If you’re reading this it’s too late…for a title

Sup dudes, aka hello fellow comrads and aquaintences, Tree and Noah here to give you the low down on the latest throwdowns (don’t worry there weren’t actually any throwdowns, we just wanted to rhyme) πŸ˜› (tongue out emoji). Friday meant the end of camp, but not the end of all of the friendships we had formed. Faces beamed as pictures were taken left and right, topped off with a huge group picture. It was another round of who wore it best as all 90 of us somehow happened to be wearing the same camp shirt. Funny how things like that happen.
The bus came when it wanted, giving us an extra 2 hours to enjoy the beautiful scenery and presence of our new and dear friends. A bus ride filled with 80s music, camp songs, round after round of “who high-fived me?”, and when possible, sleep entailed, closing the door on camp 2017 πŸ™ (frowny face emoji) We arrived back at what now feels like home at 7, completing a quality 6 hour travel day that was thankfully accompanied by air conditioning. We ended our night with a final game of mafia and then welcomed the embrace of our beautiful friend, sleep.
Today began at 9 when we made our way to a local market to explore hidden treasures of Romanian. The market was alive with the cry of birds, the sound of bartering, and broken Romanian as the 20 of us tried to figure out how much a wooden spoon with a crying laughing face emoji would cost. There were many impulse buys as bags filled with spoons, mugs, and chicken shaped pitchers. Our pools of sweat turned to actual pools when we ventured to Aqua Plus, a facility with pools upon pools that provided much needed cooling in the brutal heat. Living up to our Americanness we got yelled at for being too loud, which was justified as none of us had ever seen Pat get her hair wet by choice before. It was truly a “lit,” as the young ones say, game of Marco Polo. It even made a Romanian spectator so entertained he had to run over to his wife and explain our game, so we clearly must’ve been really fun to watch.
Our day ended on a high note when we met with the campers for a reunion in Romanescu Park, a beautiful space boasting a zoo, row boats for rental that we took full advantage of (which included getting soaked by the fountain), and a lot of neature (neat nature). We shared laughs over stories from camp and tried to capture a fraction of the joy we had the past week with as many pictures as possible. As the sky faded to black we put the bookmark in all of our new friendships, saying goodbyes with the hope we would pick up the conversations in the future.
And with that we SHOUT OUT
To Katrina for letting me write this while she was a team player and folded team laundry. To Sammy: Lavi and Cabs helped free my legs of some excess hair today… Noah I’m missing my fill-in older brother, its not the same having other people constantly making fun of me… Katrina Ali: oita, among others, misses you, but she has nothing on how much I miss random mosquito bites My (Noah’s) Fam: I love you guys lots Brian wreck-those-socks: this is a little late but: you got me good. I was shook To Halle B: hilarious. To Raymond: I wore a tank top today and tried to keep my arms down. – Dan To Ben and Jenna: Your friends say hi. To Jenna: I hope you’re having fun at Kernel. To Mom and Dr Anderson: thanks for the bird update, you better take some pictures for me. I saw a cool Romanian hawk today. To Rose: the 80s jam sesh was, well, jamming. It would’ve made you smile (or something like that but we forgot exactly what Marilyn told us to type… awkward giraffe)

