Friday, October 5, 2012

A Whirlwind Wind Up

For our final blog about our mission, here are highlights of our last two weeks in Romania. Every semester,  a few students from BYU in Utah come and volunteer at a hospital and orphanage in the city of Iasi. Mario is the local director of the project. She kindly arranged for us to meet people here for possible future projects:

We talked to the Director of Social Services and...

the Director of Child Protective Services, discussing the kind of projects we might collaborate on and exchanged contact information.

Mario took us to the village of Costesti, where she was born and raised.

We talked to the mayor about a possible water project....

and the school principal about ways we could help there.

Mario recommended this lovely restaurant.

The food was delicious after a very full day.

The decor was delightful too.

On our way back to Bucharest, we stopped in to Marasesti to see the beautiful new social/medical facility where we had donated a washer and dryer among other things.

Children in beautiful traditional costumes performed at the grand opening.

We admired the nicely appointed activity room on the Kids Klub side where we had donated various items.

We checked out the laundry room on the medical clinic side...

to see the appliances we donated  hooked up and ready for use.

Then we sat down with Rodica, the branch director of the Red Cross and the driving force behind this project, and the deputy Mayor, to discuss a possible water project for this town.


Humanitarian Services replaced our office computer with a new laptop, so, with their permission, we donated the old one to Gabi - a member of the church who is crippled and is trying to find employment.  All the paperwork is signed.

Gabi is excited to have her own computer.


We were asked to participate in an Open House held at the church in Ploiesti.  We set up a room with displays on the many humanitarian projects the church has done in Romania.  Branch President Pasare speaks to the media about the Church.

With lots of practice beforehand, Vicky did a Powerpoint presentation in Romanian!

Our friend Mirela - Motivation Romania's team leader in Ploiesti was invited to talk about the work they do in this city in collaboration with Humanitarian Services.

A choir of missionaries and local young adults performed.

Mission President Hill spoke to the audience before all were invited to tour the building and view the displays on family history, humanitarian services, and other church programs.  The event was well attended and we were glad to have been a part of it.


We had to move out of our apartment to make way for our replacements.  Fortunately, our landlord had another apartment within a few blocks that he said he would rent to us for the last 2 weeks of our mission.    So we cleaned up the old one and moved to the new one.  It was furnished with some lovely antique pieces that the landlord had inherited from his grandfather.

Here is a view of the entry and the antique piano that greets you when you walk in.

There was a simple little table and chairs but the pieces behind were lovely.

The kitchen was almost an after thought with the stove and sink installed on a closed in balcony.

Not much room for food preparation here!

The living room was comfortable...

as was the bedroom with more interesting furniture pieces.

The bathroom/laundry room completed the accommodations.  We were grateful to our landlord for letting us stay here. Now it was time to pick up our replacements.

The Francom's are from Idaho and are on their second humanitarian mission. They will be great!

Our busy itinerary with the Francom's started off with a wheelchair distribution in Craiova.

Media and government officials were also in attendance.

Randy, Cristian Ispas from MR, and President Spooner all addressed the group. President Spooner is the  branch president of the church in Craiova and also the head of Ford.  Craiova has a large Ford factory with about 4,500 employees.

Motivation Romania's peer trainer helped recipients learn to maneuver in their new wheelchairs.

Young missionaries mingled with the group and helped wherever needed. Another great event and a good introduction for the Francom's.


We took Francom's to Motivation Romania's offices to meet Cristian and have a tour of their facility. Wasting no time, Cristian and Francom's initiated a new wheelchair project.


Next we drove out west to Hunedoara to initiate our project with Estera to provide school supplies to poor children there. With help of a wonderful lady, a representative of BIC who happened to be in the store at the time, we managed to find everything we needed to help 60 kids. 

Our next stop was city hall - the Mayor wanted to meet us and learn more about what we were doing. A television reporter and cameraman were there to do an article for the evening news show.

Estera explained to the Mayor about her organization and its goals and purposes.  She talked about our collaboration with her to accomplish those goals. The reporter interview all of us so we could talk about the good things the Church is doing.

 The Mayor then examined all the supplies that were being donated to the children,

The Mayor presented us with a thank-you gift.

A group photo...

Then everyone, including the mayor, pitched in to unload the supplies into a storage room at city hall until the day they would be distributed.

Estera sent us photos of the distribution day.  We were pleased to see young missionaries there to represent the Church. Again the Mayor was front and center.

We have been to this family's home and met these kids. We have high hopes that their lives will be better with another year of school under their belts and are grateful that we had a part in making it a possibility for them.


Keeping the Francom's hopping, we travelled east to Constanta on the Black Sea to meet Paul Davies and one of the families to whom we gave goats and chickens.

One of the boys brought out the chickens to show us. Paul will continue to give the Francom's reports on how the project is going.  From what this family told us, it has been a true blessing to them.


Maintaining a fast-paced schedule, we travelled to Marasesti, to introduce the Francom's to the city engineer and to discuss the water project they are proposing. 

A tour of the streets that would be benefitted was helpful.

Our hearts went out to the families who live without running water here.  You can see the stove outside against the house and a bed because there is not enough room in the house.  Little wonder our partner, Rodica, from the Red Cross works so hard to make their lives better! We hope this project gets approved.


In our last night in Romania, Motivation Romania hosted a barbecue in our honor.

Volunteers and staff who we have come to think of as friends gathered and prepared a delicious meal.

Cristian reminded everyone of the people we have helped in our collaborations.

He presented us with a collage of photos representing some of the highlights of our work together.

A little choked up, we expressed how grateful we were to know these fine people and to have had the privilege to work with them.

The people and scenes of Romania have been etched deep in our memories and will remain in our hearts forever.