Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Home again, and in need of moisturiser!

Well, after so many months in the planning, my trip to Romania has been and gone. It was a real time of challenging myself to do things in unfamiliar conditions, and I was very glad to have gone with Dad who was an encourager and companion for the week.

Romania (at least the bit I saw) was less grim and poor than I expected, but not to say that there were not grim and poor bits, especially where we were building where you wouldn't believe how horrid and crowded the conditions were. It made it so obvious that houses should be built for these people crammed into flats which should have been long since condemned and making the best they could of them. Although the Roma future owners were fairly suspicious of us to start with, apart from anything else, they don't let their women help with the building, they got used to us, realised we were trying our best to build the best houses we could for them and in the end were smiling with us at the joint results of our labours.

Our comfort was much better, interesting food, a nice guest house, a fantastic leader in Emil and team leader in Rob and a fun building team (lucky their English was better than our Romanian!). The worst we faced was coffee coloured water coming out of the taps some days and nothing at all flowing on others! Apart from a blister on my thumb and a few bites I really didn't suffer at all.

I painted, varnished, installed soffits, floor underlay and laminate flooring and did lots of running around handing things to people!

It was a good trip, and if we take our own homes for granted 90% of the time, at least we should spare a thought occasionally for those who don't enjoy our living conditions and who deserve a lot more than they have.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Such a lot happening right now....

Well, we got back from Paris and what a fab time we had - lovely weather for the most part, showed the kids all the sights and they loved it. Even better was the site on the Seine at Maisons Laffite which was like going back to the countryside in the evening, the kids had space and met up with other kids, we could cook for ourselves and sit on the deck with a glass of wine and relax - so much better than a hotel for our family but with all the beauties of Paris about 25 minutes away on the RER. A total success.

Then we had lovely friends up from Cornwall for the weekend and revelled in the wonderful sunshine once more, making the most of the long distance views from Epsom Downs and taking the chance to look round Hampton Court, something we only seem to do with visitors!!
Now I'm frantically packing for Romania. I've been stuck with needles, amassed first aid kit, worn in my steel toe capped boots and borrowed my guide book for Budapest from the library for our day's sightseeign. I still need currency, I'm hoping to customise my hard hat, I have a load of cooking to do for the family and probably a million other things to do too. I'm terrified, and excited to be going, sad to leave the family for a week, but hoping to do something rewarding and to make a difference and really get stuck in to the project.