Saturday December 12th
The day began with a bazaar on the premises. Mustard Seed Jersey no longer pays for the costs of aid disbursement and customs clearance for our loads of aid to Romania, instead we give authorisation and agreement for Mustard Seed Romania to sell a small amount of the aid to raise funds for their work. It was very cold and threatening with rain but none the less they raised more money than we normally do at our regular market stall.
I am very much in agreement with these bazaars as they give the opportunity for people in the village to buy things that otherwise they would have to travel to the city of Oradea (35+ kilometres either a train or bus journey and a long walk) or to Salonta which is a smaller town about 15 kilometres away, so without a car both are a difficult journey. A bazaar is usually arranged after the aid lorry has come and sometimes an extra one before the next aid lorry, so a maximum of 6 or 7 year, but they are being regarded as a valued service to the people of the area.
After that we went to Saceini and Voivez where we have relocated families. We were thrilled to see the progress most are making though were concerned to see Felicia now has 6 children. Flori came with us as she knew Felicia from school. Felicia told us how she has a further 4 children by her first husband a man from the Cefa area who died. She said her 4 teenage children (who she now rarely sees) came to visit her when she was in hospital having had the final baby. She explained that she cannot have anymore children as this last one was with serious complications and had to be by caesarean. We left them the family shoebox packed by the sponsor and 5 bags of clothing. This is one family where the monthly money is not used for food but instead to pay the electricity bill as left to their own devices the electricity is inevitably cut off with a costly fee to re-install it. We marvelled at how clean the house is – miles of washing were on the line.
We also went to visit the family next door who were so good and helpful when Felicia and her family first moved in. The old lady insisted on we must have something to eat and drink and then gave us the rest of her festive cakes.
In the next family they had just killed a pig and were butchering it in the garden. In another it was just a young teenager there – we discovered she had left school after 5th grade to look after her little brother so the parents could continue to work as the money was needed to keep the family together.
Then we went back to Saceini to try to trace a family who have moved on – though according to some reports we believe they are still in the area. We want to check all is well with them especially the old woman. But try as we would we could not find them and different people gave us different versions of where they are – including some basic differences as on the left or right side of the road and very vague as to where! We spoke to shop keepers, people walking in the road, knocked on doors and eventually gave up quite disappointed at having failed to find them.
Tonight we noticed Flori is alternately bright and laughing then quiet and pensive. She goes to the hospital at the opposite side of Romania for surgery tomorrow, so not really surprising she is apprehensive – due to leave at 10 am tomorrow morning – the drive will probably take 10 hours over roads that at times are poor.