DIARY 8 Thursday December 15th and Friday December 16th 2011

Without any shadow of doubt there is very little to write about for Friday as that has been a rest day, when my greatest activity has been walking to the village shops or cleaning the bedroom to remove the evidence of an unwelcome mouse in my bedroom!

But Thursday was a busy and productive day. I said Good bye to Ken and Florence and that night slept at Casa Mabel which is where I plan to stay till I leave Romania after the weekend.

With Alex, and joined by Flori, I went to Voivezi where we have several poor families we assist. Normally it is Dan who oversees the projects there as he has relatives there so combines visiting them with seeing the families, but since his accident that has changed.

We began by going to see Felicia in the Mustard Seed House. Her husband Loti was not there – apparently in Oradea. We gave them shoeboxes and clothes. I was impressed to see how they have developed the house to give themselves more room. As always it was spotlessly clean. Only the  youngest children were there, the others were in school. Alex spent some time talking to Felicia and looked serious, it was only later he shared why. The oldest child (an 11 year old girl) is hers by a previous relationship and her husband Loti really dislikes the girl. At times – especially if he has been drinking - he can be very harsh and violent to the girl. Her mother feels it would be safer if the girl was removed and asked Alex if he knew of an orphanage. This problem has already been resolved as Alex and Rody plan to move her into the home for the young women who will positively love a younger sister – she will attend school and homework club in Cefa and should blossom in this safer environment. This should start in January.

After that we went to see the next door neighbour – an elderly widow with a severely handicapped daughter. I had bought some incontinence pads to give her as I knew she needed some. She was overjoyed – you saw tears glisten in her eyes (this made the inconvenience of struggling to find suitable inco pads in 3 or 4 different shops seem very minor!) and then she generously gave us some homemade sausage (which was delicious quite unlike our sausages back home), bread, water, fruit juice, coffee, then tomatoes, apples, cucumbers, sweet biscuits. Finally she gave me a dozen eggs. I was really moved by her generosity – she had very little but was anxious to share all that she had with us.

We were fed again – this time by Dan’s relatives. They are lovely people. Mia (the wife) appreciates the problems caused by the distance from Oradea now Dan is no longer available and offered to help us by being our representative (she has already been doing this, for whenever problems occurred she would phone Alex). So to the family who have not been as good as they should have been about keeping the property in good condition we began charging rent (50 lei a month – i.e. £10 a month) to be paid to Mia each month – we spoke to them and they understand this.

Finally we agreed that a new family could move into “Ted’s house”. (The previous people left when reminded about the expectation that as they pay no rent they will keep the property in good condition and clean – one room was full of rotting fruit. ). The new family have nowhere to live. The wife and children were living with her sister while the husband was having to stay somewhere else in the village. We told them it was to be 50 lei a month rent to be paid to Mia. I do not think I have ever seen such joy and relief on a man’s face as on this man’s when we told him they could move in whenever they like.

Knowing that they have very little, Alex plans to return to the village one day next week with some items to help them.

All in all a very very satisfactory day.



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