1999 Visit Report
One team of 9 members,
Septic tank installed in the school, Flush toilets at last,
New floor in Kindergarten at last, School “rewired” by Romanian electrician.
Big improvements in hospital staff and patients, new doctor appointed for hospital, Mayor so impressed, and he wants us to do it all over again in the next village.
The main task this year was the culmination of several years planning. The intention was to replace the rotting Kindergarten floor with concrete, and replace the 2 holes in the ground (very deep) external toilets with indoor flushing units.
We also wanted to rewire the school completely with new lights, fuse board, wiring and switches.
True to form, there were problems. The lorry carrying all our supplies from England was late.
While waiting, we ripped up the old rotting floor and made the surface ready for the membrane covering. When the supplies did arrive, it was found that we did not have enough membrane. Undeterred we made contact with the village councillor who eventually found some for us.
After a meeting with the Mayor, we managed to get a mechanical digger for the hole housing the septic tank.
Work progressed steadily, punctuated with periodical requests for ballast, sand and cement. We ordered some ready mixed cement for the floor. This proved to be extremely poor quality, with lots of wood and twigs of all things mixed in!
We purchased wood locally, and installed the piping and toilets.
Everybody pitched in when needed, and finally the sewage pipes were linked with the toilets and the tank.
The electrician that we hired was ill, so we hired the hospital “electrician”.
It turned out to be a disaster. Switches were loose and put on the wall sideways, lights were nailed to the ceiling and misaligned. They did all work though and were relatively safe. We decided to bring our own electricians to do the job properly, next year.
We were lucky to have a very experienced team with us this year. Everyone had been before so we set to immediately to get the work done.
Due to the high heat and the physically demanding work, we had to supply copious quantity of liquid to keep us going.
It cost £20 per person for the whole 2 weeks for food and drink, including supplying all the food and drink for a barbecue at the school.
In the hospital, it seemed that more patients were out and about and not so drugged up. As time went on, it was clear that the influence of the new doctor and the OT was having some good effect.
We set up a makeshift bathroom in the downstairs toilet area, and offered personal care to the patients, washing feet, hair and whole bodies. We also offered shaving, chiropody and dressing small wounds. We did this each morning, and spent the afternoon playing games with the patients.
We were glad that Costica was no longer bed bound and appeared to be fully recovered.
On our last day, we had a party for the patients with balloons food and drink. There were more than a few moist eyes on both sides.
A very successful trip, but a very hard one. I think we all felt the strain, and none of us are getting any younger!