May 19, 2016: A Day Without Power

I awoke this morning to the suffocation of the CPAP losing power and taking my air away.  I hate waking up that way.  So I was quite awake, quite quickly.

There was actually no rain today.  This was our first sunny day in a long time.  So that the power (and Internet) were off was quite surprising as they have been up for weeks of continuous rain.

We gave it a little while this morning to see if the power would come back on, but it did not.  As I have mentioned previously, without power we lose running water so nothing to drink without going to the well and no flushing toilets or anything.  So we do not like to stay in the house for any length of time without power.

Since there was no power, I took the girls for a walk over to the playground in the village for a while.  We were the only ones there because all of the village kids were in school, of course.  So they played for a while and had a nice time.

Once we were sure that the outage was going to last for a while we got in the Ford Focus and went for a drive to the north.  It was still morning and a great day for a drive so this all worked out really well as far as the timing was concerned.  We have been needing to drive up to Beclean for a while because the “big” train station is there and we want to stop in there in person to discuss getting overnight sleeping accommodations on the train to Iosi.  This is too complex to do online and we want to figure out the logistics of dealing with the train there as we do not even know where the station (gara) is located.  Not something that we want to be trying to figure out when it is time to be taking a trip.

The drive up was really nice.  The countryside is beautiful that direction.  And it has few enough mountain turns that no one needed to take motion sickness medication today, which was a nice change of pace.

We had to drive around town for a bit trying to find the station, it was not obvious at all.  We did discover a neat pedestrian farmer’s market area in the middle of the city, though, which was pretty cool.  Beclean is about an hour north of our house and is a city of just over ten thousand.  So not that large, but it has the feel of a real city with a nice downtown, apartment buildings, municipal works and such.

I left the family parked on the main street and did some walking around on my own to find the station.  Once I knew where it was, it was easy to drive to.  We parked and went inside.

The Beclean station is definitely bare and not nearly as fancy as even more remote stations in western Europe.  There was one woman working at a window and we were able to, after some effort, convey what we needed and eventually ended up with four second class sleeper compartment tickets for the train for tomorrow night.  So we will be returning to Beclean tomorrow and taking the train that leaves around eleven thirty at night and runs overnight to Iosi on the Moldovan border and arrives just before seven in the morning.  The girls are very excited as they cannot remember having taken overnight trains before, even though both of them have done it twice.  They loved doing it on the ferry and can’t wait to do it on a train, too.

We took the girls to the big central park in the city which is really excellent and let them play on the giant playground there for a while.  Everyone was out in the city today.  The streets, sidewalks, cafes and parks were all loaded with people.  The break from the rain and sent everyone outside, I am guessing.

The girls played for a while but Liesl could not get to the swings that she wanted to play on because there was just so many big kids there.

We got a late lunch at a little cafe near the park.  They did not have a lot of food options, so we got things like fries, onion rings, cheese, etc.  But they did have pastries so we got those for dessert and had some coffee.

After we ate we tried the playground again and this time Liesl managed to get some time on the big dish swing that she loves.  She and Luciana also discovered the exercise equipment in the park and used that for easily an hour.  They thought that that was great fun.

After the playground it was getting cooler as the sun got low and mosquitoes were out.  Time to get in the car and drive back to Baita.

It was six when we got home, still no power.  Iokab was across the street feeding the pigs so Liesl and I went over to consult him about the power situation.  He said that the power company had called and said that it was a planned outage for the day and that the power would be back on at seven this evening.  Just one more hour without electric, then I can get back to getting things done, in theory.

The little piglets are getting bigger.  They are six weeks old, now, almost.  They no longer live with their mother and they eat from the trough on their own.  They were so adorable.

Once the power came back on we got online and the girls watched their shows while Dominica worked on packing (she had been frantically working on that while the power was out just in case it did not come back on and we had to leave for Beclean tonight) so that we would be all ready for tomorrow and I got down to catching up on emails, posting, uploading pictures and such.


May 18, 2016: Liesl’s New Science Class

The Internet was back on when we got up this morning.  No sunlight today, it was heavily overcast when we woke up and by eleven it was a light rain and by a quarter after noon it was a downpour and very dark.  This is some of the longest running rain that I have ever encountered first hand.  I had always pictured it raining a lot in Romania and apparently I was correct.  No one has mentioned this as being abnormal in any way.  Being in the middle of the mountains I imagine that the rain just gets trapped in Transylvania and comes down here all spring.  It is no wonder that the region is so green and lush.

