Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Week In Bucharest, Romania

We spent the first week in October in and around Bucharest, Romania training the new humanitarian couple, Elder & Sister (Denny & Gloria) Linerud. They are a neat couple--ready to start work. During the first few days of training we took them to meet Mary Veal and Ana at the HIV/AIDS clinic for children and young adults. We can't take pictures at the clinic, so there are none to share, but Mary's story is one of our favorites. She is American and came to Romania to spend a year helping in the orphanages working with babies infected with HIV through mandatory blood injections during the communist regime. The practice of blood injections was meant to improve the health of ill babies--though the World Health Organization warned against the practice. 16 years later, Mary is still in Bucharest. She has helped to raise many of these children and has become their surrogate mother. There are still 7000 young adults in Bucharest infected with HIV. Some of them are passing the virus on to a new generation as they try to live like the rest of the world--marrying and have children of their own. Their story is a sad one that really touches our hearts. Though we have no pictures of these young people to paste in a book, we will always cherish their faces in our memories.

During our visit with E/S Linerud, we .......
...visited a model village of the Romanian past.

Walked through the park.....

Saw the Arch of Triumph. Wait a minute. I thought that was in Paris.

Got lost in the grand city of Bucharest.....again! "Which way to the A-line?"

Tried to order KFC crispy-chicken breast in Romanian. Ummmmmmm?

Were serenaded on the train by a young Roma-gypsy boy. He was really good too!

Counted the number of stray dogs in town. No leash laws here.

And visited one of our wheelchair partner organizations....

18 months ago we didn't know a thing about wheelchairs except the mobility they offer for the physically impaired. Now we can tell you a thing-or-two about different kinds of wheelchairs, and the advantages and disadvantages to the wheelchair user. What we will do with this vass knowledge of information after our mission, we're not sure. But, we truly enjoy knowing that many physically impaired people are blessed with better mobility, can find employment and are more self-reliant because of the nearly 6000 wheelchairs donated in the Europe Area during our mission. We visited with Christian at Motivation Romania, who is showing us the new WorldMade wheelchair assembled by the gentleman sitting in a wheelchair. The WorldMade chair is personally fitted and assembled for the wheelchair user--often by the physically impaired. We really like this program for this and many more reasons. It helps provide some work for the handicapped, while meeting the needs of the disabled.

We loved every minute and day of our visit with E/S Linerud in Romania. They are great, and have already done a project with Mary's clinic. They bought protective gloves, mattress covers, sheets, pillow cases, and bed clothing for kids.
Now off to Cape Verde to train the new couple there, Elder & Sister Goff.


Elder and Sora Linerud said...

Nice blog entry! We loved our week with you, too!
Come back! Next time we won't get you lost on the Tramvai! Funny how the learning curve accelerates after 7 weeks!

John said...

Bucharest is a great city. I love the architecture there and the hospitality in Bucharest hotels. They offer a wide range of amenities and additional services.
I recommend to everyone who hasn't been in Bucharest to visit this fantastic city.