Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Bite Out in Barlad

Greetings from Romania! My name is Steve Broderick and I am a recent college graduate who is currently doing lung disease research in Chicago, Illinois. Not only is this my first Global Volunteers program, but this trip abroad is also my first European excursion!

Today was Round 2 of baby mania at the Pediatric Recovery Clinic. It was a very fun (yet exhausting!) day filled with silly games, reading time, some cries and mischief, as well as wide grins and infectious giggles. With Bonnie and myself working with the toddlers and Heather, Yoko, and Kelly taking care of the younger infants, we all now seem to be accustomed to the clinic's routine operations.

There is never a dull moment in the toddler playrooms. For instance, Daria, nicknamed "the jumping bean," will be bouncing nonstop, while a group of kids will be singing along to "Jay Jay the Jet Plane" DVD nearby or dancing to their favorite tune "Zoom Zoom" on the karoake machine. Meanwhile, Alexandra may take your hand and direct you to her favorite pink stroller for a scenic ride in the hallway. Seeing this, "Queen" Andreea will turn the carrying compartment below the stroller into an extra seat and come along for the ride, too. Bonnie even discovered today that the children are mesmerized by flashlights. It was such a funny sight to see a child shine the light beam and then have the others try to grab at it with their hands. Speaking of hands, I continue to have mine full with the twin toddlers Roxanna and Andreea. Where you find one of them, the other will probably be close by, most likely attached to my hip or asking to be swung in the air like a human pendulum. It's true - double the pleasure, double the fun!
The twins and Gabi

Alexandra lounging comfortably in the playroom

After our clinic visit, the team adventured out of Tutova for this first time to eat dinner. Being the minority outnumbered by four other female volunteers, I would not dare to prohibit the women from shopping upon arrival to Barlad. Fashionable footwear found new American owners, yummy chocolate goodies were bought, and cans of "crap" (known as "carp," the fish, in English) were discovered to actually exist at the Penny was even on sale!

While the language barrier and our American appearance may cause us to stick out like sore thumbs in Romania, resulting in some funny moments with locals, it definitely does not hinder any of us from filling our stomachs with good food. After being shown Barlad's Town Hall and notable churches by Mihaela, we walked to Trattoria da Vinci, a nice Italian restaurant, where we feasted on delicious pasta dishes and pizzas. And let's not forget the tasty desserts that were rotating in the display case near the front of the restaurant, just waiting for us to set our eyes on them! My mouth is starting to water just thinking about them again...

Barlad Town Hall
I can't wait to see which clinic visit happenings and food travels will have us telling stories next! For more of my pictures & additional experiences in Romania, check out my personal travel blog: