Thursday, December 18, 2008

Romanian Journey

During our stint in Romania with IICS in 2004 blogs did not exist or were not that popular, and even if they were, internet access was another subject in itself. What I did keep was a daily journal of this memorable journey. I never had much use for the journal other than our monthly newsletters; however, with my new blog I’ve decided to post once a week on our journey. I hope you do not mind.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE (TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP)

Some of my most memorable moments in Romania were in the villages. Our home away from home was Susani, a small village with approximately 300 residents. This village is home to two of my closest friends Daniel Olariu and Ovidiu Patrick. Daniel is a local farmer, business man, and jack of all trades. Ovidiu is the local pastor. Visiting Susani is like taking a step back in time. There is not a single paved road in the village. Residents live in small homes with a large garden out back. The coolest thing is seeing the livestock grazing in the fields nearby, open range.

Each year after it turns cold families return to the villages to visit family and to process meat for the coming winter. This is where the ride in the time machine begins. We processed the animals the old fashioned way. I will save you the details but it pretty much involves an axe, knife, a tree and rope. At the end of the day they have a bucket full of meat to either be smoked or salted that will last the year.

Romanians are event oriented and this is definitely an event for the ages. Everyone returns to the villages and they have a large feast. Kacee and I were fortunate enough to “enjoy” this feast. We had pan fried liver and lungs, brain, pork, bread, and pickles. Kacee and I mostly had pork and bread. I did try the lungs and liver but I have had brain before and I chose not to try it again.

Most people would get wrapped up in this process and how archaic it is, as well as how unpleasant the brains, liver, and lungs were. But if you truly look beyond this you find yourself a culture steeped with tradition and appreciation for quality time together. This was one of the first things I grew to appreciate about Romania and still miss to this day. All too often I find myself consumed with speed and productivity. We miss so many opportunities in life for fellowship and relationship building.


No doubt one does not have to travel to a village half-way around the world to experience these things. And there is no better time than Christmas to refocus on family and traditions. I hope you find what you are looking for in the next few weeks.

Aspire to new heights.

1 comment:

todd long said...

....we're headed there, the the great village slaughterhouse!