This morning was an early start to the day. We were all up at 4:45am in the Budapest heat to start the day and move all our luggage up four flights up to the lowest level hall way to prepare to move them into the van, trailer and car that I was assured would be here. The contacts this organization have made in this country are amazing. They are reliable and everyone had been amazing. This morning we are heading to Romania which is a seven and a half hour drive from Budapest. We are going to a small rural community called Brasov.
Once we were all loaded up in the van and car that did indeed show up, we bounced along in a sporadic and terrifying motion through Hungarian roads. I kept busy by writing in my travel journal and watching movies on my iPad I had downloaded while still in the States. WiFi in this country is not quite ready for the demands we Americans are asking of it. It frequently crashes and kicks us all off. I am currently trying to add photos to my blog using my hotspot on my phone since there is literally no WiFi at the Romanian ranch we are at currently.
The drive was beautiful. We crossed the border about three hours into the drive. Handing over passports while were were smashed in the van like sardines all while reading signs in Hungarian about how not to bribe the border patrol guards. In Romania the flat landscape slowly started becoming more rolling hills, trees and farmland with the occasional farmhouse dotting the landscape. I’ve never seen anything like it. Pristine and untouched. There weren’t any power line poles scarring the horizon or power plants or shopping centers or even cities. Just small random homes lovingly attended to in the middle of their farmland.
The roads are incredibly narrow and Romanian driving can be compared to a combination of Nascar and ambulance drivers. Anything goes. Once we arrived at the ranch we would be staying at, I was in awe. Farmland hills rolled in every direction. To the east, rolling green “mountain” caught my imagination. It was like a scene from every Disney movie ever. The ranch was a beautiful white building with a bright red roof surrounded by fields, farmland and flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. Huge rose bushes sprouted up next to buildings that seemed unintentional but somehow just perfect.
We piled out of the vehicles and unloaded all the luggage….which is a lot when you have twelve people and are running a bible program for three weeks. There were lots of supplies divided up between all of us before we arrived which were now sprawled out all over the common area floor.
We sorted everything, divided up rooms and settled in. “Thee and Koffee” was served with chocolate chip muffins. It was a wonderfully relaxing way to become acquainted with our Dutch host missionaries who run this facility. This place is a lot like the retreat center my church in Cheyenne runs. It’s open for any organization to stay at but it’s a faith based center. We were served a dinner or pork chops, peas and carrots, peaches and French fries. Our Belgium missionaries that would be our hosts for the children’s program tomorrow also arrived with our translators. They are Jessica and Tase and are amazing. They have three children and Tase was an MMA fighter prior to becoming a Christian and becoming a missionary to Romania. There is a deep need here in the Gypsy community for the love of Jesus.
We enjoyed a peaceful evening dividing up the program needs, assigning classes to teach and narrowing down the roles we all needed to play. We enjoyed the company of our host missionary family and the program missionaries all while playing with their kids and exploring the surrounding area. I was going to snap a few images of these sheep and when I looked down my entire foot was covered in black spiders. It was so gross!
Our adventure tomorrow starts with a big breakfast and then hopping into this WWII military vehicle and heading over to the center. Once we will get there we will be heading into the village to “collect” the children from the area for the program.