Clint and I left this past week for Romania. First, I feel like I need to answer just a couple questions that have come up. Yes, Clint and I pay for transportation to and from Romania, plus lodging and our own food - all of the donated money from you goes towards the cause. We like to visit a country in Europe each time we come to Romania since we fly so far to get there. So, please don't forget that 100% of your donations are going to this cause and that Clint and I take care of all the expenses when it comes to the trip.
Why Romania? Well, Clint served an LDS mission there for two years back in 1999-2001, so he grew to appreciate and love these people. No, we do not proselyte while we are in Romania. We are just trying to help those in need and because of our faith in Jesus Christ, we are trying to follow His example of loving His children.
We do donate locally in our own hometown. Please don't think that we are leaving the people in need of our own community alone. Romania is just something we like to do in addition to our local charities. I hope that answers all of your questions.
It was a beautiful day when we left. I love clouds and flying above them was a treat. We spent a whole day and a half in airports and flying, if you know me - it is so hard for me to fly. But, I am happy to say that I made it just fine.
We arrived in Romania in the evening and we got right to work. We went to the grocery store and started off by buying rice, beans, sugar and oil. It ended up being a late night, but it was so great.
The next morning was foggy and grey, but we got an early start and headed back to the grocery store to purchase more food.
The above picture is a small portion of what we bought. We were able to do a lot more this year as far as food because of your donations, and were able to leave a lot of food with Gica to continue handing out for a couple weeks afterwards. It really was amazing to be a part of this and we thank you for your help.
This is Gica and the boys who work with him for the Archway Foundation. We sponsor them. Gica spends his days trying to help orphans get identifications. It is hard because you have to have an identification to get a job and you have to have a place of residency to get an identification. When you live on the streets, it is really difficult to get these two things taken care of. Gica is a good man who is trying so hard to help the homeless people in Bucharest by helping with identifications and trying to find jobs. In the picture above, the bags are full with rice, beans, potatoes, milk, oil, salami, ham, butter, chocolate, juice, tuna, crackers and more!! We also gave toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap. Much more was left with Gica to continue handing out.
The first area we visited was so humbling. There were about 15 families living in the same area, they constructed make shift homes about the size of my bathroom. Those we visit are street orphans who have started having kids of their own. There are 4-8 kids living with adults in a small room with one bed. They were so grateful for the food. It is also amazing to see how resilient the kids are, they are so sweet and happy. Gica also spends time taking donated clothing to all of these people.
We visited a woman who is taking care of her three grandchildren whose mother abandoned them. She was a sweet woman and the kids were adorable. The little boy in the picture is cross-eyed and needs to see a doctor. I am sure it is something that could be easily fixed, but they don't have the means to get him to a doctor.
This little girl was so darling.
The grandmother gave me three flowers. It was the sweetest thing I have ever experienced because she would normally try to sell these flowers to make a little money. It really was an amazing and wonderful experience.
Clint is going to put together a video with more about our trip. It is hard to put it all in one post. Thanks again for your support.
The country we chose to visit between our layovers this year is Spain. I will share more of that trip with you later. Have a wonderful day everyone!