No Comprendo

Yo dawgs, its Giraffe* (Dakota) and Chocolate* (Hannah) here! Camp has been an absolute blast, aside from the fact that it has been rockin awesome! You are probs wondering why we named the title No Comprendo. Well, we have an answer for you. We no comprendemos most of the campers. And it’s awk because sometimes I (Hannah) will try speaking Spanish to them. Because if you don’t speak English, you most likely speak Spanish, right? No. Romanian is such a crazy diverse language. At times, it can be difficult to understand the emotion that is coming across because it has such a harsh overtone. Let’s just say that we have nailed the whole reading-body-language thing.

Although I (Dakota) can’t understand what is being said most of the time, I can always talk about fotbal with the campers. That’s soccer for all y’all American’s reading this blog post. 😉 And I (Hannah) always can understand when I’m about to have a bottle of water poured on my head from the not-so-subtle hand motions that go on around me. #CurrentlySoaked (Don’t worry, Jimmy’s computer is safe.) Although, that soaking may have more to do with the slip ‘n’ slide and the pouring rain. Unfortunately, the leaders thought that it would be safer for us to be inside. You know, because of the lightening. #Laaamee #ThanksForKeepingUsSafe

But for realz, the inability to communicate with the campers has been one of our greatest struggles. It is hard to create deep relationships when you can’t even get across simple sentences like, “Don’t pour that water on me!!!” Or “Yeah dude, I’m tall.” At night, when we break up into our small groups, it can be hard to concentrate on the campers and on what they are saying. While the talks have led to deep discussion, we can’t always get across exactly what we want to say because the wording is slightly changed in the translation so that it is easier for the campers to understand. In both of our groups, though, we have been able to witness the campers opening up more and more. In my (Hannah’s) group, one of the young women shared a large part of her story and her struggles. She handed it all over to the Lord. While she was talking, her love for Christ and her faith in His works was so evident. She had this big ol’ smile on her face the entire time! In my (Dakota’s) group, one of the campers began to question faith on a deeper level, and to move towards a better understanding of God.

Side note completely irrelevant to our small group talks, Dakota has dumped four containers of condiments on his head. Let’s just say that his hair loves the extra attention. #DontSmellDakotasHead

Although we are unable to understand exactly what is being said, the campers have become more comfortable around us. The long bus ride to the mountains and the 2.7 mile long hike gave us ample opportunity to connect with the campers. I (Hannah) was able to learn some Romanian, while teaching some English to my bus mates. We were able to laugh together at my horrible pronunciation. I (Dakota) was able to connect with the campers through their love for selfies. The two words I hear all the time is “Dakota” and “selfie”. We have yet to meet a single Romanian who does not enjoy the taking of a selfie.

Our camp experience has been incredible, and we aren’t ready for it to end. As much as we would like to continue enthralling you with tales of camp, it’s time for us to rejoin the campers. And to prepare ourselves for the water that is going to be poured on our heads. Peace out peeps. TTYL, tata for now!

Much love from Hannah and Dakota


Shoutout to all the mothers wondering whether or not we have been fed; please go back to the shaorma post written by Cabs and Dan.

Shoutout to Ali Pollard for gaining weight from eating too much Joe (A chocolatey wafer of goodness)

Shoutout to Mamma Bunting and Piggy for keeping my dog alive. He IS alive. . . Right? RIGHT??

And shoutout to Mamma Bunting for sending some pretty yummy candies in my letter care package thingys. I may or may not have eaten melted mango gummies off of my bed side table because they were THAT GOOD.

Shoutout to Ali Pollard for keeping all of her stinky, dirty clothes in a tightly sealed bag.

Shoutout to Brekoske (Wreckasocks) for getting hitched tomorrow! Good luck, brotha. (From Ali and Noah)

Shoutout to my main girl Mad-town for holding down the Midwest for me while I’m gone! Much love chica! – Ali

Shoutout to my BFF SARAH WOODY for becoming an official adult today! Hope your day is wonderful and filled with lots and lots and lots of cake and that crazy=awesome coconut soup! Make sure to save me some, though! <3

*Elvis, one of the campers, has fondly nicknamed me (Hannah) Chocolate. The fact that I have dark skin intrigues them. J And Dakota has been nicknamed Giraffe due to his immense height.

