DIARY Thursday December 17th and reflections on the trip
is our last day – because the weather now seems to be with difficulties
relating to snow and ice we plan to leave early tomorrow, as early as we can
anyway. Although the major roads in town are fine, the side roads are icy and
at times like skating rinks! One of the worst is the road to Caminul Felix Farm and the concrete drive. We did consider leaving today when we saw the
forecast and that the
breakfast we talked with Simona about her work with
the victims of people trafficking who Mustard Seed
Simona told of one recent case that had a happy ending for one young woman but
not for two of her friends. The young woman is/was a student living away from
home but close to her family who she phoned every day. One day she and two
friends were invited to meet others in a juice bar in the town, but they were
drugged and after false passports were made they were whisked over to
morning till mid afternoon we did a few visits with Nelu
and Cristina. The second visit was to a new potential pensioner for sponsorship,
an 82 year old widow who walks with difficulty and lives alone. She was very
emotional on receiving a box and parcel of food. When she heard we were
travelling back to
first visit was really depressing as it was to the disused factory warehouse
where yet more families live (or squat) with no water, no sanitation, no
electricity. Mustard Seed
We saw Mrs Etves – through our family sponsorship programme she was able to obtain a qualification and had a good job at the PIC supermarket but that has closed now and she is redundant and back trying to collect scrap metal to sell to raise money to live. A year or so ago we happily took her off the family sponsorship programme as they were doing so well with her job, a cheap rented house, but now she has lost the income. However because of her qualification it is hopeful that she will obtain employment in the new year.
While at the disused factory we also saw the lady Monique – she always embraces us warmly as she remembers how we helped her about 4 years ago. She had been pregnant but the baby died. She could not afford to pay for the medical procedure to remove the dead foetus. The party from Jersey immediately paid for that, and ever since then each time she sees us she embraces us warmly remembering our help, how we had cried together at her situation and practically helped her resolve it. She too is collecting scrap iron with Mrs Etves and a shared horse and cart. We asked Nelu about her and he said she had had a good unskilled job in the summer but it has come to an end. We asked him about sponsoring her to obtain some qualification to help her obtain employment. But she has only reached the 4th grade at school so cannot obtain any qualification. I was really disappointed as I feel for Monique – there is genuine recognition and welcome in her eyes each time she sees us and I would dearly love to help her. But it seems there is nothing we can do for her that will help her become self-sufficient.
We then had a pizza together and said Goodbye to Nelu and Cristina. Phil and I went to the Lotus supermarket (huge contrast from the Factory Families disused warehouse site!) and later met Alex and Rody to give them the final last minute things, including returning the Romanian mobile phone we had been borrowing. They head off tomorrow to collect Flori – a huge drive of 700 kilometers and 10-12 hours over poor roads and in snowy conditions. Without doubt their trip (though shorter) will be as taxing as ours.