I need to share this last part of the first part of my Romania Journey with you…
Not sure what I mean…. hmmm Soz.
Nah…basically. I will be Returning to Romania. Very Soon. Right now though, I’m chilling in london for some delicious english speaking totty accent filled social buzz time.
But this first part Romania…
Discovering a culture that used to be mine.
Trying to speak a language I only used to mimic and joke about.
And try to reopen pandoras box of starting my life as an orphan in this nation.
Im not going to lie. If it weren’t for God and technology I would not have been ok. This was perhaps the most intense experience of my life. God was the comforter, translator and joke maker. And technology was my get out of jail free, talk to family, selfies with friend lifeline.
So. Big things that happened. Im about to share.
I am also popping together a wee film that i’ll post soon.
I also have exciting news… which i’ll also share soon.
oh… before I share the pics…. if none of this blabber makes any sense at all. Check out this link to watch a tv episode on this whole journey preparation (ps sorry only NZ people can see this..)
So I worked with a couple of orphanages in the outskirts of Brasov doing arty flavoured things. One of the most amazing things I love about Art… is how it transcends race, gender, age and skill. Truly we had the most amazing bonding moments both with the kids and other volunteers with art.
This wee thing is a extra large snakes and ladders board game. The kids did an amazing job of teamwork to create this masterpiece.
Then they ripped it up and threw it away. cool cool.
But the one project that was just so precious was the birthday calendar. These kids have such a stunning unity in the orphanage. Truly a brother and sister hood. And what was super special was I was able to photograph their portraits. We made the raddest birthday calendar ever. And what stunned me was the pride they put into their own birthday month artworks.
For all you Arty people out there…. creating Mandela’s or Zentangles was my jam. No matter what skill level or experience the kids perceived they had… this was accessible. There was an instinct to color them in that came so naturally. It’s calming. Surpasses age and cool factor. And also the inner wannabe art therapist found it fascinating the color combinations they chose, the mediums they used etc…
I will also hold with me moments that we all shared in the orphanage. These are damn cool kids. It pisses me off to know that they are abandoned. And through some dumb as system, they are black listed from adoption. But in the same way I believe God took me and called me out from the circumstances I was born in… I have to believe he has also called them by their beautiful names. I have to.
Okay… so heres just a couple of wee snapshots of my last month in Romania before I share what happened next…
————————————————————————————————————————————————–So…. I met my brothers birth sister. I repeat….I met my brothers birth sister. She’s stunning.
It was the most overwhelming, devastating, incredible experience. A meeting of destiny’s. 2 worlds colliding.
I can’t say it any more flamboyantly can I? haha.
But truly, God allowed our paths to cross 25 years ago before she was even born when from that moment… we both shared a brother. Her’s by blood, and mine by adoption.
And now in May of 2015 we meet as adults.
I’m going to say no more. My eye balls are steaming up.
And then…one of the other volunteers and I went to Bucharest on a day trip.. to the town where I was adopted from. I was born in a jail but was transferred to an orphanage.
Here’s a photo Dad took many moons ago. And because Im awesome at planning things close to my heart (not) I didn’t have a phone number or address to locate the orphanage.
All I knew was that it was walking distance from the Arc De Triumph Romanian edition.
So we got off the train and walked. I kept being drawn to this particular building but we kept wandering around…then again i found myself staring through the fence posts… then with the help of this awesome antique shop owner…. we found the orphanage… and it was the place I was drawn too. It stirred my heart knowing that deep down it was familiar.
Anyhow with the old photo as our compass…. we spoke to the security guards who came on the goose chase with us to find the location of the orphanage. Turns out… it has been closed down as an orphanage. Which for nostalgia value stinks. But knowing that there is no need for an orphanage is pretty cool. Anyhow here’s a pic of me standing in the same location as Dad was when he took the photo….
And the cool as detective dream team…
PS… here’s the fence I was drawn to that wraps around it…. incidentally Michael Jackson visited it as part of his heal the world tour in ’97.
And I left my own mark on the fence too. I knew the vivid I had floating in my handbag would come in handy. Booyah.
So that was my time in Bucharest. Ps after this photo was taken. We got followed by two men for a good 1/2 hr. Ladies if you read this. Don’t be dumbos and try to take photos down ally in Romania and think it’s gonna be ok.
Back to the work I was doing in Brasov. We went to the children’s Hospital and did a shift there. What I saw broke my heart. Photos in there was illegal. But clearly i don’t stick to the rules. There is a reason they don’t like westerners in behind the curtain of Romania…. photos like this emerge. And this is not a jab at the hospital by any means. The resources and coldness there is not a reflection I believe of the place itself… but of the mentality that was breed by a government that had no compassion on it’s people. There is a new energy about Romania… but it has not spread to reaching out its hand to the disenfranchised… yet.
And to finish this epic post… here’s something tangible that I will always hold with me. What started as an idea… made it’s way to fruition which is pretty rad actually. This is the side of an orphanage we painted….So now… here I am in London. Finally absorbing all that was with friends around me. It was the perfect time for the Woman’s Day article in NZ to come out and with the Both World episode to be aired. A perfect place to reflect on the journey and indulge in the specialness of this whole experience!