Thursday, February 7, 2013

Romania: A peek at the Culture and People

You might be thinking, "Well that's all great that they want to go to Romania, but what is this country like? What is its heritage like? What about the culture?"

Of course (not having gone yet) I can't say exactly, but I've done a little research and have come up with some neat facts I thought I'd post here. :)

Flying High

First off, because every country needs their flag explained, I give you the official Flag of Romania:

The Romanian flag is blue, yellow, and red. Red for the blood of the people, yellow for the grain that feeds the people, and blue for the sky. A rather cheerful, nice sort of flag, isn't it?

Wedding Bliss

Hope-chests are a Romanian tradition, and in the traditional communities, young girls start gathering things for their hope-chests as young as six years old. :) In the mountains of Romania there is an annual festival on June 29th where families gather to display their daughters' trosseau. 

Folk Costume

The traditional folk-costumes while no longer worn for everyday use can still be seen on special occasions in the rural areas, and at cultural festivals. I love how rich and intricate the weaving patterns are!

Game on!

A favorite game in Romania is a sport called "Oina" which is, in all its essentials, an early form of Baseball and the Oina Teams in Romania far outweigh baseball teams. Just think, we might be talking about Pro Oina Tournaments if an American hadn't gone ahead and changed a few rules! According to many Romanian oina officials, the game was brought to America by two Transylvanian immigrants in the early half of the 1800's who then joined the army and taught their companions Oina. One Abner Doubleday then changed the rules and made baseball popular in America. Of course that all might be legend, but it certainly is true that there are accounts of "Hoina" being played in 1310 in Southern Romania! There's a really really neat article about this subject here!

Bon Appetite!

The Romanian culture has been heavily influenced by the Turkish culture as well as German, Hungarian, Serbian, and Bulgarian cuisine. Thus their food is diverse and includes dishes from all these cultures. Popular dishes includes many types of soups, cheese, and a deal of Pork. I really hope to be able to try some traditional Romanian food while there, because lots of it sounds really really good. :D (including their desserts. :P)

The People

As the food is diverse, so are the many cultures of people involved. :) Romanians make up the majority of the population (88.6%) while Hungarians are the largest minority. (6.5%) The second largest minority are the Romani (gypsies) who come in at 3.2% of the population. The remaining 1.4% of the population is a glorious mixture of Ukrainians, Germans, Lipovans, Turks, Tartars, Serbs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Greeks, Russians, Jews, Czechs, Poles, Italians, Armenians, and a few other peoples.

I absolutely cannot wait to get to this magnificent country and work with these people in this culture!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

FINALLY! The Paypal Donation Button. :)

Hello everyone!

         This is Rachel Heffington. :)



I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the verbal and financial support as well as your prayers as we get ready to go on this trip. The fundraising has been slow to get going, but it is moving a bit and I want to thank all of you so so much for supporting us! You can read more about me and the rest of the team on The Team Page, so I won't go into overmuch detail right here. I do want to let you know, however, that I feel strongly this is a thing God has called our church to and so I am serious about our commitment to go. You can help out with that in many ways, but the top practical way right now is through monetary donations. I know times are tight, but seriously every little bit counts, and you can donate anything from 1- 100 dollars or beyond if you feel so led. :)

We finally got the Paypal donation button up on the side (sorry it took me so long to do that. It was kinda my jurisdiction.) so now it will be really easy to get everything together! And for those of you who follow my personal blog or the one I share with Sarah, there are Paypal buttons linking to this project on those sidebars as well! Choices, choices! 

We would love it if you'd spread the word about this trip on your own blogs or Facebook or to your friends and family in an email--any way to get the word out about our trip to Romania. We've had some hands-on fundraising ideas I look forward to sharing with you as the thing gets rolling. Not much time now, is there? We'll be finalizing dates soon and I will update you with that information too. :) 

This past Sunday we said goodbye to Ben, the son of one of the missionary families we are connected with. :) Ben is headed out to Romania to visit and work with his family for two months, then back into the States to join up with the military. We hope to be able to see him again over there if the timing works out right.  Ben's family sent us pictures of their work in Romania and I stuck all of those over on the Destination page

Romania looks beautiful, the people look beautiful, and I cannot wait to buy the plane tickets and set foot on that ground. 

At risk of sounding like and infomercial, I'll just say it once more: You can help us get to that land, those people by making a tax-deductible donation on the sidebar, or by sending a check to:

Resort Family Ministries Inc.
20305 Garrison Dr.
Windsor, VA 23487

Thank you so much for your help and encouragement in every way, and we'll check back in soon!
         In Him,
                  Rachel Heffington