Sunday, February 26, 2012

Why Romania is not a weight-loss misson!

There is a pastry shop on every corner and sometimes in between.  We can always smell something delicious baking and we can't seem to pass them up.

But there is always a way to solve any problem.
Translation:  Clothes for the Fattish
The Romanians have a way with words for sure.

And as long as we are on the subject, this just seemed funny to me.

The Romanians also have a way with signs.
This was at a brand new, upscale theater.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Good Shepherd

When we first arrived in Romania there was a senior missionary conference in the city of Sibiu.  This is the part of Romania where there are many flocks of sheep and we were fascinated by the beautiful countryside with it's unusual haystacks and farms.

We were disappointed that we couldn't get a better picture of the sheep with the shepherd that is always there with the flock.  So when we were driving through that same area a few weeks ago we were excited to see a shepherd with his flock next to the highway. 

He was kind enough to let us take pictures.  It was a cold drizzly day but we have noticed that no matter what the weather there is always a shepherd with the flock.  While we were taking pictures a few of the sheep wandered  too close to the road -there were no fences- and when the shepherd whistled they all came racing back to the flock.  Whenever we see a shepherd with his flock, we are reminded of the Savior and how often he is referred to as the Good Shepherd.  As we watch these Romanian shepherds we understand even more the care that the Savior shows to His flock.

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd:
he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them in his bosom..."
Isaiah 40:11

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just one more!

We were sitting on a train yesterday waiting to leave for a neighboring city when we noticed out our window that there was a line of cars filled with snow ready to pull out of the station.
Where is it going?  There is no place in Romania that needs more snow.  Maybe it's going to Greece?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Are you tired of hearing about the weather?

Well, we are not quite ready to quit talking about snow yet. 

 It has only gotten worse here in the past week. We feel very fortunate to be warm and well fed in our apartment bloc.

Many people have been stranded in their homes.

There have been many rescue attempts to find people who are under the ice and snow.

A couple of days ago, looking out our apartment window we watched an interesting progression of snow and ice removal. Here is a large crew with their shovels and ice picks ready to tackle the 3 to 4 inches of ice on the sidewalk in front of the church.  

As you can see the group soon dwindled to six men.  There seems to be some kind of discussion going on.  The temperature out there is 5 degrees so I'm not sure why they aren't moving around more.  

Now we are down to two men, but you can see the rows of ice blocks they are making along each side of the path.

But after several hours there is a pathway in front of the Church.

That ice has to go somewhere and so this little red car is now stuck until the thaw.

Then yesterday the snow started again and by this morning that path was gone.

Also, the same 5 cars you can see above in front of the sidewalk clearing crew are now little more than bulges under the snow. 

But Spring will be here soon and we will enjoy the wonderful flower shops that are on almost every corner .

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How cold is it?

Well, it's cold enough to freeze the Black Sea.

And it's cold enough to stop the work on our bloc.  The building is getting a facelift and the scaffolding outside our windows is covered with a sheet of ice.

You know it's cold when someone decides to take pity on the wild dog that has taken up residence in front of our bloc entry door.  They found a piece of the foam insalation that is going on the building for him to lay on.  

It might be too cold if your windows freeze over.

The guys with the shovels probably think it's cold enough.  Sometimes they even wear gloves.  This is how all the sidewalks and pathways to the bus stops are cleared.  Which probably explains why, in most places, there is a thick layer of ice under the snow.

We watched many people try to get their cars out of the snow and ice, including one man who worked at it for over 3 hours in 15 degree temperatures before finally, with the help of 2 others who came by, managed to drive away.  Some just give up and get on a bus...

or take a taxi at this unofficial taxi stand below our window. 

And others will just wait for Spring!

This is the walkway we must take to get to the Church.  Please note the park benches. 

It was cold enough that the demonstrations downtown went from thousands

to hundreds.

And it is cold enough that we wish we had hats like Elder and Sora Howells!

We've been told that Spring is just around the corner.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winter finally comes to Buc.

We were very proud of ourselves for living through our first Romanian summer.  There were a few very hot days that almost finished us off but we made it!  Then there was a short lovely autumn followed by a mild beginning to winter.  We thought all those stories of brutal winter weather were exaggerated since we had no snow and the temperature ranged from 25 to 40 degrees for weeks.  Then, about 10 days ago, we had a few inches of snow and our YSA had a great time building a snow man behind the chapel during their activity that day.  It was nice to finally see snow on the ground.  However, that was only the beginning.  A few days later we had a 2 day blizzard that dropped over a foot of snow during high winds and much lower temperatures.  Now it was time for a real cleanup. 

Elders Cross, Pettit and Ekins clearing the sidewalk in front of the church

And because they couldn't help themselves, they made a snow tunnel.

They were kind enough to make a pathway around the Church building that passed the entrance to the tunnel. 

Sora Wahlquist hauling supplies to the Church in the snow.

This is a little path someone cleared along the front of the church property.

A week later......
The joy of snow is long gone!  But the snow is still very much with us.  Temperatures have ranged from 0 - 20 degrees since the snow, often with a stiff breeze.  It was only 12 degrees with a stinging wind when Elder Wahlquist took the following pictures at 4:00 in the afternoon.

Some cars obviously have not moved for a week.  They will still have quite a bit of digging to do to get their car out.  There are piles of 4 inch ice chunks all over the sidewalks.  These piles have been made by men with shovels. 

The snow on the sidewalks has turned to thick ice.  The men with shovels (and sometimes with no gloves) have cleared little paths through the ice along the broad sidewalks for people to get to the buses.  Walking anywhere can be quite hazardous to your health.  Even the cleared paths often have a thin sheet of black ice because of the low temperatures. 

These piles of ice chunks are everywhere that the sidewalk has been cleared.

As you can see, some merchants are more interested in clearing the sidewalk in front of their stores than others!

I am so over this winter!