1998 Visit Report


15 members travelled to Romania.

EEG machine purchased and delivered to Vulcan Hospital. 7.5 ton truck delivered equipment.

120 sets of clothes delivered, Septic tank delivered for school. 300 Christmas gifts for the patients collected and delivered.

Dentist up and running.  

Boiler commissioned.  

School tables purchased to match the chairs delivered last year.

Introduced “Safe From Harm” policy.

Spring Survey

Rated as a success by the people travelling, and was extremely busy.

The team noted that the boiler was up and running.

The team visited the school, village and several hospitals in the area, and was entertained by several people. Although this sounds easy, it must be noted that a great deal is achieved through formal gatherings.

The team noted problems with the washing machine, and potential work for the summer teams. There was a reported increase in OT units, but noticed that the patients “rabbits” had been stolen!

At a meeting with the staff at the hospital, a request was made for new uniforms, any colour but brown!

After a meeting with the Mayor and the school director, the go ahead was given for the septic tank to be installed, along with 2 flushing toilets. Progress at last!

The team attempted to make contact with the dentist Dr Popa, but to no avail.

Summer Teams

Bert Colgrave and Larry Bohanna drove the 7.5 ton truck all the way to Romania. The trip was relatively uneventful until they arrived at the Romanian border. They were refused entry after finding that they did not have the right Fiscal numbers.

They had to stay the night in a nearby “Hotel” costing about £2.50. They stated that it was about the right price for what they got. The delay lasted 2 days and £90 to finally get the clearance from customs.

The first team concentrated on patient care, playing with the village children, and measurement taking of the school which became a full survey.

There was a meeting with Dr G who requested exercise machines for the patients?

On a serious note, team members witnessed many instances of bullying and violence. This was very upsetting, and a decision was made to inform Dr G.

The team noted that much improvement was made at other hospitals, but none at Vulcan.

The second team travelled by air, and hired a car from the airport. They carried on the work started by the first team, and transformed the school kindergarten, complete with new tables and chairs.

The team had several meetings with Dr G and Dr Popa, and finally reached accord on the dentist service for patients. There is a real need as so many of the patients complain of toothache.

There was plenty of outdoor activities with the patients along with some music sessions.

Work was done with the children although it was delayed until early evening due to the high temperatures.

Autumn Trip

The team travelled in a mini bus with most of the seats removed for aid.

The trip was uneventful apart from 2 incidents.

Firstly we were denied crossing at the border, even though our paperwork stated that we must cross here. They stated that we must pay some money to cross.

As the next border was 50 miles away with no guarantee of crossing we duly paid up the $30 they wanted.

The second incident was much more serious.

In Romania, we were approaching Sibiu. All streetlights were off, and it was foggy and raining. Suddenly a horse and cart loomed up around 50 feet in front, no lights at all. We swerved to avoid this cart. Suddenly a red Dacia drew alongside. They were policemen signalling us to stop.

They aggressively informed us that we were driving dangerously and proceeded to fine us 1,600,00 Lei. They said we would have to pay the equivalent which was about $110. Due to their aggressiveness and the fact that they were armed, we paid the fine. They stated that Alan who was driving was banned from driving in Romania, and then escorted us out of town.

When we arrived in Brasov, we reported the incident, and were told that they were not real policeman, and were robbing us, and the amount is usually associated with killing someone!

We were invited to Sibiu to talk with the police there, but there was no possibility as time was short.

The team were again delayed at the customs in Brasov, and demanded the usual sweeteners to hurry up! What a place, everybody is poor and tries to get what they can when they can!

The rest of the trip was successful. We instructed the hospital in the use of the EEG machine, and delivered Christmas presents.

The team was saddened to find a patient “Costica” who was a great character who worked with the team, had fallen ill. It was sad to see that he was receiving no care at all by the hospital and just assumed that he was dying. They did not see the purpose of wasting time on him.

We immediately arranged some care for him, and left some money with a trusted patient to make sure he had food and water with some fruit. I am pleased to report that he survived.