First of all, we finished off the retreat splendidly last week!
Besides the intense bowling and Mexican night..
We also underwent the grand and slightly dangerous experience of go-cart racing, several rounds of bilingual games at the park, many fun and humorous hours at the strand (pool), and slept in an indoor fort that the volunteers created.
It’s amazing to see how much the girls appreciate a retreat and break after they worked for it and earned it! It’s hard to teach them that balance oftentimes. In the orphan homes, they got accustomed to having their needs provided for without having to work for it. Now that they’re entering the real world, they want to continue having that- this is the reason why many girls leave the Beauty from Ashes program or don’t complete it. If they’re not willing to work, be responsible, and follow rules, then life will hit them in the head they will have to step up to their role or end up on the streets. Those who realize this have had much success in the program and were also able to appreciate this retreat to the fullest!
However, it’s also hit me really hard this past week how limited our girls are due to injustice. Unfortunately, even our girls who have worked so hard to get integrated into society and have a better, brighter future are judged by their skin color and background. Employers take one look at them and don’t give them a second thought. Being in America since the age of 5, I got used to the concept of the “Land of Opportunities” and am now being reminded how harsh and unjust life is for those who don’t have these opportunities. These things fire me up, and I do everything in my power to prepare this girls for their interviews and encourage them.
One of our girls who’s been in the program the longest and is a college graduate interviewed for a position in her domain as a nurse! I so highly anticipate the day when she will take her rightful place that she’s earned in the medical field through nursing!
Along these same lines, I was given the neatest opportunity this week: I got to share a little about my views on the previously listed injustices as well as about Romanian Orphan Ministries and my life in an interview for Digi24 Oradea, a TV show here in Romania! Whenever I was asked to do this, I had no idea what to expect, but I interviewed today and the airing is tomorrow at 7:00pm Romania Time (11:00am Central Time, 12:00pm Eastern Time) both on TV and they’re website,
under the live tab. Through the questions that he asked me during the duration of the interview, I shared a bit of my views and pointed out injustice as an issue. I also got to tell the television world about ROM and what they do, and how I got here. My girls were so sweet when finding out about my interview: they all rushed to help with make-up, finding a taxi, and getting ready. It’s so awesome seeing what they’ve learned throughout their time at the center on how to be a good friend!
As the older girls build character, the younger girls that are at the center daily have started wanting to be like them, and have picked up some good traits actually! When it’s been my turn to work with the little girls these past couple of days, they always want to do things that I do with the older girls: school, cleaning, feeding the animals, singing... ect- it’s so sweet! When the older girls start participating in teaching them how to do these these things that they do, the little girls love it, and it teaches them good measures of patience and how to deal with children as well. This will definitely come in as a help for the girls who have started training others at their jobs at the center/boutique.
As the week progressed, we celebrated the big boss (Corey’s) birthday, and had to say goodbye to two of our volunteers that are headed back to the States. Saying goodbye reminded me that I only have a week left before I have to undergo the same thing! (UNBELIEVABLE)