Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's A Beautiful Day Here in Iasi!!

It has been rainy and cloudy for almost three weeks now, so today when I woke up and saw the sun and part of the blue sky my heart jumped for joy and all day has just been beautiful! I am hoping it stays that way. Thanks to all of you who donated for the diapers fund, it was a great help and I think that we will have enough to last us the next 2 1/2 months!!! It is crazy how fast everything has gone by already, I feel like I just got here but it has already been 4 weeks! Every weekend out here has been so fun so far. I love traveling aorund our city and discovering new things about it and just having time to relax and stay caught up on homework. This last weekend we went to a store called Kaufland which is pretty much like a super Wal-Mart and it was awesome!! They have peanut butter!!! Everything there is so cheap that it is ridiculous so for the first time in 4 weeks my cupboard has food for two weeks then just for two days. That is a nice feeling. The kids I am working with are all great. I wish I had pictures of all of them but I don't because unlike the hospital I can't break the rules and sneak pictures in of the kids. Yesterday we took a harmonica, recorder and maracas and created a small band with the kids and it was so cute. They were so excited and not sure what to do at first. Claudia would blow into the harmonica until she heard a sound come out and then take it out of her mouth look at me and smile and wait for approval that she did a good job. It was so sweet, I was trying to help her figure out how to keep blowing and make music but it didn't work out, so maybe we will try that more next time. I am also going to other apartments in Dacia and all together work with 10 different kids and they are so adorable and fun. At first I was not sure how it was going to work out because some of the kids just did not want to play with me at all but after a while they warm up and smile and laugh and that really is the best part of this job. No matter how bad of condition a kid can be in, whether it be physically or cognitively, they all love it when you tickle them and hearing them giggle and seeing their face light up is more special then anything I have ever experienced. Well, I have so much more I could write about but I will just post some pictures instead.

This is Rhett......it was late on a Friday night and well really there is no way to justify this it was just freakin hilarious!

This is Alexandra, she is a girl in the hospital and so fun to play with.
Thank you Kaufland and for all of you who gave money for diapers, this is only half of how many I bought!

Wonderful Store!
These are the girls in the Scala apartment, so if I ever mention them by the name "Scala" in my future posts you know who it is!
The Boys! That is pretty much what we call them
The Buch apartment and also referred to as my apartment

Friday, September 26, 2008

Guessing Game!

Aunt Kristy inspired me with her last comment on my last post called La la la (I know creative) and I decided to start a game...How many kids do you think Kinsey is going to bring home with her from Romania? Everyone just write a guess on this Post and when I return whoever is the closest will get to have one too!!! Good luck!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

La la la...

I just wanted to post some pics of a boy Marian that we work and play with in the orphanage. Unfortunately he is in the hospital right now but he is still as spunky and fun as ever!! Oh, and I got him to say my name it was so so cute! His favorite words are "mama" 'tata" and "acolo"....he is so adorable and you will be able to tell from these pics. Besides that everything is just peachy keen and I still love it here!

Not used to the flash on the camera...
Third times the charm, right?!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I just want everyone to know that Pamela is not in the ICU and today I got to hold her and play with her and she is looking really healthy, has a lot of energy and smiles a ton. When I first found her she would not even open her eyes or wake up so she is on her way back to being healthy!! Oh, and I also found out she is only 2 months old and has been in the hospital for a month, so sad but I am glad she is getting better, although I will miss her so much!

Sweet Emotion

Sorry it has been a few days since I have updated my blog but the internet has been in and out all week...speaking of which a double double with a chocolate shake sounds so good right now! Well, this last weekend was a fun one not to mention I got a ton of school work and research done so I am staying on top of things, instead of procrastinating like I usually do. Really the best part of my weekend was being able to talk to my family on skype and to see their faces, and Penny too! Even though I am having a ton of fun out here and just really busy it is still nice to be connected with home.