Long time no blupdate

Long time no blupdate! (Blog update) We have been incredibly busy the past couple days, staying up late and getting up early, but we are now on our way back to Craiova!
A few updates from the past couple days…On Wednesday, we conquered a 5 hour hike with the majority of the campers. We hiked along beautiful wooded paths right next to the river. Although we didn’t go to the top of the mountain we were hiking on, the woods opened up right before we turned around to a sound-of-music-like green pasture looking out at the mountains which was a great picture spot. We were all exhausted after the hike, but managed to keep up some of the energy for our evening session. We talked about the story of David and Bathsheba and got deeper in our small group conversations as we talked about the sins we struggle with. Yesterday was very hot and perfect for the “water day” we planned. We began our sports’ team plan with a game involving water balloons. A grid was formed for four teams whose objective was to burst the airborne balloons with their shoes. The balloons were launched from multiple spots around the field. It was no concern to be hit by a balloon, because the sun was beamimg down quite intensely. Andrew, however, decided to turn the competition into a one on one fight. He managed to catch the balloons as they fell and then throw them to opposing teams. When the balloons had all been used, we were introduced to a friendly and safe game of Steal the Bacon. This was followed by everyone getting soaked on an epic dish-soap-filled slip and slide. At night, Daniel wrapped up the week with an explanation of the gospel, leading to small group questions like “if you died tonight, do you think you would go to heaven or hell?” The results were pretty incredible. Great discussions all around. It was awesome to witness the concept of salvation starting to click in the minds of campers, some who had barely heard the gospel before. We finished out the night with a bonfire and American s’mores. After a late night of roasting marshmallows and writing “notes of encouragement” to each other, everyone was quite sleepy this morning. We packed up, finished out with a final time of worship, and set out for our six hour bus ride.
Now writing from the bus, we can speak for the whole team when we say that it is crazy how fast the week has gone by. With how much we have experienced in the past few days, we are looking forward to the next couple days of processing with the Romanian leaders in Craiova. Even though we are still in Romania, it really does feel like we are going home. Even after a few days, we have gotten so comfortable living with our host families in Craiova. We are so thankful for the clear ways that God has been working this week. Please pray that the seeds that have been planted this week in the hearts of campers would continue to grow, and that they would continue to explore their faith as they enter back into their normal lives. Thanks for all your prayers for us at camp! We can’t wait to share more stories when we get back.
With full hearts and dried sweat, Morgan R. and Hannah
And now for some fun facts: 1. Andrew would make a good Amish person 2. Katrina had six cavities 3. Emily is the master cat 4. Actually Mel is the master cat 5. Noah is a cat trainer 6. Bria has schnitzel in her eye 7. Hannah has mastered launching goldfish with a sling shot 8. 4 year old David is attatched to Athena 9. Marilyn and Ed bought fish flavored goldfish 10. We don’t deserve Pat Brady
Shoutouts: Ben P- On the way down the mountain hike, I talked with a camper about long distance relationships. He has a long distance girlfriend and we bonded over our struggles of being so far away from people we love. It turned into a really cool conversation about the importance of trusting God’s plan. It was very encouraging and I’m excited to tell you more about it! Miss you lots πŸ™‚ -Hannah Also from katreetree, you would have enjoyed the hike alot! Although no trees were climbed, but fun was definitely had! I hope you had fun in cali!
Metzger Fam: Missing you guys! I’m so excited to tell you all the stories I have when I get home. Love you all so much!
Jake Genyk: hey there! I miss you! I hope all is well in WI, and that hard days of football are being reimbursed with blue raspberry/atomic lemon and jolly rancher slushies. I am pleased to share that your treats are still fully in tact. We are back from camp now, and I have so many fun pictures, videos and experiences to share with you. I love you! Ask your mom, the twins or my mom to give you a hug for me πŸ™‚
Ashton and Payton : hey troublemakers! Are you holding down the fort? Taking good care of the pets? I keep thinking about getting my wisdom out when I get home because they are crowding my mouth…should be fun? Speaking of, how’s my favorite little sister doing? Still droopy? Chubby/bruised cheeks? Love you guys. See you in a few days! P.S. don’t tell mom, but I may have dropped my phone out a window. Many stories to share!
Carol Smith (Nana) : I miss you and love you! I am excited to see you at the end of the month. Be ready, because I’m having my wisdom teeth removed two days before…can’t wait to tell you all about these two amazing weeks!
The Pincombe Family: Boy have I missed you guys! But I have so many fun stories and great people to tell you about, and I can’t wait to hear how life in WI is! Thanks for being loyal followers of the blog. I love hearing from you. And don’t worry, I’ve gotten my fill of bread while I’ve been here :). Madison, thinking about you lots as you pack up and drive out to Ames in just 2 days. Save some time amidst recruitment and moving in for some Facetime. Love you lots!
Grandma and Grandpa Pincombe: Craving your waffles and can’t wait to spend time with you in just a few days! Thanks for following the blot :).
The Virginia Pincombe Family: Praying for the fellow mission trippers! See you in VA!

