Friday, September 21, 2012

'Tis Better to Give

After a week's worth of gloriously sunny weather, this morning dawned rainy, overcast (positively  Seattle-ish) and unseasonably cool.  Our spirits were also somewhat dampened, because this would be our last day with our new and great friend, Colleen, who will return to her family in Omaha, Nebraska this weekend.  After a relatively somber breakfast, we caught a couple of cabs to the hospital.

As always, sadness and restrained emotions were just unable to linger once we climbed up to the fourth floor.  We were all immediately absorbed in the joyously chaotic worlds of our twelve very special pals--and the nurses and other medical staff members.  We only had a little under a half day with the kids today, and the time flew by.  Jamie was celebrating her 39th birthday, and she waded through the wet streets to get treats for the nurses-- yup, 'tis better to give, and all that.

We celebrated Jamie's birthday back at the hotel, though she would only let us play a few bars of the Beatles announcing that TODAY IS YOUR BIRTHDAY--HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.  We had both cake and decadent chocolate pastries, and the dreariness of our early morning was nowhere to be found.

We also wished Colleen a safe and uneventful train trip to Bucharest, and then a series of flights home.  Nila and Bernie prepared for an expedition to Iasi and The Painted Monasteries, while Norma (who is a marvel and a Saint Here Among Us Mortals), Jan, Jamie and I packed for our trip to Transylvania.  Lorraine (also a Saint) and 14 year Tutova/Barlad veteran Steve (more than a Saint, so maybe a Venerated One) elected to stay in Barlad for the weekend.  Bets were strong that they would visit the kids at the hospital while the rest of us were off playing and relaxing.

This experience is good for the kids and the hospital staff, but it is even more nourishing for the souls of us lucky Global Volunteer teammates. We will miss Colleen, but let's head back to the kids and nourish our souls for another wonderful and inspiring week.  Peace.