Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hospital Closing Ceremony and English Class

Today we had a closing ceremony at the Varazdin Hospital. We weren't sure what to expect because our partner organization usually organizes and executes the closing ceremonies. In this case the hospital staff has always been extremely busy and we have only really got our foot in the door as far as the head nurse and the secretary that is over donations. So although we felt strongly that they were good partners, we didn't really have much experience with them. But the ceremony was wonderful! Very low key, very warm and well, just perfect! The head hospital administrator was there and so was the head doctor. We had an opportunity to sit down and talk with them both and discuss the possibilities of our further serving the hospital in other different ways. They made us wonderful treats, which were NOT on our diets, and all in all we were extremely pleased with their closing.

Left to right....Head Doctor of the Hospital, Head Nurse, Me,(yes, I am on a diet) Administrator of the hospital, Jim, and Tihana (our translator)   We gave them 300 new sheets that were made by the high school students in their sewing program.
   After the closing ceremony, we decided to take the missionaries to a place where they had been wanting to go for a long time. The HORSE restaurant. Now really, this place was not hard for me to stay on my diet! I had a tomato and cucumber salad called, Shopska, but the others had horse meat. Baby horse meat. Yuck! Jim said it wasn't much different than beef, but what did he really know? He chose to have his covered with mushrooms and onions. The Elders were much more brave, I don't think any of them will really want to go back. But now they can say that they have eaten it.
   Meat is always an issue here. I have found that I feel pretty safe with chicken, and some of the pork products. But turkey is hard to get, beef is almost impossible to get and if you can it's very expensive. Fish is horrendously expensive so we never even look that way and so to get our protein it's usually, chicken, chicken, chicken and a little pork. I have also learned to eat the eggs even if I have to bring them home from the store and wash the poop and feathers off of them. They do have something called "Mixed Meat" , I have never been a big fan of it, thinking that it's kind-of like the hot dogs at home. A mish-mash of what ever leftovers they want to throw in, but then our translator told us that mixed meat has horse in it as well. Now I don't think I will ever be able to eat that. So eggs and chicken, yep! That's pretty much our diet.
Our Elders enjoying their horse!

The Elders horse meat platter.

    This week we went to a home where there are 100 disabled children, and 150 disabled adults. It was a sad sight to see. Although they were clean, well cared for and living in a beautiful heart went out to so many of them that could be loved and cared for in their own homes instead of warehoused in a facility. But the culture and economy is so hard here that it is a necessity for both parents to work, therefore, when people discover that their child has a problem, they drop them off and sign away their parental rights. And child lives his or hers entire life in a home surrounded by others in like condition and nurses.
   I was especially touched at one point by two brothers who just clung to me, loved on me and the nurses had to literally pry one of the brothers arms off of me. She apologised and told me that they thought I was their sister. So hungry for family to love them. Their sister lives in Slovenia and comes to visit about once a year. It made me think of my own brothers, how dear they are to me and how I cherish the relationship I have with them....I have so many blessings in my life. It was hard for me to see how starved for that kind of relationship they were, and then to realize how much I have taken it for granted for so many years. To my dear brothers, I hope you won't mind if I add two more brothers here in Croatia to my list to be thankful for. We hope to write up a project for this home, they need sheets, wooden chairs, and wooden toys for their "children" . I think we can and will be able to help with those needs. But other than that, the needs are so great and our ability to help the individual so finite. I feel so inadequate that all I can do is pray and remember that they are all our Heavenly Fathers Children and he loves them and will bring them home to him someday. Maybe "my brothers" will see me on the other side and hug me again....

Our visit to the Children's Home

This young man was so excited to show us his weaving project.
They were busy doing art projects, puzzles and playing with games.
One of the many, many rooms of cribs for children.
This little girl is there youngest patient. She is three. Such a little sweet heart!

Couldn't you just hug them????

  On to a happier topic. Every Tuesday and Thursday the Elders teach a conversational English class. We go and help by having conversations with the students. The Elders don't really need us, but we like to go and have made some good friends. At the end of each transfer they have a little break so that the new transferred Elders can get their feet under them for a week or so before they start teaching English classes again. So at the end of each class there is a party. Here are a few pictures of our last party. Often we are in Bosnia on Thursday nights, but we usually make it to the Tues. class. It is a really fun part of our mission
English Class students teaching Elder Lee to play the accordian. He's pretty good at it!

Elder Anderson, Elder Knighton, and Elder Lee
My English Class Friends

We are going to Bosnia tomorrow morning, on Friday we have a wheelchair closing with the Red Cross and on Saturday we are going to our translator's "Slava". It's a celebration where each family celebrates their particular Saints Day. It should be fun to see some more Bosnian culture. We will also hold church on Sunday at our house. We love and miss you all. We'd love to hear from you. Our e-mail is at the right of this blog or feel free to leave a comment. Our mail box is empty!


Crystal said...

Is that a hint? Hmmmm well the wait will be worth it I promise! haha

cynphil6 said...

Glad you're having such a great time! I know how hard it must be for you to say "no" sometimes. It doesn't seem to be in your nature! ( :
Love and miss you!