David & Goliath

Buna from Morgan P and Abby (who – despite not turning in a bio – is still a part of the team :)). Checking in to let you know that we didn’t leave anyone at the gas station on the way to camp. Since Grace and Bria clued you in last, we spent seven hours on the party bus/”mini bus” caravan playing games and building friendships. About halfway through the ride, we stopped for lunch at an average gas station with an above-average view. We attacked the mountain of 180 handmade sandwiches made by the hired chefs (aka our multi-talented team members) before hitting the road again. To pass the last few hours, we took part in the Great American-Romanian Slang Exchange. Campers, Simona and Ana, taught us some examples of unusual Romanian idioms. So, if we heard it right, GO TO SPINACH! To hold up our end of the deal, Grace pulled out her list of “bro-lingo” and got some Romanians saying things like “gnarly” and “righteous” among other things.
After getting settled at camp, we played a very lively game of “Viking” to break the ice. One of the many highlights was hearing Pat shriek “AHHHHHHH VIKING” repeatedly. After dinner, we all learned the camp song – Domnul, Steagul Meu (The Lord, my Flag), and sang some upbeat Romanian worships songs led by a few of our team members. We also got entertained with an amazing performance by our program team, with Andrew playing Jonathan (David’s friend) as the star character of the night! The theme of the night’s talk was all about friendship, which eventually led into our small group time.
Tuesday morning, we woke up to misty mountains and started the day with a leader meeting as the sun rose over camp. Today was Day 1 of English class… which was more like Romanian class for the two of us because we have a group of campers who are nearly fluent in English already. We made mod podge journals that described ourselves as we bonded over our horrible pronunciation.
This afternoon, it was time for a much anticipated game: “Wanted.” While we were playing games, the Romanian leaders subtly hung up posters with pictures of some of us campers. Our mission was to capture those who were on the posters. Our small group set out to find Ed which meant wrestling him (8 campers, 1 Ed) towards “jail” until he made an unexpected escape. After much frustration and determimation, we finally dragged him in. Our group also successfully led an ambush to retrieve Dan!
Tonight, before Razvan’s message on David and Goliath, we presented our groups with our decorated flags and choreographed routines. We closed out the night with more small group time. Everyone is pretty tired after a busy, fun few days at camp already. So that leaves the two of us, writing to you by the light of a Kindle Fire. Pray we get some sleep (as it is almost 1am), and keep our team and all the campers in your prayers as we continue to enjoy these next few days of camp. Keep the comments coming – they make for great laughs and well-timed encouragement!
This blupdate (aka blog update) has been brought to you by brief moments of free time scattered throughout the day and two sleepy campers.
From, a very giggly and over-tired Abby and Morgan. Noapte buna!
Shoutout to the Olszewski clan from Athena : I will try to learn from Chris’ mistakes and will not eat the treats I got for the family while I am still in Romania. Save some ice cream for me!
Shoutout to Tina Bazala: The fountain wasn’t working but I I am getting plenty of pictures! Miss u! -Mattea
Shoutout to Kitt: Still loving the memes. Also i brought my set of photos. They’re on the wall by my bed. Love u and miss you! -Mattea. Ps write me bacK. πŸ˜€
Shoutout to Momma Reed: I miss you so much! It makes me smile to head about Cappy and Finn. Smart pig knows to stay in his yard where he has his many mud/dirt holes. Also, I have been informed that our neighborhood is notorious for coyotes…keep that piggy safe! Give everyone, including the animals, a hug for me. -Morgan
Shoutout to Joshua Chen: I’m glad my drawing was accurate enough πŸ™‚ I miss you and the parental units a lot. I hope you have fun in Colorado and don’t get eaten by a bear. Will you check if Homecoming is still in theaters when I get back? (This is from Andrew: Rw’ U2 Lw F2 Lw’ F2 Rw2 U2 Rw U2 Rw’ U2 F2 Rw2 F2. And thanks.)
To Kirstin: Are you ready to get weird?
Shoutout to the Pincombe Family: thanks for keeping up with the blog and for being loyal commentors. Fun to hear from you halfway across the world. Still on the search tot gelato, but rest assured I’ve tried several Romanian treats. Love you guys lots and am truly excited for a group hug :). Noapte buna!

