It's been almost a year since we have been to Voroneti, but we trekked out again for a little retreat, this time with wonderful additions to the team, going with all the Great Commandments Ministries (my sending agency) peeps who are here, including the ministry directors who are in Romania for 3 months! It is now my fourth time there, and I have written about 2 of the first 3 adventures here and here. Since we always stay at the same place, it feels very much like "our" place. It's beautiful and pristine and quiet and quaint.
I love the little kiosks near the Voroneti Monastery selling all kinds of traditional Romanian housewares and clothing. I took some pictures of the traditional "bunica scarves" as we call them. Bunica is the Romanian word for grandmother, but we tend to use it for any old woman, especially if they look really old and really traditionally Romanian. One element of traditional Romanian-ness is a headscarf. And at this kiosk you could make yourself a real bunica scarf collection!
I also really enjoy some of the traditional clothing, and kind of think I should buy a shirt for myself after all my time here. The white shirts with embroidery are so beautiful and detailed!
We often like to explore around the area where we stay, sledding and hiking as weather permits. While walking I saw this AMAZING old-school tractor. I wanted to take a picture with me at the wheel, but as I walked closer I realized the owner of the tractor was behind it. So I refrained from hopping inside.
While sledding I saw a massive dog about 200 yards away, and I started barking at it (as ya do). I didn't even remotely think it would bark back, let alone run across the 200 yards (up hill) to come visit. He didn't get any closer than this, but oh my word he was ENORMOUS.
Our retreat this time was more of a time to relax and have fun, and less of a working retreat than we've had before. One activity we did was look back at the Lord's faithfulness in this ministry by making a timeline of events leading up to the formation of the church, and all of our individual journeys to get here as well. It was so incredible to look back and see how the Lord has so beautifully orchestrated everything about the work we're doing here!
This time I was in a room with a soba, aka wood stove. It's made of some kind of earth that is formed into bricks to make various sizes and shapes of stoves. You make a fire in it and the tiles heat up and keep the place nice and toasty for a VERY long time. According to the proprietor it's a great heat to help with the kidneys (if you put your back on the stove) and other injuries. Pretty cool. Man, we stayed nice and warm in our cozy little room!
We forgot about getting a picture in front of the monastery doors as we've done every trip, but we did manage to get one of all the GCMers (except Hollie, who we miss!) at a restaurant, so that will have to do. What a lovely time together away from the city, resting, thinking, reflecting, praying, and sharing fellowship together!