and names start popping up in my mind: Artur, Vasile, Pasha. Sabir, Alina, Doina.
What really starts cooking my brain is when, amidst the chaos at the orphanage, I stop to consider that God probably chose to pair those particular orphans with me this week. That's when my attitude changes from annoyance to appreciation. From frustration that Doina has asked me 37 times to drink my water, to realizing that she just wants share in an experience with me.
So tomorrow, when we're trying to squeeze as much as we can out of our half day at the orphanage, I'll do my best to forget my "self" and give, give, give to these orphans. And when Sabir asks me 15 times to make a happy face and give him a hug, it will be a privilege.