Saturday 20 July 2013

Kurtos and Headaches

To wrap up the Max Bike week we had a nice big bonfire together as a group. Because the baby monitor we're borrowing ran out of batteries I was thinking I wouldn't be able to participate in the fireside was one of those parenting moments when you question whether or not breaking your child's routine is worth the consequences you might face later (or in our case, in the middle of the night). We decided to bring Miriam to the fire despite it being waaaaay past her bedtime. She had a blast watching the flames dance in the dark and snuggling with us by the fire (although she looks more shocked by the flash of the camera in this picture, she really was having a great time):

We roasted a traditional sweet bread over the fire. It's a snack called Kurtos that's actually Hungarian originally, but the Romanians have adopted it as their own. To make it, you roll out a piece of sweet dough into a long snake and wind it around a branch. Then, you roll it in sugar and cinnamon and slowly roast it over the fire until the sugar caramelizes and the heat creates a crispy exterior and a warm fluffy interior. It's a really tasty treat.

The trick is to wind the dough at the correct thickness around the branch; too thin or thick and it will burn. Ours was a little too thick but it still worked well:

Our friend Elvis' was perfectly done...he is Romanian after all, so he's had some experience with this:

In bakeries the Kurtos is baked around a metal cylinder on a rotisserie in order to get an even caramelization. We are hoping to find a Kurtos bakery to taste the real thing before we leave Romania!

We went to church this morning in Codlea with a bunch of the staff from PDF. It was a nice time and we arrived back at PDF in time for lunch and to discover a long line of girls outside the bathroom on our hallway. We quickly learned that there has been an outbreak of lice at the camp and that the girls were waiting to be treated with lice shampoo. Apparently this is a normal practice here during the Exploratorii weeks since many of the children and teenagers who come are from very poor backgrounds and don't have access to appropriate hygiene practices. The camp leaders actually do a lice screening on the first day of camp...all the children are checked for lice to avoid a large outbreak. Elke told us that one year every child had lice and they had to treat everybody and wash everything (PDF supplies the sleeping mats, sleeping bags, and tents since the kids often don't have their own gear), which was a huge hassle and very exhausting for the leaders. 

It's a little inconvenient for us to now have to use the bathroom on another floor for the next few days, but we would much prefer that to catching lice. So, please pray that we don't catch it somehow because that's one headache we would prefer not to have to deal with.

Speaking of headaches, Jerry was playing ultimate frisbee with the Max Bike group a few days ago and was hit in the head quite badly by another player. He is ok, but he has a mild concussion and isn't feeling 100%. We would really appreciate your prayers for him right now as he is pretty involved with the camp this week and isn't able to rest much. 

Being in a foreign country can be exhausting because of the concentration it takes to simply communicate with others who speak a different language than you...your brain has to work overtime to keep up and so having little free time, Jerry's head injury, on top of Miriam's erratic sleep patterns (she won't sleep for more than 4 or 5 hours at a time) is all making us really really tired. We are very much looking forward to tomorrow - it's our first day off since we've been here, so we are hoping to be able to relax a bit and just do our own thing. We're planning to go to Brasov in the morning and then to Bran in the afternoon to visit the Bran Castle (Dracula's castle). We'll be sure to take lots of pictures to share with you!


  1. Just came back from camping and saying to Rod how much I loved sitting around the campfire...I must say, adding a tasty snack done over the fire like you described would be great! :) Definitely praying for Jerry and for all of you in terms of rest and energy levels. Praying that you had a really good day off!

    1. Thanks Rena! We appreciate your prayers so much!!