Hello friends,

Bria here with what we did yesterday. In the beginning of the day we had good breakfast, and had some productive time in our teams for camp. Later we went to Auchan to gather team supplies for camp (everything from tennis balls, ice cream toppings & nylon stockings to biscuits/cookies, giant jars of pickles, & empty cardboard boxes – and all it has a specific purpose!). The explanation of our annual Auchan trip must be prefaced by explaining the nature of the store. Auchan is essentially the “Big Tasty” version of Costco. Our carts overflowed as we stocked up on Joe and other delicious Romanian snacks for camp and long bus rides. As we returned from our Auchan trip we were suddenly caught in a torrential downpour! We all crammed into the Vieru’s living room as we waited for the rain to pass. Once the skies cleared up we headed up to the Ethos school yard to meet the campers and play some games. We did the “head bop name game” and every one of us had a chance to meet every one of the campers- it was so great to meet all of them. We laughed a lot and had a ton of fun. Then we went outside and played the Romanian game “Energy.” It’s a crazy mix between trenchball & an intense game of tag. The campers loved the game and we look forward to playing it a lot more at camp! We then said goodbye to all the campers for a couple days. We are all looking forward to getting on the bus and up to camp tomorrow am!

Julian and Cade tagging in, after spending time with the Romanian campers and leaders we went down to the city center to enjoy schwarma/”Shoarma” to spend more time with the leader team (American team + Open Roads leaders – over 40 of us!) and was really a great connecting point for all of us. It was great to be able to build relationships. We were both nervous that getting to know Romanians would be a struggle for us, but through our first real conversation with Romanian leaders our fears were diminished. Being in Romania for the first time we were both having a hard time trying to make meaningful connections when there are already so many connections made by the returning team members. I guess that part may just be Cade but either way that worry isn’t as big as it previously was as we are all really connecting and making good connections now.

One of the best parts of the day for both of us was being able to get to know one of the Romanian leaders (David) better. We were able to bond over TV shows, movies, video games, and cars. Especially being first timers, it was a great way for us to get closer to the leaders along and to get to know them better. We look forward to having another friendly face and to get to know him and other leaders better. Later that night after going downtown, another favorite moment for all the guy students and a few Romanian leaders. We spent time at Benny’s house and just sat and talked with the guys and hung out with Lavi as well, we may or may not have woken up Benny’s dad. We went to bed late, but with new friends and experiences.

We ask you guys to pray for us and the team that we make even deeper connections throughout our team, and most especially with the Romanian campers and leaders. And as always, good health, good sleep, and good times.


To Movie Soulmate <3: Stay away from intersections, remember what Nick said about efficiency. Work on those calves up the hills and bring me a rock. Tell Ian I bought him a gift. Stay away from the vegan life, you know what’s good for you. Tom Riddle’s diary is safe. Night babe.

To Kip…wait no

To Craig Gartland: I hope Peter Sagan won/wins a couple more stages of the tour while I’m away.

To Rachel Metzger (from Leah): I’ve decided that I do want to know who wins the Bachelorette when it comes out so let me know J Love you!

To Amy Sullivan: How’s the air conditioning feeling in your car?

To the Snyder Fam: I miss you guys so much!! Love you <3 Give Ruby hugs and kisses for me, and grill her about that Witness Protection thing… XD

To Anja Hartmann: I miss you!! I love you <3 Snuggle Cassi for me

To Angie, Jim, Britney, and James Markhardt: Mom and Dad I miss you guys! Britney: How’s the dullard? I miss you lots!! James: I miss you lots bud, cuddle Luna for me!

To Angie Xu from Brianna: no problem, we’ll take it out of your paycheck. 😉

Shoutout to Angie Ipsen: We hope you are healing and feeling better! We miss you! And this year we really have have kept up the tradition: #prayforAngie J

Shoutout to Ray: It’s true: the journey is long – but goes quick! Jimmy taught us the dance moves. So good. We miss you.

Shoutout to Franny: Igor is looking healthy! -Noah

Special request for Rachel Metzger (❤️, Leah):

10 thoughts on “Schwarma!!!

  1. Missing you all! Ed and I had to have chicken shawarma yesterday at Nafnaf in honor of the trip. Praying for all of you and glad new relationships are being established and old ones are growing. Shout out to Middleton West HG for representing: Mel, Pat, Larry, Bria, Abby, Andrew, Cade, Kip, & Julian!

    From Ed: when you guys feel like your climbing a mountain, tired, thirsty, & scraped knees, know that the Lord will provide a grassy meadow with beautiful views. Keep the faith and share your stories. Love you guys

  2. It’s so cool to see that relationships are being built and that fun is being had! I’ll continue to pray for strengthened, long lasting relationships for all of you with each other and with the Romanian campers and leaders.
    P.S. I liked all of the pictures of you guys eating. The food looks delicious!

  3. It looks like great culture and team building. Rachel we miss you as well. Nice call out to your brother and feel lucky that you are not here for family retaining wall day. We are all beat. Love to you and the team!

  4. Noah- this is great news, but is he healthy enough to defeat the Master Cat? We can only hope.

    Jimmy- huge news! The Slaps won on Tuesday! BUT we returned to our old ways and lost on Thursday. We miss your positive energy (and Ray misses Jeremiah, but I don’t as much).

    A big HUZZAH to our WeMad friends!! Hannah, Leah, Adia and Matt- you are the apple to my apple (get it?? Apples to apples?? Har har!)

    Lief, happy 26th birthday. I leave this link for you in celebration:

    Everyone else: Ray and I love you guys!! Please eat so much Joe for us.

    Love love love,

  5. We love you and miss you too Adia and are enjoying all the pictures and stories. It looks and sounds like you’re having a blast! Needless to say now that you mentioned witness protection on a public blog Ruby is no longer our dog (for her own safety). 😐

  6. Great pics! Especially Leah’s…thanks for honoring the request. 😆
    Hope someone took over doing the Schwarma dance from Dan. 💃🕺🥖

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