Diary 6 July 31 Tuesday and Reflections 31/07/2012

I had deliberately planned that today would be a slow day without that much happening. It is still very hot but not as agonisingly hot as it was on Sunday though still not easy.

I took Flori out to lunch again - well first we had to go the pharmacist to buy her medication - that proved to be an absolute nightmare as there were complicated road works as you got into Salonta and so you had traffic in one direction sat frying in the sun while the other direction traffic went through and so on -the traffic control was done by a number of men with red or green signs either blocking your way org signalling you through.

I found a shady parking space but I suspected I needed to pay for the space and had no coins so I sat there while Flori went to the pharmacy to get her medication. After 10 minutes she came back saying the queue was too bad, so I drove through the town trying to find another pharmacy, got caught up in the traffic jams ..... In the end I parked again further away this time because I was not sitting in the sun and sent her back to the same pharmacy where she eventually got her medication.

When we stopped for lunch she insisted on paying for my dessert which was sweet of her (I wished I'd known that before selecting as I would have opted for something cheaper). When we got back to the car it was SO HOT the steering wheel hurt my hands in places.

This evening I took the girls out for an ice cream - this is a huge treat and very special for them which is quite moving to think that this is so important. I had asked Victor to make sure they know it was either ice cream or dessert and a drink with either and so I was determined to avoid a repeat of a year ago when I offered similar and they went and ordered a full meal (having just eaten their supper at Casa Mabel) and I had the embarrassment of having to check with the waitress that I had enough money!

In the afternoon with Victor as translator I talked to the carers about some equipment we had purchased for Casa Mabel about its use. Two of them remember Debbie who had come with the Beaulieu group and put on her "physiotherapist / occupational therapist hat" to give advice. One career beaned at how much easier life is for everyone with the bathroom turned into a wet room and the step turned into a gradual slope as Debbie recommended. They said they hoped Debbie would come out again to give them more help.

I am due to leave Cefa mid morning tomorrow (Wednesday) when Rody's niece and her husband will drive me to Budapest airport. They are the couple who run the monthly bazaars at Cefa which are so popular with villagers as well as being a huge help as a source of income for Casa Mabel. I have been amazed at just what they have achieved through their monthly bazaars - as well as the heating for Casa Mabel they also have also paid for the purchase of double glazed windows to replace the single glazed ones that were there. But still in keeping with our aims and outreach, the bazaar "stretches" the money for those in genuine need (like the family of Andreea the small teenager on kidney dialysis) and their amount of money will purchase far larger amounts of clothing, etc. This gives them their dignity, they are not receiving perpetual hand outs but a hand up.


For me the number one thought is the HEAT. It has been HOT HOT HOT ever since I got here and it really has drained my energy - I have taken more aspirin for headaches this trip than ever before, but then I so rarely take any painkillers. How people out here cope with it for a couple of months I just cannot imagine!

I can see some encouraging things - development and progress in a number of areas. The city is much cleaner and brighter. I have had LOTS and LOTS of encouraging reports about how the aid is still being well used and is desperately needed still. I have a long list of things that are needed too, which I must collate from the various bits of paper and notebooks I have jotted them down in.

Pierre's time here spent helping has been very profitable and his hard work was much appreciated. Alex would be keen for others to come out to help with the day to day tasks as this reduces the load on the workers like Victor and himself. This so something we must think about for the future.

The visit to the group home for handicapped children and young people was challenging and I certainly hope we can help them - I am confident there are independent people there to check the aid we send is used appropriately.

But a discussion with one social worker confirms that there is still much corruption, which is especially dangerous in the medical world it seems to me. He spoke of how unless you have the money to bribe the nurses as well as the doctors you simply will not receive good care in hospital.

I had heard too from another social worker of how he needed to give a gift to the doctor to ensure that his wife had an easy delivery when their little daughter was born. He was so disturbed by the ongoing pain and distress of a gypsy woman also there at the same time but receiving no help as she had no money that he gave her some money to give to the doctor and was pleased to hear she was then given the assistance she needed.

But it is so wrong. This shouldn't be happening. Medical care - any sort of care should not be dependent on the size of gift or bribe you pay.

I can almost hear Phil's voice saying Get wise Rose of course it still happens everywhere. It happens in the west, in Jersey, in Britain it is just not so openly happening.



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