On another note, a lot of good things have happened over the past couple of days. Two kids that i work with, Ghiorcel and Valentina, made huge progress (well it may not seem huge to you but to me it is). They are both non verbal and through a Romanian children's song (In Padurea Cu Alune) Rhett and I were able to get Ghiorcel to hum along and whenever it came to the chorus he would actually sing it; given the chorus is just pu pu pu pu over and over but we will take whatever we can get. We discovered that he really loves this song. Just hearing other words and noises come out of his mouth that was not screaming was so nice. And today I tried the same thing with Valentina and again she would try to sing the chorus with me. Oh, and I also was trying to teach her some animals so I was showing her a card of a fish (peste in romanian) and would move my hands like a fish as I said it and after a couple of tries she would move her hands in the same motion, point at the picture and try to say the word but all she could get out was the "p" sound, but still that is a huge deal.

Again I am not sure how many of you actually understand how big of a deal this is but it is and it was something that I needed to see to know that my work will pay off for this kids and hopefully help them progress a lot more on their vocabulary.

On a fun note last night I went to FHE and we played one of those get to know you games with everyone there, and it was the one where you write down a question and then we go around the room and everyone answers the question. Well, someone asked the question have you ever been skinny dipping. I was thinking well that is lame I am sure like everyone in this room has come to find out that skinny dipping is not as common as I thought. Out of about 20 people only 4 of us had been skinny dipping so thanks to my family, extended as well, for your examples and for all those fun memories.

Speaking of which I would like to share one of my mom's experiences with skinny dipping and then you will see where I get it form. When I was younger, I think 11 or 12, we went to Lake Powell with the Haynie's for a family reunion, and this is where I was first introduced to skinny dipping, as one night I heard a lot of laughter and for those of you who know my mom she has a very distinguishable laugh, so I woke up and went outside to find my mom and my aunts doing, what I thought, just swimming....come to find out that they were swimming with nothing on! Now mom at first I was shocked, but then as time went on I just became proud. So, Mom here is just one dedication to you of many to come and thanks for introducing me to this awesome activity:) haha oh and Happy BIRTHDAY!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A couple more pictures from our night last night....this one is dedicated to Aunt Kristy!

We have discovered a Gelato place right by our apartments and it only costs us $1.50 for two scoops!! Kristy, now I know you wanted the Langosi one dedicated to you too but I think that this one will help to make up for that:)

I am just so happy right now!


This is Celina at the Hospital, she has a broken leg but is still so full of spunk and smiles I love it!
This is Andrea, she beat me like 50 times in tic-tac-toe and 3 times in war....but we have a good time trying to talk to each other in Romanian.
Our night our for Katie's Birthday!!! Yay for chinese that really doesn't taste like chinese!
Most of the group, we are missing one michelle and can barely see alicia!
Cute! Chelsea, Michelle M. and Alicia!

Tonight was a really fun night because we went out to celebrate Katie’s birthday and for the first time in a couple of weeks we got to go out and do something for us rather then working at the orphanage, hospital, going to church activities or school work and it was just what we needed. And get this we took a taxi downtown, got Chinese food, took a taxi back, and got gelato all for under $15!!! It was amazing!! And it was a great time for us to really bond as a group and just enjoy each others company. I really got lucky that I have so many amazing people in my group; everyone just brings something so unique and fun to our group dynamics and I am grateful for that. And we ended the night with games and lots of stories. Oh, and Katie taught me how to play California speed and totally kicked my trash like for 15 games but I finally got it down and won a few times....so I am feeling a new game to introduce at our next family reunion and a possible tournament:)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I am a blog-aholic!!!

These are pictures of Pamela, one of my favorite babies at the hospital!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This is Dedicated to Rachel!!

This is a Langosi..Remember I have talked about it before. Well, it is Amazing and this one has Nutella in the middle! Before Shot!

Action Shot!

After Shot!! 8 Minute Abs....I have to work it off somehow!

Left to Right: Michelle, Me, Michelle

Also, I have a request...we need more diapers for the babies in the hospital. We have enough to last us a couple more weeks but if anyone would like to make some kind of donation let me know at kinseyld@gmail.com and that would just be great. We would really appreciate it or else we have to pay for them all ourselves and they are pretty expensive. Thanks!

I Hate Titles, I am not creative enough...