Who Wore It Best?

Hello from Romania. Bria and Grace here. Sorry that this post is coming a little late but unlike some members on the team we do like to sleep.
Yesterday was an absolute blast. We started the day off with breakfast and admired each others’ church clothes. Abby and Katrina happened to have brought the same skirt from Target Boutique, labeled as a chic floral print. We have yet to take the official vote on who wore it best but we’ll keep you updated.
Church was held in the basement of the Azel (a nursing home in Ethos) as the new church construction is underway. Hannah, Mattea, and Eden helped lead worship with the Romanian team, and it was amazing to hear the same worship songs from home sung in different languages. At church this week there was also groups from Germany and Moldova. The family from Moldova sang for us in Russian in four part harmony, and it was beautiful.
Our very own Larry Brady and Dan spoke to the congregation about their personal experiences. We were all moved to figurative (and in some cases literal @bria @pat @larry) tears. #soproud
As we were eating a traditional Romanian meal of sarmale and mamaliga (funny story: the dish actually is from turkey) we received our first round of letters from home. Shout out to Eleanor Mackey for writing four great letters with exceptionally drawn sea hares. The encouragement from all of you is invaluable.
The whole team went on an excursion to Auchan, the Romanian version of Costco, where we proceeded to demolish the Joe aisle. Liter sized teas were bought, lunch meat sections cleared, Andrew convinced to make purchases.
After filling our bags with sweets for camp and our bus ride up, we drove to our evening activities at a sports park where we met with the campers. We played heated games of energy, dodge ball, energy, ultimate frisbee, and futbol (soccer).
One of our favorite moments from yesterday was during a short break we had between Auchan and evening fun. The worship team had been practicing in the house that Grace, Bria, Abby, Morgan, and Athena have been staying in and happen to leave their instruments there. Abby busted out one of her many talents and started playing various pop, Disney, and Broadway songs on the piano. During a particularly passionate rendition of “Let it Go” those of us singing loudly and quite off key chose to act out the scene from the movie. Note this included sprinting up the stairs and stepping out onto the balcony for the final line of the song.
So here are many many shout outs from the team.
First shout out to Joshua Chen for turning 12 today!!!!!! I hope your enchromas are treating you well and that the world is more colorful for you now (I still have my doubts about whether or not they actually work). Also, I ate Schwarma!
Angie Xu: I bought Pringles and ice tea
Shout out to David Karbusicky for some awesome and quotable comments.
Mamma Pete: I forgot my retainer : l
Ray : I finally know how to make good soup (Noah)
– Shout outs from the Morgan’s
Jake: I am so excited to see your senior pictures. The ones with the punting poses sound awesome! Congratulations on surpassing McKenna with HIMYM. Maybe you should wait on the sonic, as I have many tasty treats to come home with for you. I miss and love you!
Lisa Genyk: I would like to correct myself and calling your summer salad pickles. Although…pickles sound good too πŸ™‚
Twins: U2 would not believe what I saw yesterday. Two little girls were watching SpongeBob and the voice actors were quite different. I have video to show you. Dad: congratulations on getting the job! I’m so excited for you.
Syd: if you’re reading this, I saw some of the cutest little bunny rabbit at the supermarket yesterday. Thought of you. I miss you! – Shout out to Mom & Dad Pincombe: Thanks for sending hugs! The team made sure I got them, and they’re making sure I’m staying out of trouble πŸ™‚
Shout out to Madison P: Just got your note yesterday!! Missing you extra. Listen to some For King & Country on the way to Ames for me.

