Duane Hixon, N2's CEO, and his nine-year-old son, Ethan, recently went to Romania on a missions trip. Here, Ethan saw, for the first time, what real poverty looked like. But he also saw the great impact giving back can have on a community. While he was there, Ethan was able to visit an orphanage for children with special needs that N2 supports, as well as play soccer on a field that was purchased and installed by a group that N2 is now supporting as well. The following blog was written by Ethan after he returned to the US.
On the day before we left to go Romania I was soooo excited I stayed up til like 10 pm that night. I was so excited to go play soccer with the Romanians, cause I thought they played barefoot.
We had a 9 hour plane ride to get there and once we got there we went to a restaurant in Bucharest. When we sat down and looked at the menu, all I saw was weird food like sheep tongue and stringed sausage and fries (which were really potato chips). Our translator let me try a bite of his sheep tongue – it was delicious!
While we were waiting for our food there was a lady dancing and going around asking people if they wanted to dance with her. She came up to our table and rubbed my head and asked if I wanted to dance with her. (My dad told me before she came up, “if she comes and asks you to dance, you have to say yes.” So I did.) Everyone was looking at me. At the end she asked if I wanted to give her a kiss, and I said no, but then she said, “Well I’m going to give you one.” And then she kissed me on the cheek and hugged me!
The next morning we drove like 6 hours to Colarosh, a town in Romania. The houses were made of mud and straw and junk pieces. I was like, “These people have a hard life.” We got to meet some missionaries that lived there and they had an 8 year old boy named Simon. He asked if I wanted to play soccer first thing. Everyone went to eat lunch and the soccer field was connected to the restaurant so we could play while the grown ups talked and ate. There were lots of other Romanian kids playing and they kept asking me if I spoke English or Spanish. JI had a lot of fun. When I saw none of them played barefoot I was bummed. I just watched a movie about kids in Brazil that played barefoot and I thought it would be cool if I got to play barefoot with them.
Next we drove to a castle. There were lots of crazy rules like, No having fun, Paying to take pictures, and No opening doors. I mean seriously, I don’t get those rules. I guess we broke some of them. I got to see some weapons and ancient coins. But it was too fancy of a castle for me. It reminded me of the castle from the movie Aladdin.
We went to Dracula’s castle and it was a lot cooler. We could walk anywhere we wanted and we saw a wall with all of Dracula’s brothers and sisters. There were 24 of them!
Our last stop was to a city called Arad. We got to meet a lot people and had some more weird food. We got to go to an orphanage that took care of kids with disabilities. One little boy had lost an arm so his parents didn’t want him because he only had three limbs. One boy’s mind didn’t work the same as mine, and he always moved his fingers really fast across his stomach when he was happy. I went up and did the same move as him on my stomach and we had fun together. One of the boys that lived there was in 12th grade and was very talented. He made all kinds of things like dinosaurs and pools and baskets out of paper.
I’m glad I got to go on this trip and I realized how nice things are in America. I’m happy we are helping people in Romania because if I lived there I would want someone to help me.