I went to work in the orphanage today, instead of Dancu apartments, so that I could play with and observe Maria (she is about 3 years old and has Down syndrome). Anyways, while I was there some of the kids were getting haircuts. There is something you need to know about the orphanage all the kids have short hair, like boy hair, and they do not dress them in gender clothes…so sometimes it is hard to determine if the baby or child is a boy or a girl. It is as if they do not have an identity. So as they were cutting Valentina’s hair and she was screaming and crying the whole time and I figured it was just because all kids hate haircuts, right? Oh and another side note I am not sure what Valentina suffers from but she has a hard time walking, cannot talk, and I am not sure if she is there cognitively at all. She responds to her name but not to much else. Moving on, after the haircut I noticed that right away Valentina went to a mirror, on a toy, looked at herself touched her hair and started to cry. I called her to my side and Kept saying, “Valentina, este foarte frumosa” which is “Valentina you are very beautiful”. I would play with her for a bit and help her get happy but again in a few moments she would go look at herself again, touch her hair and start to cry. Watching this behavior, even though Valentina is not really all “there”, she still knew that her identity is not there anymore and that she has once again become a part of the common group. It was so heartbreaking to see how much she missed her longer hair. Besides this sad lil girl the whole day was great. I got to play with all kinds of kids and hold so many cute babies! I got to go to the hospital and play with my favorite lil girl, and I finally found out her name, it is Pamela and I adore her! I wish I could just bring all of these kids home with me!

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Kids

Today was the second day of working with my kids. I want to tell you all a little but more about each of them so you can get an idea of who I spend most of my time with. Claudia, she is 3 years old and the sweetest little girl ever. She could spend hours with you holding her at the window point and asking questions. She also loves cats and the best way to help her stop crying is by giving her her toy cat. If I could bring one of the kids home with me it would be her; her smile and laugh just lighten up the room. Ghiorcel is a boy that is 2 years old and has his sweet moments. After playing with him a couple of days Rhett and I have noticed that he shows sign of autism. He is really fun to play with but if you ever put him down or do something he does not like he will scream so loud that all of Romania can hear him! The last is Mihaela!! I could write a book about this one. She is the most difficult child and suffers from attachment disorder to the extreme (at least that is what I think). Any attention is good to her, even if it is bad and scolding, and she wants you all to herself even though there are two other kids to attend to. We pretty much have a power struggle the whole time. Since she has a crush on Rhett whenever she is mad or wants some kind of attention she will come to me and hit me, kick me, pull my hair and even spit in my face. At one moment today I really felt like I was in a movie when she started to throw a huge tantrum at me and just going at it....at one point I just finally grabbed her and pulled her into my arms and started to sing, she was still lightly hitting me and crying but then finally resigned and just cried into my shoulder. After a few minutes she lifted her head up looked at me and kissed me on the cheek. That was just a such a sweet moment that for a second I forgot how hard she is to deal with. And then it all started again. Anyways, I really do love these kids, even though some are easier then others, and I hope that over the next few months I really can reach out to them, love them and teach them something. Only time will tell.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Just another Day

I got my calling in church and I am so stoked!!! Or should I say two callings, yes two! I am going to be the Activities Coordinator and Primary teacher. Both of those callings I have had in the past and really enjoyed them so I am excited, except I will for sure need a translator for the primary teaching since I speak like ten phrases in Romanian and most of them are used for scolding kids who are naughty at the orphanage, haha. I went to fireside tonight which was just fun to meet more members of the branch and spend time with them and I got to meet the sister missionaries and I am going to go on splits with them sometime soon to get a taste for it. (Yes Mom your prayers are being answered, maybe I will go on a mission!)

As for the working part out here I am so exhausted after a long day that it is almost hard to just think. Just for an update I am not working in the actual orphanage anymore, I am working in the apartments; which are a part of the orphanage but they do not have as many kids and it is a program in hopes to help the children to turn out more emotionally and physically normal. It is really cool that they do this, they have 3 apartments and Rhett and I work at one in Dancu on MWF Mornings and the orphanage on TTH. Then in the afternoons we switch off from working at the hospital and working at the other apartments which are in Dacia. Anyways, I do not know if any of that really makes sense but pretty much I am just all over the place and have a lot to do. The kids I will mostly be working with, for now anyway are Ghiorcel, Claudia, Mihaela and Maria. In a week or so I will have more kids but for now 4 is just fine.

