Madison & Taylor leaving the Des Moines Airport on June 9 th , 2008. All four went to training in Texas before heading to the field. Madison went to Thailand. Taylor, Sophie, and Emily were on the same team going to Romania.
These are the cramped quarters where the girls stayed during training at the Global Expeditions headquarters in Texas. Taylor said it was hot, cramped and uncomfortable. If I counted correctly, the girls spent two full days and three nights here before flying to Romania.
Taylor’s Romania Team from Global Expeditions. The team’s main goal was to work with children and orphans. They spent a lot of time playing, doing Vacation Bible School, and trying to love the children just like Jesus loved.
The orphanage where they spent a lot of time was a private orphanage run by a Christian ministry.
Taylor’s team spent time working with children in city parks, but weren’t always welcomed. They were yelled at, called names and had bottles thrown at them. They were thrown out of one park by the authorities because people didn’t want them there.
Taylor said everyone laughed at her and her rain poncho...until it started pouring. Then she laughed at everyone else getting soaked. Is it just me, or does she remind you of Mary Tyler Moore?
The orphanages run by the State are not generally open to Christian groups, but Taylor’s team was given permission to spend time in a government orphanage. Taylor was excited that they had the opportunity to spend time with these children.
The children in the orphanages were from all over. Taylor said that this girl wasn’t even Romanian and no one at the orphanage could understand what he was saying.
Romania has a large Gypsy population and there is a lot of cultural tension between Romanians and Gypsies. The team worked to love children of both cultures.
The Gypsy children they spent time with were impoverished. Many without basic clothing.
Taylor was surprised by the number of children with special needs they saw.
“ Some things you would see,” Taylor said, “were just disturbing.”
The team visited this castle on their tourist day. I believe she said it was in or near Brasov. Taylor said it was the most beautiful place she’d ever seen. The building contained an original work by Gustav Klimt. Being raised as a lover of art and history, she was overwhelmed with excitement by this (she said no one else on her team seemed to share her excitement)!
Taylor warned me (jokingly) in an e-mail that her heart was breaking for the children and that she might be bringing one home. Seeing this picture helps me understand her sentiment.