11 thoughts on “No Comprendo

  1. No Comprendo – ah, some of my favorite (and maybe some of the few) words in spanish, I know! Great to hear from you all. So glad camp is good and that God is at work. It is often true that we don’t fully understand what God is doing, even if we do understand the language.

    I will end with what one of the Global Leadership speakers said yesterday that fits for you all. Albert Tate said as he preached from John 6, we simply bring bring what we have (even if it is just a small lunch or less than adequate language), give it to Jesus and then get out of the way and watch what God does. Step back and see the awe and wonder of Jesus.

    May you see the awe of wonder of what God can do as we give him our meager lunch and he multiplies it for his glory!

    Praying and missing you – Dyann

  2. Team-

    You guys are all such amazing writers!! Your posts leave me with no doubt that God is working in your hearts and using you to connect with others. With that said, I miss all of you and can’t wait to hear of all your crazy (and messy) adventures in person.

    After going to Honduras knowing no Spanish (except the simple Hola and Buenos Dias) I know what it must feel like to not be able to understand the Romanians and for them to not understand you. Although this is hard, I remember the times of mutual lack of understanding to be the most beautiful (such as worshiping in two languages to the same God). Rely on him to find the beauty in your situation!

    To my Al(y/i)ssa friends- chicas I miss you so much! I miss sitting and talking and laughing with you, going on fun adventures, and having you just a phone call or text away. I hope you are enjoying and taking advantage of the opportunities you are given while you are on the other side of the world. I can’t wait to catch up when you get back!

    Ben Hershberger- please tell me your beard situation is under control… By this time last year there were pictures to prove otherwise. I wish we could’ve met up before you left but now I am looking forward to meeting up to hear about the trip.

    To all of you- don’t forget any little detail about your time in Romania. I guarantee your friends and family will want to hear it all!

    Later Gators,
    Mad town (Madison Pincombe who is STILL awaiting her shoutout 😋)

  3. Hey guys!

    Dakota and Hannah, sick nicknames 😜. It’s great to hear you all have continued to connect with the Romanians throughout the camp, even with the language barrier.

    Hannah: I bet Romanian is just similar enough to Spanish to be really confusing. Keep learning!

    Dakota: That part about the condiments is just nasty (although I have a couple things of Chick-fil-A sauce in the fridge if you’re interested…

    You guys are awesome, and it sounds like the trip is going swell. Keep it up, and soak it in. God’s got some amazing things in mind for ya.

    Sammy P.

  4. Sounds like you are having fun.Hope it was not too hot.You may notice the millions of pictures of sunflowers over at Pope conservency on face book when you are able to check facebook. I think most of Madison and Middleton have been there taking pictures.I hope you all enjoy your time in Hungary for the debreef time. Sending hugs to my sweet Alyssa, Love you.
    Momma P.

  5. Great to read another in-depth and fun post! It takes a lot of patience to work through those language barriers. It slows you down. Maybe that’s a good thing. A God thing? 🙂

    I’m sure the campers are seeing the things you are communicating, if only through your eyes, your smiles.

    Hoping and praying for great things all around. Those relationships matter.

    Bottle up the fun (and the tears) so we can revisit them in the Pensieve when you all return. 🙂


  6. Team: Reading all your posts has been great! Thanks for the time you all have been willing to give to God in Romania thus far. Interacting through language, culture, and experience barriers can be challenging, but as evident by your stories, I’m excited to see what else is in store. Enjoy some more great Shwarma, and I hope you find adequate time to debrief together.

    Rosekinz (Hannah Bunting): still don’t understand words like dawgs, awk, and realz… But I’m glad you are having a great time! Sammy is still alive, as per your previous question. in fact, he got a bath today. He also hasn’t peed or pooped anywhere to incur our wrath… Except his cage. Should probably clean that… Love you and wish you some good cheese.

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