Saturday April 16th 2011
Today has been a really good day, though very challenging when you stop and think about it. We took Flori with us and also Adela who had a day off today.
We began by going to see Florence Holmes at Crestina Vineyard. Flori began by telling Florence about her recent experiences when she was so ill. She talked about how she believed she was dying and how the other patient in the ward for help for her; she was whisked into intensive care as she had what sounded like a heart attack. Flori said that when she was feeling very alone and scared she felt someone stroking her arm to comfort her, but there was no-one there so she is sure it was an angel or Jesus Christ.
After that we went to see the young women known to us as “Nicu’s Girls”. These young women were rescued years ago from living on the streets after leaving the state orphanage system, but now they are self supporting (just about). There are 6 in that apartment and none of them earn very much. We talked to them about how they manage and we were quite disturbed by what they told us:
One of them works in a factory and earns the equivalent of 150 euros, but her share of the rent, utilities, etc is around 70 euros in the summer but it rises to 120 euros when the winter is cold and you must pay for heating, etc. Knowing how expensive food has become I would reckon it must be challenging to eat and travel to work on public transport on 30 euros in the winter.
Another two work in the hospital and they earn the equivalent of 125 euros, so in the winter (unless she has saved some money from the summer) she could have 5 euros for food for the month and fares for trams, buses, etc to get to work.
One works as a cleaner / baby sitter for a family and receives 100 euros a month. The family do give her some food but it is invariably damaged or out of date. In the summer she could have 30 euros for food at home and transport to work. But in the winter it is simply impossible for her to make ends meet.
It was the birthday of one of the young women and she asked if I would take her to MacDonalds for her birthday. I discussed it with all the girls and we agreed instead of taking them to MacDonalds I would give them some money to buy groceries – what they asked for was pasta, tuna, cooking oil, shampoo, washing powder, sanitary towels/tampons and toilet cleaner. They tell me they will get the supermarket receipt to me via someone else before we leave Romania.