Diary 3 – Thursday December 9th 2010

If there are any mistakes you must forgive me, but after a very full day it is late and I am tired!

Soon after I sent last night’s diary Christine arrived from Budapest airport followed soon after by Bob and Neil in the lorry. So we sat and chatted while they ate then finally all went to bed.

It was an early start this morning as the unloading of the aid trailer began at 8 am. As always it was good to see the folk from the other Romanian trusts at the unloading. Most of the boxes were unloaded when it began raining and then as some of the transport had not arrived the boxes were covered with plastic sheeting till the various  vans arrived.

We – by “we” I mean Bob, Neil, Christine, Phil and I – went to the Cefa state kindergarten and state primary school to distribute Christmas shoeboxes. The town mayor was there and we were told we were invited for lunch after the distributions to a special fish restaurant as his guests. The mayor is a very genuine caring person and I immediately recognised him from the opening of Casa Mabel 18 months ago.

We then went to the Inand school and kindergarten (next village). That was quite moving as it was the first time they had received shoeboxes and they were so excited! We had photos in each classroom and quite deep gratitude. Some of the children sang for us – including one class who had learnt “Let it snow” in English in our honour. (It proved to be prophetic as soon snow began to fall!)

Lunch was wonderful. Cefa is famous for fish and it was absolutely delicious! Another mayor was there also – from St Nicolae village where we go tomorrow, again another first shoebox delivery I believe. After lunch the Cefa mayor gave us all individually a locally made souvenir consisting of china, traditional cloth and doll. It really was a lovely surprise and so good to know he appreciates and supports the work we do through Mustard Seed Romania. I reminded him of my first visit 11 years ago and the good changes I see, especially in the schools where there are now computers – when we first came there were none and their first were provided by Mustard Seed from Jersey. I also reminded him that there was no PC in the mayor’s office either.

Our next call was our own homework project which was quite noisy as we were late arriving after lunch with their shoeboxes and the kids were VERY EXCITED. The teachers were relieved to see us as we were late …..

By then the weather had changed and was much colder – wind, rain , sleet, so we all put on extra layers of clothing. All the rain made slippery mud with slushy snow so we had to tread carefully at times, as none of us fancied sitting down in it!

The snow cum rain continued and driving visibility was poor but that did not stop us from the planned trip to Oradea (30+ kilometres). We had promised the girls a meal at MacDonalds and we needed to buy food for 60 food parcels. Christine and I went to MacDonalds with the girls while Bob and Neil went to the Metro to buy food. We had finished at MacDonalds and were at the Metro before they had finished their 3 large trolleys of shopping. How we fitted us, the 3 girls and 2 Romanian men and the food into 2 cars is amazing.

While we were in Metro we had some good news. We spoke to Flori on the phone – she had come round after her surgery in Bucharest and sounded groggy but cheerful. She said the doctor seemed pleased with the results, so we must wait and see the outcome. We are desperately hoping she will be back in Oradea before we leave on Thursday, and we think she possibly will be if there are no complications.

On the way back to the village the car Christine and I were in was stopped by the border police just inside Cefa. They took our passports and kept them for about 10 minutes while they ran some checks – it seems passports from the Bailiwick of Jersey confused them! Oddly enough they did not check the car Bob and Neil were in – according to them that is because they do not look as suspicious as we do!!!!!!!!!!

A brilliant day – much achieved. Now bed calls!


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