It was an interesting morning because as Rhett and I headed over to the apartments we were thinking that we were going to have it easier then everyone else since we had fewer kids to work with, less noise and it would be in a small apartment, but oh boy were we wrong. It was one of the hardest days of my life. We literally could not let our eyes off of them or ever sit down or else one would make a run for the door, another would be trying to climb out of the window sill while one was crying and breaking things. If I had not already decided to live the law of chastity I think that this morning would have done it. Anyway, then I went home for a quick bite to eat before heading over to the hospital and I had a great time there too, it is just always fun to hold babies and play games with the kids there. They are a lot nicer and easier to deal with then the kids in the orphanage.

To end the night Rhett and I made an authentic Romanian meal without even knowing it…don’t even ask. But yeah this is a way too long blog and I am sorry but if any of you made it through I hope you enjoyed it and thanks!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I have discovered that Romania does have a lot of really delicious food, unlike popular belief says, but what I think they are known for the most are their desserts. This Post is for all of you donut lovers out there...If you thought donuts in the U.S. are good then you are in for a big treat. If you ever happen to be in Romania, for whatever reason, or somewhere close enough for you to make a day trip there make sure you get a Gogosi and a Langosi. The name makes them seem very similar, and they kind of are, but they are both just incredible. It will have you mouth and tummy happy in just seconds! Of course there are pros and cons to this. Pro being they are amazing and everywhere I walk it is easy access to buy one (oh and did I mention they are like 70 cents) con I could probably gain 15 lbs. in one week if I ate one everyday (don’t worry I have not, I do have some self control) and when I come home donuts will just not be a novelty to me anymore and my easy access to the best snack will be gone. Oh well, I just must take advantage now before I have to leave:)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Orphanage

Today was my second day working in the orphanage and I am just not even sure what to say; there are so many thoughts running through my head right now. The first being how exhausted I was after only three hours of working and playing with these kids. I do not know how the workers make it through the whole day! I gained a new respect for them and what they do, especially considering that they do not make very much money from this job.

So, in the orphanage there are three sections and there are 9 of us students who are working there so they put us into groups and we spent an hour in each section; by Friday we will all have our own section that will continue to work in for the rest of the semester. Today was kind of like a Costco sample of everything that is going on and of what all the kids are like. I found that every section has its pros and cons and would be fine working in any of them.

As for the experiences over the last two days it was just crazy. There were so many sweet moments when a child would just see you walk in the room and their eyes would just light up as they run up to you and hug your leg like they never want to let go. Those are the moments that I know when I leave I will miss greatly. Then there are the kids who are more difficult to deal with and I have had to try to tell myself to be stern and not let them take advantage of me but we all know how big of a sucker I am and that was pretty difficult. Oh, and what, to me, is the hardest of all things to deal with is when you are playing a child and you need to leave and they start physically hurting themselves so that you won't leave them and all you can do is walk away. And the next day you see the bruises from them hitting their head on the wall or scratch marks on their face. There has got to be a better way to leave and let them know that you will be back and to have them trust you, but then again why should they trust us when they do very well know in three months we will be gone.

Sorry that was a sad moment but it is just a taste of what I have seen in only two days and what I am going to be working with for three months. On a happier note we had dance time today with the kids which were so much fun!! I had a couple of kids just attach on to me and did not want to leave my side the whole time. It was so adorable to see them dance and just get so excited...oh and these are the two kids that I will be bringing back with me:) Their names are Andre and Andrea (I know so similar and original but hey it will make it easier to not forget their names right). Anyways, they were just the sweetest kids and I can hardly wait to see them tomorrow.

We work in the hospital from 9-12 an then from 2-5 we go volunteer at the hospital. My sister was asking what exactly we do and at first I was not sure but today I went for the first time so now I know. We go to every floor in the hospital, and there are 8, and ask the nurses "Aveti copii fara Mama?" Which means are there any children without a mom, and if there are then we go and change their diapers, that we provide, and leave a couple of extras for the nurses to use, and then we bring toys so we can play with the kids, hold them, or jus talk to them. It was a really sweet experience to see these children in pretty poor conditions but know that you were bringing some light and love into their day. At first I was kind of depressed thinking about these children without Mama's but then I noticed something as I went from room to room....Every room has at least 3-4 children in it and when I would go into a room the other Mama's in the room would tell me the child’s name and would even help me. What I discovered was that women really do have a motherly and sweet nurturing spirit and so even though those children are not their responsibility the mothers in that room do care and help out with the motherless kids. It was so sweet and comforting to know that when I am not there someone else is.

