We can hardly believe that we have already been in Tulcea for 5 weeks. Time flies when you are in Romania! Fall has come to Tulcea and the leaves on the trees are starting to change colors. This was a week for solving problems, re-thinking strategies, and adapting to changing circumstances. As always, it was a week for learning new things.
First, we learned all about "must". No, this is not the word that means you need to do something. It is the word that means "new wine". Must (spelled the same as in English but pronounced "moost" in Romanian) is the first product that comes from pressing grapes. It contains the skin and seeds of the grapes and is very sweet and tasty, somewhat like the very best grape juice you have ever tasted. We were cautioned not to keep the lid screwed tightly on the bottle but to keep the lid very loose to let the must breathe. Otherwise, it would explode as it ferments and create a big mess. (The story from the New Testament about putting new wine into old wine skins came to mind.) We are told the previous 2 NOROC Mission Co-Workers did not heed that warning and although they did live to tell the story, they also had to clean up a big, sticky mess. We decided to break that tradition and kept the lid totally off of the bottle. 😀
Next, we learned all about the quince. It is a fall fruit which is not normally eaten raw, but one that makes good jam and compote. You can see from the photos that they look a bit like a cross between and apple and a pear. They should be ripe in about 2 weeks, when they are yellow and have lost their fuzz. We are excited to try them.
Then, we learned that Romanian walnut trees produce a great product...walnuts, or "nuci". They are sweet and tender. Rich has appointed himself the official walnut "picker-upper" here at Casa Noua and we have a large bowl of nuts as a result. I am eating them as fast as I can.
Last, we learned that if you pile too much heavy dirt on top of an old sewer pipe it collapses. Unfortunately, part of the pipe from the house to the septic system collapsed and had to be replaced. Most unfortunately, the pipe was buried under the concrete pad that is the foundation for the outdoor playground equipment. The plumbers had to jack hammer through the concrete and then dig through solid packed clay to get to the collapsed pipe and install a new one. Tnis is where adaptation came into play: we, of course, adapted to the situation quickly. It reminded me a little of past camping experiences when our children were young, because for a few days we washed our dishes in a basin and brushed our teeth in a cup of water. This also reminded us that there are many places worldwide where this is the norm. Thanks to the hard work of the plumbers, the system is now working very well.
We prepared materials for some of the small centers as well as the Bible Study, and did some brainstorming and planning for the next 2 weeks. We are trying to find opportunties to best use our skills.
We hope you enjoy the photos!