April 8, 2016: Losing Power

I woke up at seven thirty, got some water, reminded Dominica that we were scheduled for coffee with the neighbours at nine and tried to nap until it was time to go.  I was really exhausted from last night and not feeling well.

At nine we went next door, bringing a tray of cookies with us, to Nikoli and Maria’s house.  We had a good time attempting to communicate.  They know a tiny bit of English and we were able to struggle through.  There is no WiFi at their house so there is no way for us to use Google Translate when sitting there unless we climb the hill behind the house to get a signal.

We learned that they only weekend at the house here in Baița and that they live most of the time down in the city, in Târgu Mureș which is the largest city and capital of Mureș County, where we live.  They have been working on building a new home down there as well.

Yakov (we have no idea how to spell his name, it is Jacob in English and pronounced with a Y sound here and I believe that it is spelled that way but actually have no idea) came over to feed the pigs and joined us for coffee as well.  Yakov keeps his pigs at the farm here, Nikoli and Maria no longer keep any animals of their own but only tend the garden and the wine cellar.  But as they have a large barn, two pigs are kept there as the priest does not have any farm space of his own at the casă parohială.  He invited us to attend mass on Sunday because Dominica asked him about the services this morning.

We went back home and I managed to do some writing for maybe an hour when the power went out.  The power being out is a bit of a problem here because we are on well water (there is no village water supply) and it has to be pumped from the well so no power means no water.  At least we can walk to the well outside and get water by the bucket so we wouldn’t get dangerously desperate or anything, we just go from indoor plumbing to old fashioned wells.

Homeschool in Transylvania

Since the power was out I decided that it was a good time to take a walk.  The girls were doing school and the power was out so some exercise would be a smart way to go.  I walked about four kilometres round trip going north on route 160 all of the way through town until it Petered out and turned into a mud farm trail and went up in the hills.  I went as far up the hills as allowed me to still see Baița in the valley and managed to get some great pictures with the iPhone while I was up there.  I actually went far enough that I went into Bistrița-Năsăud County.  I walked about halfway to the village of Ocnița.  It was a nice walk.

Looking South onto Baita

I got back home and the power was still off.  Liesl was still doing school but there was a lot of her stuff that she could not do without power.  Luciana asked if she could have a break from school (if Liesl could) so that they could go to the playground now that we know that there is one basically across the street that they are freely allowed to use.  So we walked over there and let them play for a while.

After a bit some of their friends came and joined them on the playground and slowly it grew from a couple of kids into a giant pack of them.  I noticed that there was power now at the municipal building where they were working putting on a new roof overhang.  I figured that our power was back on at the house.  I went back to check, but there was nothing.

Baita Playground
Girls on the Playground

We took the girls over to the little general store, the magazin mixt, and got ice cream (they did not have ice cream a week ago when we moved in to town but they brought in the cooler for it sometime this week.)  The store had power.  So after eating my ice cream I set out to see what was going on.

I called in to Nikoli and he checked and he had power.  As we are only feet apart, he came over to look at the house.  He checked the outside box, he checked the breakers and decided that the issue was outside at the pole but we were the only ones affected.  He said that we needed to call the power company in Reghin but he had no idea what the number was.   So we walked all over town trying to find someone with the information.

Eventually we got it and he climbed the hill to get some signal and called into the city to let someone know that our power was out.  It took a little less than an hour before they came out.  We waited for a while then he gave me a tour of the church and then I went back to wait with Dominica who I know was a bit overwhelmed being the only adult around with close to twenty kids at the playground.

The kids were all congregating at the playground waiting for us to get power as they were all hoping to come over to our house again.  Eventually our girls were just very, very done with the playground and wanted to go back home.  So we decided to head back even without power.  The pack followed us, of course, so we moved like a mob through the street.  When we got to the house the electricians from Reghin were there and already working on the house.

It turns out that the wires where the power comes into the house had shorted out and fried.  That is why we were having brown outs yesterday and why it was only us that lost power.  So this is actually a very good thing, power has not gone out in the village at all since we have been here, it has only been faulty wiring in our house.  Twenty minutes later and we had power again.

Our house was a mad house of the rest of the evening.  It is Friday night so it seems that kids were able to come over longer.  I got the video games set up again and kids were playing games all evening.  The Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing is a pretty huge hit.  We really need more multiplayer games and only having two controllers is that much more of a limitation now.  Four controllers would go a very long way.

Dominica was busy baking cookies for everyone, as well.  Kids made different activity areas all over the house.  One room for video games, one room for Legos, one for Playdoh and Shopkins and kids running around the yard.  It is crazy.  And this is three days of this!

Normally the kids disperse around six because they have to go home for chores and dinner.  Paula and Diana were allowed to stay here this evening because we were doing movie night.  Paula has never seen Star Wars so we bought the six movie pack from Amazon and got it ready.

Paula helped me to go over and talk to the farmers that supply our milk and eggs to let them know how much we would need and when.  They gave us eggs right away and told us to come back after seven when they milk the cows to get the milk.  Liesl went along so that she could see some of the animals.  She got to see the cows and chickens and sheep.

Liesl with Sheep
Liesl Sees Sheep Up Close for the First Time

Paula, Diana, Liesl and I watched Star Wars for a while, but we did not make it halfway yet, when it was time for Paula and Diana to go home.  Everyone goes to bed very early in Romania.  It is a farm life and it is common for everyone to be awake at five in the morning so they can’t be up late like we often are.  Liesl scheduled to meet Paula at the playground tomorrow at three in the afternoon, though.

After everyone had left we felt like a family movie and Liesl has been begging, literally since the first day that we arrived in Greece and got into our home there, to watch Transylvania 2 with us.  So Transylvania 2 it was.  And it is actually a very good movie, I can see why she has watched it so many times.  It is one of her favourites.

Thank goodness for Amazon Instant Videos which work flawlessly wherever we go while Netflix and Hulu really barely work at all, and often not at all.    Amazon has made it that most of the movies that we want are able to come with us all of the time.