ROSE'S DIARY Monday December 9th 2013 09/12/2013
The snow had virtually all gone this morning. Instead it was raining, but the forecast was for above freezing during the day but under freezing overnight. It has rained on and off throughout the day. As drainage is poor, there are mini lakes on the roads and countless pedestrians walking by the side of the road are clearly saturated!
This morning I had arranged to go to the Agape charity. They work with young people brought up in the state orphanage system; they assist them and educate them, preparing them for life outside an institution, then assist them to become independent.
The Agape foundation is close to Cihei where I am staying. It must be about 5 kilometers away. BUT there was an HGV protest in progress, so the ring road was solid with lorries all with hazard lights, horns blaring and some with placards saying it was a protest. Police cars with lights flashing and sirens screeching were competing with the lorries to make even more noise!! What should have taken a maximum of 5-10 minutes took me an hour. (Later I learned that the protest was to do with a proposed tax on fuel which will cause the fuel to be more expensive than it is in UK.)
It was a lovely time at Agape. I was given some beautiful hand-made gifts, including a crocheted brooch, a scarf, necklace, bracelet, earrings. They have recently started making jewellery in addition to the greetings cards they make and sell. While there I learnt various things - including that the minimum salary is 650 lei which is about £125-£130 take home pay per month. Bearing that in mind, it makes the proposed rise in fuel tax utterly crazy!
In the afternoon Florence and I went shopping for ingredients for the food parcels that the group from Beaulieu will be packing for the repatriated victims of people trafficking. The money was donated by the Rotary Club. We bought tinned fish, pate, pasta, cous-cous, oil, sugar, rice, seasoning, flour and mamaliga (the "a" should have an accent on each; it is made from maize and is popular for making various traditional dishes). As we were shopping for 45 food parcels the trolleys were quite heavy, but we were able to leave them at the cash and carry for Vasile to collect tomorrow morning with the minibus which is a real blessing.