DIARY 6 Tuesday December 15th 2009


Another good day though not that much to report tonight.


We spent the morning and early afternoon with Alex doing reports on sponsored pensioners, also discussing our delight at the way Casa Mabel has worked out. We learnt that Flori is due to have had her operation today – there is / was some concern expressed by the doctor as to how it would work out. We can do nothing but pray and remind God she has already suffered so much.


Our next port of call was to see Florence Holmes of Crestina Vineyard – that was purely social. Ken has to have 2 cataract operations and is still in UK till January at any rate. He is due to have his second cataract operation next week just before Christmas and then as soon as he receives the All Clear from the hospital will travel back to Romania. Florence explained that because of the extension and renovation work they decided she must come back alone, rather than wait till he was recovered.


We then set out to Kathy Langston’s – armed with the map Alex had drawn for us; it was then the fun began! Half way along the belt road Phil realised we had a puncture. We limped to the supermarket car park and found a lighted area out of the way to change the wheel. Phil donned his fluorescent jacket and went along the road to find the hub cap we had lost, while I phoned Kathy to warn her we would be late. God is so good – just as we were – or should I say as Phil was struggling to undo the nuts on the wheel, a “good Samaritan” came along in the shape of a young man. He immediately helped us and did most of the work in the end. He refused to accept the money I offered him, saying it was his pleasure to assist us.


We finally got to Kathy’s an hour and a bit later than planned.


After a good meal and good chat we got back to Geo’s where over a glass of wine and cup of tea we heard again the shocking news we had heard before about the Romanian government’s problems with finances. All employees of the government are having to reduce their working hours by one week per month – this is unpaid leave as there is simply not the money to pay them. Most shocking this includes the medical profession as well as teachers, social workers, etc. Simona as a social worker now has an enforced leave until December 24th while Geo has now finished his lecturing early till after Christmas and was lamenting the fact that he still needed to cover all the syllabus in only 75% of the normal time. They expect the situation to continue all next year.


Simona told us of one bad consequence in how a baby had been burnt in an incubator – because of enforced leave, one nurse had 30 babies to look after so could not monitor them as closely, so did not notice it quickly enough when one very elderly incubator malfunctioned and as a result the baby was burnt. The incubator was apparently 37 years old.


We asked why there is this shortfall in money for essential services. Apparently huge sums were spent on the recent election resulting in this shortfall now for the government pay-roll. There is apparently huge discontent that the previous president was re-elected and mutterings that the votes were rigged. It was clear the family here are deeply concerned about the results and the cut back in working hours and salaries.



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