Before a few more trip highlights ... here is a bit more about our week:
On Monday I had the privilege of helping with the clothing distribution at The Oasis. I keep wanting to include pictures, but I need permission first. This was kids' day. The place was full of mothers and their children milling about. Besides hanging clothes and observing, my primary job was to spend time with those who were waiting for their number to be called. I filled my time with coloring, learning new names, blowing bubbles, and holding babies. It was valuable to see the system they have in place for trying to give everyone a chance at getting what they need. I dislike shopping in a lot of ways, so that task takes me forever. I cannot imagine having my four children, walking into a little room and having only a few minutes to find what I am looking for with a four item limit per child. The system is well done as a way to service that many people and give everyone the basics of what they need. The volunteers have also tried to learn what they can in other languages so they can help the best they can.
As a side note, I found it very amusing to see a particularly grandmotherly looking lady claiming four children as her own, when the volunteers were quite sure those children had already been claimed that day by their real mother. It's the age old way of getting more out of a shopping trip - bring grandma.
On to our trip. We spent our fifth day in Bad Aussee. The drive there was gorgeous and we passed into a new Austrian "Bundesland" on that winding road. Our goal was to hit the Lebkuchen factory ... gingerbread. We had heard there was a tour, but in reality, it was a taste test and a 6 minute video. Oh well.
We then hit another awesome Austrian playground and headed out for some lake viewing and hiking. We had a really nice time letting the boys just run a bit wild. I'll include pictures of all that later ... but for now I'm terrible about planning the order of the pictures I upload. You're left with a picture of Sammy's new favorite game, Old Maid.