Shaorma Dance

Our favorite leader on this trip is Emily Bostrom. (Or at least she said that would be a good opening sentence for this post). Anyway, Hannah and Katreetree here. Actually its just Hannah because Katrina is too busy hitting people with pool noodles. Today was a very busy happy day, as my grandma would put it. This morning after breakfast and team time, we adventured out of the neighborhood in Romanian taxis to a market where Romanian stickers, patterned pants, and Pat’s lunchbox size suitcase were bought. Following lunch and Mel almost reaching her breaking point trying to solve the “good soup” riddle, we finished up planning for camp. Some teams were more productive than others. (*cough* sports team *cough*). We then headed over to the fields at Ethos for a Romanian version of vacation Bible school with kids from the near by Roma village. We got to hear the story of David and Goliath, several songs with motions, and the rules for blob tag all in Romanian. The 90+ people, mostly under the age of 10, all playing on one small soccer field was slightly insane, but lots of fun and filled with energy. The kids took turns using a sling shot to try to hit a big picture of Goliath, which then turned into a game of using the sling shots to shoot chocolate onto peoples’ mouths. Katrina and Andrew successfully completed this challenge after many tries. For dinner, we went to the city center for trip-famous Shaorma. Katrina and Noah started “break dancing” in the street (doing the Robot and many other middle school moves) and Dan did a happy Saorma dance.We then walked around the beautiful buildings of downtown Craiova, got soft-serve ice cream, and hung out by the famous fountain. We all came back very ready for some sleep! Everyone is in bed now…except for us!
Shoutout: Cliff Anderson- for the clearly googled but still appreciated bad joke. Also I have not died from my throat ailments yet Leah Metzger- my ID is 104378! And I miss you so much!!! Don’t move onto my room. πŸ™‚ Malcolm/Addie- Don’t steal my family while I’m gone. Schmoopsypoo???- you’re seriously so embarrassing. But I hope you’re having an amazing time in LA! I wish you could see all the pretty old buildings downtown Craiova. They are SO cool. You would love it so much. Anyway, I miss you and love you lots and can’t wait to show you pictures! Also Katrina wants you to know that all her tie dyes made it safely. πŸ™‚ Madison P.- thank you for all the great comments and encouragement!

Live From The Field

Buna! It’s Mattea here bringing you the Rom0717 update! Today was quite eventful. We started out the day with a wonderful breakfast, and then grouped up to read the blog comments. They were awesome everybody, so keep them coming! Maybe some can send us some really terrible jokes! The highlight of the day was meeting up with the campers and playing games such as name games and relay races. This ended our action packed day where we also met up for breakfast, had team time and lunch, and did some preparing for camp. These preparations may or may not include many failed attempts to make a slingshot. Many failed attempts. There were so many old and new faces. After we met up with the campers we came back for dinner and played a big game of psychiatrist. Lots of fun going on here on Romania.
“Matt Metzger, Hannah’s favorite name.”
Lisa Genyk: We had cucumber salad tonight with our dinner (it’s 9:45 right now) and it made me miss, terribly, your homemade pickles. I hope all is well in Wisco! Love, Morgan R
Shout out to Ray: how do you make good soup? -Ed
Tyler – Wait a week and you can have Madison’s room. Love you lots! – Morgan P
Madison – Thinking of you each time they bring out the coffee πŸ™‚ Love you, Morgan P

