Thursday, 17 March 2011

Christmas 2010

Christmas was an awesome and humbling experience for us this year (or should I say last year?) We had two Christmas parties at the Secret Garden and we were seriously worried that we would not be able to provide adequate food and drink. We had no money in the foundation bank account, minus money in our personal account and a week before the parties, no offers of help! Above is a photo from the first party, for the children and families who come for the morning programme. Irina organised all the children to sing Christmas carols and say poems for the assembled parents and other adults. You can't see them all on this photo, but the room behind the visible children you can see was pretty full, we had around 60 people in all. We also played musical chairs, several rounds of it, we divided the children into age groups for safety - you can imagine what great fun it was with 15 children in each round! Then we danced and played more games before eating. The food was donated by local people and there was plenty for all. To complete a lovely day we were able to give each person a Christmas gift thanks again to Blysthwood Trust who again sent over Christmas shoeboxes for us.

On Christmas Eve we had our party for the street folks. Given that a week before the party we had no food and no money for any and we were beginning to wonder what we were going to do and how we were going to feed people. We had tomato soup donated by Blythswood Trust in Scotland - thousands of tins of it ... but apart from that, nothing! By the day of the party we could not believe the meal we were able to serve to our homeless friends ... a four course meal for 40 people is no mean feat!

We were overwhelmed by the goodness of God and of our Romanian friends who brought in ready made food. When you think that Christmas eve is the main celebration meal for Romanian families and all these good people had taken up precious time (and money) in the middle of such a busy family time, it's even more special. Home made soup was followed by stuffed cabbage leaves (traditional celebration food) and then by roast chicken thighs and mashed potato, served with plates of homemade pickles on the tables. To finish we served a selection of cakes and biscuits and coffee for any who wished it and a Christmas shoebox as each person left. When our family arrived at Nelu and Mariana's house later in the evening, we were completely exhausted but still caught up in the wonder of it all ...

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Our pal Conor

Conor is 10 and lives in Falkirk, Scotland. he came out to Romania in summer 2009 with his whole family and helped us with our work. Conor has a new blog which I recommend to you - it is interesting and entertaining and yes, to fans of the Highlander films, he really is called Conor MacLeod!