Our team of six assembled at the Bucharest airport. When all had arrived, the luggage was quickly loaded into the van for the trip to Bârlad. We traveled about two hours and then stopped in Bazau for supper at McDonald’s. Then it was another two hours north. North of Bazau we began to see the vineyards, of course in a dormant phase during March. We also saw snow banks clinging to sheltered areas where the early spring sun was not yet warm enough to melt them.
It was dark by the time we arrived in Bârlad. We quickly checked into Hotel Moldova. The first question we had: What’s the password for the wireless? Most had good luck getting connected. Laura, Corey, and Lori went to the Penny Market hunting for important needs: wine and chocolate. Most retired for an early night as jet lag is alive and well among the volunteers.
Sunday morning found us all at breakfast around 9:00. Afterwards some went for a morning walk. At 11:30 Mihaela arrived. She led us on a bit of tour of Bârlad and then to the Alona restaurant where we had lunch. New volunteers were amazed by the restaurant’s décor which certainly can be described as “eclectic!” While we waited for the food to arrive, Mihaela explained the Global Volunteers’ history in Bârlad. We all did a personal introduction, but truthfully we had covered introductions in the van and at breakfast as well. Following lunch, we walked to the school at which Mihaela is both teacher and vice-principal. There we worked on establishing personal and team goals. The team goals we established are:
(1) To better a child’s life
(3) To help students
(4) To have fun.
Next we established Characteristics of an Effective Team, namely:
ability/willingness to learn new things
We walked about the school building, admiring the beautiful architecture. Then we came back to the hotel for a break that appeared to include some naps!
At 5:15 we gathered again in the hotel dining room. Mihaela started a Romanian language lesson, but when we were joined by Mr. Stefanik, the vice-principal of the school where some of the volunteers will be teaching, we changed to discussing the plans for the school teaching program. Mihaela then went on to plan with the volunteers who will be working at the Children’s Hospital. We did return to the Romanian language lesson, making valiant effort to roll the Rs.
Final plans for the days are to have breakfast at 8:15, team meeting at 8:30 for the journal and message of the day, departure of volunteers to the hospital at 9:00, and departure of the teaching volunteers at 9:40. We will review the day’s activities at a team meeting over the evening meal.
Entry submitted by: Lori
Message of the Day - Dan: “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of a candle will not be shortened. Happiness is never decreased by being shared.” - Buddha