When I was in Northern Ireland, my boss and team took our youth (there was over 20 of us total, and we had to split into 2 different groups for part of the trip into 2 different towns) to Romania on a mission’s trip. This trip was around this time of year, 9 years ago, which is why I figured now would be a good time to share this trip!
I remember that the family that we stayed with, was a local Pastor and they dug their well extra deep for us to be able to take showers. We all stayed at their house as well, there were people everywhere! The water was all sparkling water, which was a first for me, and I was not a fan to say the least. The chocolate was the best I’ve ever tasted. The watermelon, which I don’t particularly like, was amazing. The peaches, you ate with the skin on (fuzz and all). Every house had a gate, to close for when the cows came running home through the streets every night! The town had 1 road, and it was a dirt one. The houses were small, and the people were older and beautiful. We spent one afternoon going around the town and singing songs to the older people. They loved it, even though there was a language barrier. We were also pretty sure we sat on a coffin at one place….
We spent a few days in the mountains, which the drive up was a pretty frightening one..and the bathroom was a disgusting outhouse a walks away, and you had to bathe (if you so desired) in the stream below where we were staying. We had to eat what was put in front of us, and it was very local and very organic….But we spent a lot of time dancing and singing Northern Ireland sport chants around a bonfire! We also went to a cave in the mountains which was cold and amazing! We found some mountain dew in a bottle, which is banned in Northern Ireland because of its sugar content, so needless to say we all went to town on those!
The town we were in reminded me a lot of home (Amish Country, which the Pastor we stayed with was very familiar with oddly enough!). There were a lot of farms, a lot of horse and carriages still in the smaller towns with the dirt roads. I loved it.
The children and locals were great! We did a Kid’s Club, which is the equivalent to a VBS type thing for the kids. WE all had a blast, and it was pirate themed so we had fun dressing up! There was also this one gypsy girl that we all fought over, but I’m pretty sure I won! 🙂
We also got to spend our debriefing days in Budapest, Hungary. Which was a blast. We shopped, walked along the Danube, ate great food, and stayed at a hostel.
This trip was memorable for numerous reasons. There were many ups and downs (which of course I am sharing all the ups!) but even amidst the downs of this trip, I still look at this trip with a happy and extremely grateful heart. The downs helped shape me, and taught me a lot about relationships. This trip in the end taught me about conflict and forgiveness and redemption in relationships.
There are so many memories, so many great and hilarious memories with such great people whom my heart is so extremely fond of! I consider myself blessed to have experienced a lovely culture and beautiful land. Enjoy the photos!