Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Message of the day – Kerry

The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Journal by: Krista

You could tell it was ‘hump day’ as you looked around Team 168’s breakfast table – Terri felt a bit sick; Kerry had 3 coffees; Krista’s eyes kept closing until her chocolate cereal arrived. But after the youngins (Brad and Katie) delivered the recap and message of the day, we were ready to scurry to the hospital and live by Katie Bray’s words to freely give our love to the children – through countless hugs, hours of playing outside and that one extra throw in the air (when our arms are aching so much we fear we may not catch the kid on his way back down).

Once at the hospital, we climb the 52 stairs to ‘our little lovees’. Even though we have only been here for two other days, we are welcomed with big smiles and literally outstretched arms. Mihi leans across the aide holding her to get to her buddy Emily. The amazing blonde duo of Sebi and Jennéa eventually find each other. Mr Sammy almost seems to know it is time to get on his red Pope shoes and walk with Kerry, who is determined to get him entered into a marathon by 2025. And ‘The Wild Ones’ have gotten even wilder, with obvious delight, as they spot their favorite playmates – Brad and Katie.

It is clear already that our team’s first goal – to love the children and heal them through many doses of smiles – is already being accomplished.

After our Picassos and Rembrandts in-the-making finish their drawings, we are off to play outside. A chorus, lead by Michaela and her beautiful daughter Dahlia, convenes on a picnic blanket. A short train – aka the buggy crew – wheel up and down the little path. The energetic rest ping pong around from the swings, to running, to the merry-go-round to the swings again. By 12:30, all the adults, wiping the sweat off our brows, are ready for lunch time.

At lunch we are treated to a local specialty – an olive and potato salad – made by Michaela’s mother. What warm and gracious hosts we have!

With bellies filled, we divide into two groups. One group revisits a happy, prideful past by touring the ‘former’ clinic – Tutova. There, the esteemed Dr D, a normally stoic woman, visually displays what everyone is thinking inside. As she welcomes Bob – a long time volunteer, generous donor and constant actions-speak-louder-than-words man – with a big hug, tears well up in her eyes. The other group ends up talking about the future and what improvements can be done to the hospital to make it more similar to Tutova. As we discuss and tour the hopeful new play rooms, it becomes clear that each person in our group will do his or her part to give back to Global Volunteer’s Romanian program in one way or another – if it is through donations for the new room, or if it is spreading the message about our children, or if it is returning again to volunteer.

Team 168 is truly made up of uniquely remarkable hummingbirds who will give and give however they can.

After giving more sweat, ice cream, stroller pushes and laughter to the kids, it is time to leave. During the goodbye time, we all play a form of dodge ball, trying to get out of the rooms as quickly as possible so as to avoid the outstretched hands in the cribs or the requests for more games.

The night’s dinner, even including the debates over the best movies and Bob’s helpful advice on how to avoid gypsies, is the shortest thus far. We all seem thankful as it gives us some down time.

During our downtime, I am sure many reflect on our experience so far. For me, the three most poignant reflections are:Love is indeed free and comes in many forms, so we must always remember to open our love pocketbook as wide as possible.

~Love is indeed free and comes in many forms, so we must always remember to open our love pocketbook as wide as possible.

~The members of Team 168 come from all different walks/places in life but we are all eager to make positive impacts on Romanian children.

~The amount of life/soul learning done on this trip can be far more valuable than any BA or MBA or high powered job.