Today started off like “any other day” in Baita, Romania. Sun was out and it warmed up quickly from the chill over the night to the warm of the day. We are feeling pretty comfortable here, now. We know how to get around, how to get what we need.
My desk at the house sits right in the front so that anyone coming down the side road that goes to the village well and our drive way can easily see me sitting at the desk. So I often wave to people all throughout the day. And I keep the window open so I can hear people as well. It is very quiet outside and the hard is shallow so it is very easy to say hello to people out on the road.
Each day we have noticed a lot of kids going to the well to get water, it seems to be getting more and more common. We live right across from the school so kids on the playground sometimes come over to get a drink or fill up a water bottle. What is weird is that there is a communal coffee mug that sits on the edge of the well and everyone just shares it. Yes, a village sharing a single coffee cup. It seems a bit much.
At one point this morning a group of girls went to the well and waved a bit. Then one of the older girls tried to convince some of the other girls to come back to our fence but some of them continued on. Then they waved when they went down the main street and could see me through the front room windows (we are really close to all of the roads.)
Later this group of girls returned and stood at our gate. So Liesl and I went out and introduced ourselves. They had brought some boys with this this time, the oldest girl, the one who had tried to get them to come back and had waved so much did most of the talking. She spoke a bit of English and they all thought that it was great fun to practice their English with us. So they all introduced themselves a few times, then all said their ages and such. There were nearly ten of them!
It was a fun time trying to communicate. We eventually got Dominica and Luciana to come out and meet everyone as well. Luciana insisted in bringing out her robot monkey, Cuddles, to show to everyone. The kids all thought that it was great fun and played with her. The gaggle of children ranged in age from about eight or nine up to twelve.
They did not stay too long, probably needed to get back to school. We would see some of them passing by the windows throughout the day and they would wave. We suddenly know a lot more people in this town.
Maybe two hours later, a dozen kids returned to the house and this time they came onto the porch and tried talking to us again. A lot of repeating what was said last time as only one of them has a significant amount of English and that’s being generous. A lot of things could not be conveyed.
Dominica brought out load after load of the girls’ toys which were met, with each successive round, with loads of ewws and ahs. I have no idea if this was just a lot of toys, toys that they rarely see or just they were being encouraging to the girls. But everyone seemed genuinely excited to see what toys the girls had.
The kids hung out for a while and everyone had a good time. This is awesome as our girls have such a hard time making friends when we are in different countries and we have not been in Romania even a week, let alone in Baita for that long and already we have a dozen kids over to see them. This has never happened before!
So that made for a very exciting day. Dominica was exhausted after an hour or so of a dozen kids over at the house. And we didn’t have anything for them, we put out some pretzels and tortilla chips. We were not stocked for anything on this scale.
The excitement only lasted until around six when everyone suddenly took off and headed out to their homes. After that it was a quiet evening for us. A very unexpected day, to be sure.