In Lorry – George Perchard accompanied by his wife Sue

In Minibus – Rose and Phil – Phil did some driving of lorry also to comply with the trgulations regarding the number of hours a driver can drive HGV.

Left St Malo on Monday 26th 2007


Wednesday March 28th

As planned arrived in the afternoon – George in lorry got through the border very easily and quickly. No queue for lorries. No paperwork requirements at Customs – instead instruction to go to unloading place and wait for the GO AHEAD from Customs to unload.

I asked People to People  representative Florin to double even treble check about the situation regarding paying VAT on import as Jersey not in EU – Jersey Customs had warned that VAT import was likely.

Staying at orphanage with Geo and Simona


Thursday  March 29th

Unloaded in the morning. All went well and quickly. All their trusts came to collect their goods – good to chat to them – hopefully will see most again before we leave.

Recipients of aid from this trailer:

  • People to People – main recipient who then pass on allocated aid to other trusts by internal transfer.
  • Mustard Seed Romania – Alex there – also Tom and Steve and Step from U.S.A. there.
  • Fundatia Increderea – Nelu was there and had a friend helping him.
  • Speranta Familiei - Adi and Raoul both there.
  • Kathy Langston – was sharing the price of a truck with Speranta Familiei.
  • Fundatia Copi Fagaduintei – Sammy spoke to me at great length and very enthusiastically about his education projects.

Concern about trailer wheels and the state of the nuts on r.h.s. Back. Nicu and his team to contact suitable person for repair.


Afterwards I spoke to Nicu and he gave me some concerning facts::

         Official figures are that there are 40,000 abandoned children – who are abandoned in that the parents are working abroad to earn money and relatives are looking after the children, sometimes they may not see their parents for several years, as depending on how officially the parents have been away they may not risk coming back to Romania. As these figures are the official ones the true figure is probably double that.

         Since going in EU huge rise in cost of items – eg fuel now 0-98 € equivalent but the salaries are only approx 250€ per month, while in other EU countries salaries probably more than that per week. Nicu says that now for all his qualified staff P2P must pay double the minimum salary so 250€ per month plus more than a further 100€ in taxes. If the staff are not being paid the full amount then they cannot sign or certify what is needed for the various programmes.

         He says the coming of EU means far more complicated paperwork for the disbursement of the aid we have sent over. While as far as he knows – in spite of warning by Jersey customs regarding import tax VAT of 19% - there will be no import duty. He is concerned about the justifying of all the aid we have sent for other trusts and in future we may have to send separate letters of donation to each of the trusts concerned. 


Then we saw Geo and Simona's new house that they are building in Orsohei – superb. Lovely site.


Then quick trip to Lotus hypermarket and back for lovely meal with Geo and Simona.



FRIDAY March 30th 2007


In morning with P2P visiting sponsored pensioners with Monica and Emma:

To each pensioner we gave a tin of ham, which Phil had bought using the £100 Christmas vouchers given by Mr Kirsch – in all there were 67 tins to give out and should mean that each sponsored pensioner will have meat at Easter and be able to share some with their family or friends too:

  • Micheda Eugenia – she recognized me which surprised me as I had only seen her once before. She had just come back from hospital after surgery on her leg (we understood it is related to cancer – she was having treatment for breast cancer when I last saw her). She is 87. Then her daughter came in – the daughter looked strange and wild, she has mental problems and is alcoholic. George and Sue were convinced the daughter must be the sister as she certainly did look too old to be Micheda’s daughter. She was very very grateful for the box her sponsor had sent her and asked for a photograph.
  • Terezia Fekete – she seemed very lonely and was not 100% with it. She seemed very frail . She was very pleased with the box the sponsor had packed for her.
  • Cret Floare – she told us she very much misses her sister who died before Christmas. It is her birthday tomorrow, she said she is very lonely, although her son visits her. She had recently come out of hospital for a digestive problem which proved not to be serious. We gave her a blanket, knitted by a young disabled woman in Cambridgeshire. We felt very sorry for the old lady.
  • Franscics Elisabeta – her situation has not improved still living in the basement room without electricity or running water. But she does now receive a daily meal from Caritas the Roman Catholic charity who provide hot meals for any needy pensioners in the city. But this lady was too frail to walk to the centre but now they deliver to her which is wonderful. She was pleased when I told her that the sponsor who helps her is actually my father. She has a crucifix on the wall and said she believes in prayer.
  • Julios Vasile – he lives with his daughter in an apartment – most certainly better conditions that Elisabeta Franscics! He was thrilled to see us, gave us a tulip each as it will soon be Palm Sunday! He insisted on changing his shirt and jumper before I could take a photo.
  • Somogyi Angela – her name is Hungarian. She was out when we went to visit, but we stayed a short time with her handicapped son who was clearly delighted to see us! We left her parcel from the sponsor and the tin of meat.
  • Olga Radulescu – saw her and her husband – short visit – appreciated box and tinned meat. Monica says she usually talks a lot.

