1992 Visit Report
Many of this years team had been before, but several had not. Responses to initial planning requests in Romania were slow to come through, and ultimately it was decided this year, the project would be aimed at the psychiatric hospital in Timisu de Sus, rather than Mina-1-Mai.
Two teams went out, 13 in the first and 11 in the second. Each team spent two weeks in Romania, and consisted of builders, electricians, general nurses, nursery nurses, teachers and ministers.
The van was driven by three members of the first team and picked up Romanian bibles in Debrecen in Hungary on the way. The van contained all the building materials needed for the work at Timisu de Sus and the children's materials. Also on board were food and other necessities and the many gifts collected by the churches in the UK. A second truck went later taking the winter clothing and blankets so generously given.
The rest of the team flew out to save time travelling, increasing working time. Tarom airlines had difficulties with bookings and it took some skillful manouevering to get the team airborne, but everyone arrived safely.
The first team spent most of their time at the hospital and installed many of the showers and hot water systems. They also did some painting. The weather wasn't kind so there was less opportunity for the carers to work with the village children at Mina-1-Mai. The second team was able to continue the work at the hospital installing more hot water systems and tiling the the toilet and shower areas. A lot of painting was also done in these areas and the landings.
Our psychiatric nurse made contacts with other hospitals including the one in Mina-1-Mai and hopefully these will lead to further help being given. The special needs headmistress visited a number of special schools for children with handicaps. She worked with Downs Syndrome children at the Sunshine School. Again contacts have been made.
The expected hotel accommodation was not possible when we arrived. Work permits are no longer available to us nor were the special rates that went with them. The hotel had only one rate of charge left to offer us - European Tourist at £50 per night for a double room !! Since this was out of the question, emergency arrangements were made for us to stay at Joshua House, a hostel owned by an American Church.
So what stood out during the visit ?
The three van drivers arriving late at night to find the hotel accommodation was beyond their finances, and the hospitality of the members of the Hungarian Baptist church who put them up for the night
Using a 'loo' with no door and making sure you showered at the appropriate 'girls' or 'boys' time.
The poor social and leisure amenities of the Timisu de Sus hospital.
Patients enthusiastically painting doors ,and their delight at the improvements made.
Watching Downs Syndrome children playing at the Sunshine school, and the pride with which we were shown around the school.
The smile on the old lady's face as she realised all the sewing silks in the bag were for her.
The patient who went and got a hat given the year before when he recognised the carer who had given it to him.
Children enjoying simple activities and the Noah's Ark frieze they made.
The children's pride as they showed us their beautifully decorated Orthodox Church, and the concern of the Pastor for his flock as he talked to us while out potato picking.
Sharing a thank you meal with the Chief Psychiatrist and the maintenance man.