The first group of us arrived on site at the usual time to continue working while the rest enjoyed a brief Sunday morning lie in! As we were only working until lunchtime, we set ourselves a target of finishing the roof and ceiling. Nick, AJ and I were back on the plasterboard again and finally got it finished, 18 pieces and 350 screws after we started! The rest of the team got the roof finished with the exception of one corner which will need to be completed once the old house has been demolished.
We headed back to the hotel for lunch, which we ate in the hallway on the first floor because a wedding reception was in full swing in the main restaurant! We then decided to visit the families living in the houses that have been built by Grassroots over the last two years. The first was constructed using an almost identical method to this year’s so it was really good to see what we’re aiming for. Since the team left, the family have made it into a really nice home and seem very happy there. The house that was built two years ago is owned by Olivio (who came to help with the plastering yesterday). When it was built they were about to foster two children so the church decided to build them a larger house with two floors. As it was a larger job, the English team completed most of the structure before handing it over to a local team to finish. Since then Olivio has spent a lot of time decorating it himself.
We drove straight from Olivio’s house to the church in Monari (the village where we are building the house). Although the visible purpose of our trip is the house, Grassroots also places a big emphasis on building relationships with the local people, and attending one of their church services is one way to do that. The church is Pentecostal with a small congregation of around twenty-five people. Morning services last for three hours but we chose to go to the 6pm service which is just two hours long! When we arrived there were only three people there, but as the service got underway more people drifted in as they finished tending to their animals and other daily chores, including the mother and grandmother of the family we are building for. We were very lucky to have Ady with us as he translated everything that was said, though singing hymns in Romanian was quite challenging! We stayed for half an hour after the service to talk to the villagers, who couldn’t stop saying how grateful they are for the work we are doing in the village. They certainly made us feel very welcome.
Back at the hotel we had another late dinner, much of which was the leftovers from the wedding. The food has generally been good at the hotel, and served on big platters for everyone to share. Romania is a big meat eating country but they have been very accommodating to me with a special vegetarian option each night. The speciality seems to be deep fried cheese which I have had a number of evenings already!