         Iuliana Hegadulus – was out at lunch at Caritas so unable to visit her.

While waiting in the minibus while George and Sue went to see pensioners sponsored by members of their church, we saw a man rummaging through the rubbish bins to see what he could find. He had a bag with him ready to hold any goodies he might find.


In the afternoon with FI with Nelu:

         FACTORY FAMILIES – Peter (another sponsored pensioner) was out getting bread and other provisions. Good visit there – knowing the needs and how well our attempts so far at relocating families have gone we really do need more resources so as to move more of them out from there. Gave each family tin of meat, also some travel soaps. Phil was feeding dogs (with dog biscuits he had brought over specially) – one man began eating dog biscuits so we gave him the rest of the packet.

         ANTAL family – grandmother has been ill and looks much thinner. Very grateful for box and our help. Lovely family – they have been given a washing machine but it is faulty and does not work. As we were leaving we saw the dreadful old stick she was using as a walking stick and able to give her two from the back of the minibus.

         Amelia Serban – elderly male pensioner with younger disabled wife. He makes baskets – she paints (oil paints when can afford materials). They gave us a basket, we have asked him to make us a few more to sell which he will do by Monday when we leave.

         RAYMOND family – have moved again to horrible single basement room where the family of 5 sleep – no water, no electricity, their room (equivalent of £20 per month) is used as passage way for 3 other families. Terrifying fight erupted in the courtyard as we were leaving – one man had a brick, another had a knife – a lot of screaming and shouting. We really need to try to move them somewhere else but as a gypsy he cannot get a decent regular job. Lovely welcoming smile. Sad.

         Then to FI office where saw the youth group.


Concern over trailer wheels sent us out to Fughiu where after much debate and concern everyone seems happy that the repair is being done properly.


Then to NICU'S GIRLS – they had cooked samala for us – a lovely time there.

We nearly got lost again going there - we must remember: Pass Macdrive – into same road as Alex's girls – at T junction turn left it is then along that road on the left.



SATURDAY March 31st

         Day began with Phil and George going off to Fughui to check on what was happening about the trailer repair. Later during the day we had a very satisfactory outcome – cost will be about 200€.

         Then a phone call from Alex to say that there was a problem with his minibus so we would need ours to go to Saceini and Voivec.

         During day in course of conversation Alex told us how well Rody has done with her recent exams in social work – she is the only one in Bihor county who has passed all exams. She should know for sure about a job on Monday when she must go to Bucaresti for the 5th time in connection with the course. The new job is because of new regulations and requirements now Romania is in EU – sounds like they are setting up an alternative to prison for some offenders.

         Visit to Kalaus family in Voivec – absolutely excellent progress and delighted with the way they have developed the site. Goats there, few chickens, neighbours happy with the situation. All in all we are thrilled – very rewarding, satisfying. They were in factory warehouse.

         While in Voivec we were not able to go to the house Phil and I hope to buy as Alex was concerned that for a foreign vehicle to appear would mean the price would go up. He showed us the road that it is along. I mentioned the Raymond family as being a family in great need.  Alex will hopefully liaise with Nelu and arrange a meeting.