Well, that is a mini novel for you! I hope you enjoy it and if you did not finish it then I am so ok with that too.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Last of the pictures...at least for now!

We were going to hike to the Brasnov sign but because of time constraints, like not wanting to miss our train, we took the tram up and hiked down. But this is us at the top of the mountain!
Hiking back down, so purty!
Just contemplating life, or how hungry I was?! You pick.

Rasnov Castle

I was hoping to stretch out a lil and gain some height but no such luck!

So cool...Rasnov was like a fortress and a lot of fun to play in!

King Carol's castle, his family was the first Royal family of Romania, and this picture does not do justice to how big this palace is...this is just the entrance.

The whole group at King Carol's palace!!! Left to right: Rachel, Alicia, Rhett, Me, Katie, Robby, Michelle N., Chelsea, Michelle M.
Dracula's Castle!!! Spooky!
We are going in...I hope we come out alive!

Brasov is a really beautiful city and there is a lot to see, so we had a great time traveling and playing the role of tourists for a few days. We start work in the Orphanage tomorrow so I will let you know how that goes. Noapte Buna!

Trip To Brasov

So, our trip to Brasov was very successful, except for at the beginning when we left Robby at the Bucuresti train station, but after that everything went perfect and we had a great time!! Here are the pictures to prove it...oh and I have had some questions about how they can have a fake Dracula's castle, and it is not that it is fake necessarily but it is not the castle that Vlad lived in...it is the castle that the Dracula book was based off of. Anyways, enjoy!

The first two are of the train ride to Brasov....which is like 8-9 Hours because there is no straight route to Brasov so we have to go all the way down to Bucuresti first which is not on the way. I know it sounds confusing but just look at a map and you will understand.
We are all so tired because our train left at 5;30 am...see the sun rising, and some of us just pulled an all night, not a good idea:)
Welcome to the beautiful city of Brasov!!!! I love the sign...now the question is who had it first, Hollywood or Brasov?
Cheers!! We went to a rad restaurant the first night that gave complimentary vodka, it was great!! I mean after a long day of traveling it was just what we needed.
The Festival of Gold...for all of you who grew up in the 80's I got to see the band Simply Red in concert in Brasov, Romania, how sick is that?!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Just a Quick Update

Just so everyone knows I am in Brasov right now doing a little traveling before we start work in the orphanage on Wednesday. And for those of you who do not know Brasov is in the Transylvania region so that means we get to go to Dracula's castle...unfortunately it is not the real Dracula's castle, like Vlad, it is one they made for us tourist to make money. But no worries we have already made plans to spend Halloween weekend at Vlad's castle:)

Brasov is a very beautiful city. It is in the Mountains of Romania and is made for tourists so of course downtown is very cute and put together well. There was a festival last night in the downtown area so we sat down on the sidewalk and listened/watched the Romanian pop stars. It was pretty cool. Well, we have a lot going on over the next couple of days but I will keep you posted and put up some more pics later. Love you all so much!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just a few of many pictures to come

The view from our kitchen

Sad day when you have to learn this lesson..
One of the gypsy villages near us

This is the view from the balcony outside of my room..so awesome!!!

This is my bed/bookshelve behind it/couch
My window/balcony...the balcony is way rad, I feel like romeo should be climbing up to me or something, haha
Today was so awesome...we walked around A LOT, I bought a sweet purse for 6 bucks, we met some gypsies (and saw their village) and just cool people, I talked in Romanian as much as I could, I went to the piata and talked all in Romanian to buy fresh fruits and veggies (which are all way cheap), I rode the tram twice today and now I am getting ready to go to Outreach, which is like a type of mutual out here but for all ages just to get investigators around and such. Anyway, enjoy the pics I will put more up of our ghetto apartment later.

Second Day

I arrived yesterday afternoon in Iasi and got to walk around the town a lil, unpack and have my first experience at the grocery store. So far, so good. The weather is actually really nice here, and there are trees everywhere, which is not usually too common for a city. My apartment is completely ghetto and I absolutely love it!! I will post pictures up as soon as I get some. The weather has been great too...it has been in the 70's and is just humid enough that I don't need to use any lotion. I don't have much to say now and I need to go do some more shopping and exploring but I wanted everyone to know that I am here safe and sound and very happy!!!