Day 2: We ALL arrived

Hey everyone!
It’s Morgan R, Eden and Adia. We are happy to inform you that all 20 members and all 40+ bags arrived to Bucharest safely and soundly (sort of). Our first flight was 8 hours of movies, failed attempts to sleep, and subpar airplane food (@SwissAirlines, we saw that salmon you were serving to first class). We then had a two hour layover in Zurich, and the Swiss Chocolate cravings were fulfilled. Once again, we boarded our flight, achieved a little more sleep, and grew more and more excited to see familiar faces waiting for us at Bucharest. Upon our arrival to the baggage claim, we retrieved and organized the luggage as it emerged. We rejoiced in having lost no bags (especially Katrina)! As anticipated, many smiling faces met us outside the doors of the baggage claim area. There were many hugs, laughs, and introductions to new team members both on the American team and Romanian team. We can speak for all in saying that the news of having A/C on the bus was the cherry on top of our journey to Romania. Now, we are 2/3 of the way through our six hour bus ride to Craiova, where a large dinner and a much needed night of sleep await. We are getting to know the Romanian leaders, and the next couple days will give us plenty of opportunity to bond. La reverdere, for now!
Joel, Naomi, and Mom: do you miss me yet?? Ok, it’s only been a day… Joel, finish ESP strong! I can’t wait to hear about it. Naomi, enjoy being an only child for now:)
Gail, Dad, and Mom: I miss you guys so much! Thanks for loving me and supporting me through this entire process. Dad and Gail, give hugs and kisses to Luke and Ruby for me. Mama, snuggle Cassi for me. Love you guys <3

The Reeds (and then some): how is everything back in WI? We passed some cows earlier, and it made me think about you all and how lonesome you must be without me. πŸ˜‰ Twins, I keep imagining how much you two would love it here, so I hope you are prepared to apply for next year. Jake, how many trips to Sonic have you made since I left? What’s the tally on HIMYM episodes? Oh! I have had The Score on repeat. Every time “Legend” comes on shuffle, I get more and more excited for football. I hope all goes well with camp and two-a-days. I miss you! And mom, are you holding down the fort? I hope Finn, or at least Captain, has compensated for my absence. To any other friends and family members reading, hello and thank you for all that you do! Love, Morgan

Ali mongoose- Irina misses you almost as much as I do

Shoutout to Lief. 🎈.


We were shook (but not really)

  1. Hi all!
    It’s Noah and Grace here, signing in from Ohare! Surprisingly we arrived nice and early with 3 hours prior to boarding. The ride down was a blast full of off-key singing and heightened excitement. Imagine the disappointment when one of the leaders *cough* Mel *cough* told us that our flight was delayed for 8 hours! (Just kidding) We were shook (common slang to say we were shaken), to say the least. The only thing that could have made that okay was the potential of spending the time in Ikea eating Swedish meatballs. After recovering from being so shook (just to clarify, Grace actually wrote that!) checking in went without a hitch (although some of our bags were debateably too large and we were forced to check them. Please pray that our bags, especially Katrina’s, will be waiting for us in Bucharest). So far, we are doing quite well, passing time by playing Euker and a guided tour through the airport courtesy of Ed and Marilyn. Can’t wait to hear from you guys!
    Shout outs to:
    Josh: I saw that picture, I hope the beard washes off πŸ˜‰
    The Pollard fam! Ali- keep.being awesome and holding down the fort while I’m gone. I’m gonna miss having you around. Moma- there ya go, first blog post just for you! Oma- don’t get too crazy while I’m gone πŸ™‚ Pops- Keep making music that’s real pretty. A little wink wink
    Calvin: hi. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to your frisbee game, I’m a little busy this week (Noah says hi)
    Angie: don’t OD on cfa sauce while we’re gone.

Love you all!!
We’d love comments! Noah and Grace signing off!

Our Bags Are Packed…

We are two days away from takeoff! Sunday night we spent a few hours packing bags and making sure everything met the airline restrictions. Cheeseheads and green & yellow Santa hats made an appearance (“pack(er)ing” party) while everyone pitched in to pack bags, re-pack bags, weigh bags, record information and encourage each other. We shared our excitement and our nerves about leaving and we can’t wait to begin this journey together. I hope you have had a chance to read all of the team’s bios and learn more about these amazing students. Thank you all who have supported us and been praying for us! -Melissa