Team, the Clinic, and the Clinic's Staff
(left), her grandmother Paula (right), and Kim DeWitt are on
the bus ready to take off for the unknown. This is Mary's first
volunteer trip! At sixteen it's quite an undertaking and she
turned into quite the trooper by volunteering to take care of
the Toddlers with Bob. In this picture she is experiencing "uninformed
optimism". Those nine kids are quite a handful.
to the generous contributions of friends and former volunteers,
we stock up on cheerios, cleaning supplies, diapers and food
for the kids. Here we are checking out of the Metro (like Costco).
Quite the shopping trip for almost $800 on the first day in
Bucharest. We'll load the van and stop at the clinic on the
way to our hotel. There are six on our team. We'll be busy.
There I am at the cash register using my debit card! Too bad
I don't get miles with these charges!
Richey is "on duty". We go through lots of A&D Ointment too!
We were half as fast as the staff in changing kids… but we were
"enthusiastic". At least the women were.
Richey and I worked with the Mobiles… and we alternated with
Bob and Walt and Paula's granddaughter, Mary, to work with the
"terrorist" toddlers. Here Walt is playing with Abel the Explorer!
team member Bob Gery with a personal favorite, Florin! Florin
has had two surgeries for club feet and is now doing well thanks
to everyone's care and special orthopedic shoes (not shown)
donated by volunteers as he grows. He's almost four and hopefully
will be with a loving foster family soon.
Dewitt worked with Paul with the non-mobiles. This is little
Andrea who has numerous medical problems including a restricted
major artery. She does look pretty in pink… but she has a lot
to face ahead of her.
with Sylvia… a special bond here… Sylvia loves the Scooby Doo
scrubs and Gloria just loves holding and playing with her.
parents visited. It's clear when you see them that they love
her… and not being able to care for her at home must be quite
distressing. Some kids' parents visit and others are in parts
Here's the old kitchen cooking area where staff prepared bottles
and formula for all the kids. Peeling 50 pound sacks of potatoes,
carrots and apples and then "cooking it down" was not an easy
task with half of the burners not working and such large pots.
You can see the gas line behind the stove on the right that's
attached to a propane tank like you'd use with your gas barbecue.
The Kitchen was renovated in 2006 thanks to contributions from
volunteers. This is the new cooking area… You can imagine the
difference. Plus, the windows in the kitchen and all of the
children's sleeping and play rooms were replaced with modern
windows and screens. Plus, the front door was replaced. You'd
be happy with the quality of the tile work in your own home!
sterilizer and storage and work areas! Everything now conforms
to European Union standards for hospital kitchens. New refrigerators,
etc. are all in place too.
work and storage area!
is high quality stainless steel and "built to last". When I
first traveled to Tutova in December 2004, there wasn't even
hot water in the kitchen and there was one tiny sink and very
Believe it or not, this was the entire storage area… and it
was held together "with spit and glue". I just love a good makeover!
took this group photo with Mihaela, her husband Daniel, and
daughter,Delia on the left, and (clockwise), Mary, Walt, Paula,
Kim and Gloria. This is at Mihaela's home just before Thanksgiving
Dinner was brought to the table. There was some excellent homemade
wine on the table. It's wonderful to be in an actual home enjoying
Day in Romania was quite wonderful. All of us joined our team
leader, Mihaela and her family for this delicious meal of "faux
turkey" (chicken) with lots of fixings. Walt is looking forward
to carving. The stuffed cabbage on the left, while not an American
tradition, was a favorite of ours and prepared by Mihaela's
mother, Katy (Katerina). What a feast!
and Liliana work really hard like all of the other staff members.
They are life-savers to these children and are grateful for
all of the volunteers.
the diaper changing line - 400 diapers are changed daily and
washed. This is a monumental task as you can imagine!
holds twin, Julian, while Victoria prepares to give him his
medicine. They all look like they are having entirely too much
fun for getting medicine. I have never seen a baby smile in
this kind of situation, but clearly Julian just loves the whole
time! The kids are like birds. Liliana is feeding some of the
mobile kids on the weekend when Bob and I were alone with only
two staff working each shift.