Luciana set herself up in the quiet front parlour and just chilled on the couch there all morning.  Liesl got started on school earlier than usual.  The rain makes everyone so much more productive.

The early part of the day was a good, productive school day but it did not last.  Liesl was feeling rain depression or something and by early afternoon she had had it.  She moped a lot today and kept whining for hours that she wanted to bake today and ended up getting in so much trouble because of it that even when Dominica was ready to bake with her she had to stop because Liesl was grounded from baking as punishment for her bad attitude about not getting to bake!  Then she had a full scale meltdown that went on for an hour.  It was a rough early afternoon.

We did have one girl come over to play today, but it was only for a bit at the end of the afternoon and did not last any longer than she was trapped by the storm. Once it let up, she was off home.

I had a lot of things going on today and we did not get to have dinner until nine thirty.  We ate and playing Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Scarlet Hand as a family but did not get to play for very long before at ten Liesl had a live broadcast science class about rockets to attend so we had to stop and get that set up on the projector.

Liesl’s class lasted about an hour and a half.  She really enjoyed it.  She is going to be trying some science course work from the same person who did the live class and will be doing that once her current semester of science stuff is complete.

I stayed for about half of the class and then went out to get some work done while everyone was busy watching that.  Luciana fell asleep by the time that the class was over.  Liesl was wide awake and talked Dominica into letting her play Scribblenauts Unlimited for a while before going to bed.

May 17, 2016: Never Ending Kids

Tuesday.  The rain continues unabated.  It is really hard to believe that it can rain this much.  It never lets up.

Today we had the unending decent of the kids, again.  For some reason they started coming over at noon and seem to arrive in shifts, just a few at a time, but just kept coming all day. I had to kick them out a few times.  It was impossible to keep getting anything done.

We have started moving the kids outside, but it is wet and cold out there so we can only do that so much.  We have decided that tomorrow we have to have a sign on the door telling kids that we are doing school and stuff and that they cannot come in during school hours.  We keep telling them that Liesl is doing school but we think that they just don’t understand or something.  It is getting pretty frustrating.

We really are excited that the girls have so many friends and that people want to come over to play with them but it is causing a lot of problems.  The kids rummage through our stuff, mess with the girls’ school materials, go through the cupboards and the freezer and need to be monitored all of the time.

This evening we watched some Full House for a bit and then before bed time we played a bit more of Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Scarlet Hand.  We did not manage to play for even an hour before Dominica and I were tired and ready for bed, though.  So it was a short night of gaming.  We had not intended to play any games tonight but while we were watching our show the Internet cut out, probably because of the storm.  We gave it about two hours to come back on and decided to take advantage of the lack of Internet to go to bed around eleven thirty.

May 16, 2016: No End to the Rain

More than a week and a half of continuous or nearly continuous rain here in central Transylvania.  It is getting hard to believe that the rain is still coming down so solidly, day after day.  This is a crazy amount of water.  No wonder that plums and grapes grow so abundantly here.  The grass is taking over the yard as there is really no way to cut it and has not been for a long time.  It just keeps growing.

It rained all day.  And it was a really dark day, too.  A steady, heavy rain all day.  The kind that really soaks the ground.  It felt like evening pretty much all day because it was so dark.  Most of the rain that we have had for the past two weeks has not resulted in so much loss of sunlight as this. No hint of the sun all day.

May 15, 2016: Video Game Day

It is Sunday, it is rainy and Dominica decided that we were going to hang out today.  Neither of us felt too much like watching anything so we made the day into a video gaming day.

We played through the final three chapters of Law & Order: Legacies from Telltale Games, today.  This is the game that we had been playing when we were living in Nicaragua.  It is a great game and sadly appears to have been removed from Steam and from Telltale Games’ own site and removed from memory for some odd reason.  The game just does not exist any longer, but it is a recent title and a very good game with good production value and game play.

We watched some SciShow this afternoon.  Dominica has not seen it before and we wanted to talk about a travel show idea that we were working on.

We also played Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Scarlet Hand.  We own rather an extensive Nancy Drew video game collection and this is the oldest of the series.  It took a bit to get into it, the game is very old and wasn’t all that up to date for its era, either, but at least it has full narrated dialogue which makes it much nicer.

We managed to play through nearly the entire game, but it was late towards the end and we were all tired and needed to get to bed.  It was a nice day of just relaxing and hanging out.  We have not had a gaming day together for months.