         We then went on to Saceini to visit Gizella and the community there.

       A complication arose a fortnight ago arisen as when Dan went to make initial arrangements and measurements to build her her wooden house (funded by Lions Club and a private individual) Gizella said she did not want the house there as she is convinced the others will steal from her. The neighbour confirmed that she felt it was likely the community could destroy the wooden house for firewood if Gizella was ever away. So Dan investigated the son's house in another nearby village (along a terrible road – suitable for 4 wheel drive or tractors only so he walked several kms – but found they do not want Gizella long term). Alex wondered about moving her to Voivec and having Felicia Kalaus paid to look after her, but Gizella not sure, though seemed positive about that idea. That was the situation prior to our visit.

         But when we saw Gizella we found she has now changed her mind and does not want to move. It is a pretty impossible situation. Finally after much discussion we agreed with Gizella that the shed will be built in Saceini and we will involve the neighbour in monitoring that the community do not destroy it. Alex believes it is possible to have the wood treated so it does nor burn and covered with something so it looks like cement and therefore not burnable. We agreed we must not have any extras on it that could easily be removed for firewood. Not the ideal solution but the best we can manage. Gizella’s sister is there now and she seems a sensible woman (she is working at making shoes at home) – not sure how long she will live there, but we were encouraged by her presence.

         Alex went to Metro to buy food for pensioner distribution while we went to MacDonalds for coffee 

         Then to Alex and Rody's Girls apartment where they had cooked us a meal. Spoke to Fornica Florrie about how we hope she can come to Jersey along with a couple of other girls. Insurance for medical is the big problem in view of her kidney dialysis. We have now got her booked in for dialysis treatment in September for a fortnight in Jersey.


SUNDAY April 1st

Morning and early afternoon:

         In the morning we went to Cefa for church service – no sermon as Steve shared a bit, Tom shared a bit, an American visitor Randy shared a bit and I shared a lttle in service and young people sang. Also lady called Laura there – doing some research into economics and gypsies. Randy is from US and ran holiday club last year and hopes to again.

         Then distribution of pensioners' food parcels – Phil well kissed again!!!!

         Then  lunch cooked at church by Rody and Gyongy and Mariana from girls apartment.

         Visit to boys' hostel to see the boys (who washed our minibus) also see lake for fish nearly completed – fish due in soon.

         Talked with Steve and Tom – they agree with idea / vision of another 2 houses – one for supervisor and one for elderly frail pensioners and would like to be involved in raising funds, working etc. We prayed together on the site and committed our hopes and plans into God's hands.

Afternoon and evening:

Then to Kathy Langston's where we played with children then went out to Capitolium for meal. Kathy asked for prayer regarding her hopes and plans to buy a house for the girls and her to live in -   she was very grateful for the aid she received especially what was in the stuffing bags she was given.


Then back home to Geo's to pack



MONDAY April 2nd


Went into Nicu's office then George and Sue left with the lorry – Nicu took them to collect and led them out towards border. They got out without any problems and are at Hegyeshalom (Hungarian /Austrian border) tonight.

         Phil and I went to Amicii centre for handicapped adults being run in the old Casa David building – seems very worthwhile – about 9 young people.

         Then we went to the cathedral for a few minutes private prayer.

         On way back met Nicu – back from taking George and Sue to border. Had lunch with him and good chat about aid – new implications – it is far more difficult for him now as P2P to justify the need for aid and this is a requirement, he has a limit of what he can receive and after that P2P would be charged duty. Shoeboxes for Romania may still be possible. Discussed possibility of Mustard Seed Romania importing a load of aid – must talk to Alex about this.

         Phoned Speranta Familiei but they could not come to meet us at Salonta as hoped.

         Went to Berechiu and saw Alex, Steve, Tom also met new boy in boys hostel Adi.

         Alex told us the good news that Rody has been given a new very good job working for the government as a social worker in probation. (new department – EU requirement) but the bad news is that this means she cannot come to Jersey with Alex at end of the month).

         Then we left exiting Romania at the Salonta border.



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