Diary for Sunday May 24th 2009

It has been a tiring but very satisfying day. It began with the discovery that the shower in the hostel where we are staying next door to the pensioners’ home  - that this shower does not work satisfactorily unless one wishes to have a cold shower! So I boiled the kettle for what Phil would call “a cat’s lick”. This was followed by breakfast with the girls next door. That was fun but sad – Flori explained the ongoing problems with her dialysis and the possibility (due to resulting calcium deficiency we believe) that she could end up unable to walk and the medication that could help is not available in Romania. She is no fool and knows that sooner or later complications from the dialysis will cause her death. She talked quite openly about “when I die” and spoke about how knowing Jesus means she has no fear. Phil also talked about his prostate cancer and a discussion followed on the difference having a real faith in Christ has to your approach to death. They then went off to church but as we planned to go to the 11.30 service in Oradea we could leave later so I sent emails.


After church we went to MacDonalds for lunch and that to me was an eye-opener. Our lunch cost us about £10. Not that long ago we could have got the identical lunch at Mac Donalds for half the price – even less as I reckon it was only £2 and that would make it £4 for the two. Costs are rising fast in Romania that is for sure – faster than I had realised.


The theme on the rising cost of living etc continued in our next visit which was to Nicu’s Girls. Phil and I were so proud of ourselves because between our memory and the map we navigated ourselves there. We had a lovely time with the girls – they all wanted to visit at Cefa, but we explained we could not fit them all in the car. They explained how tough it is to survive financially with Aghi earning only 4 million (or 400 new lei) a month which I think is about £75 a month which seems impossibly low. The others earn around 500 new lei (or 5 million as they say) but that too is very small. Each explained they must pay several million for utilities and then of course there is food. I believe Nicu Gal from People to People continues to subsidise or even fully pay their rent as there is no way they could pay 250 euros (or 1000 new lei or 10 million) a month rent between the six of them.


Maria was delighted with the skate board we produced (the one she was given – while in Jersey a few years ago - was lost when the box we packed it in was given to someone else in error). It is her birthday on Tuesday and she very much wanted us to return then.


After that we spent the evening with Geo and Simona. The solemn discussions continued to some extent as they have recently lost a brother (TB) and nephew (accident). TB is still a big problem in Romania – bigger than in the rest of Europe. As always it was so good to see Geo and to hear him say and mean “We love you” – that is what makes Romania so special to us – the love of the people we have met and now know as friends.




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