I have had a longstanding curiosity about eastern Europe.
It was Christmas, 1989, when the Romanian dictatorship toppled. The entire
world watched as Romania began to ascend from 45 years of Communism. My
fascination with this emerging country compelled me to find a way to see this third world country.
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After many inquiries, we found a group that would take us in to Romania
in 1992. Four of us from Northeastern Oregon
(my husband, Dave; our daughter, Tia; a friend, Arnette; and I) joined up
with a small Seattle-based group to venture half-way around the world.
Our assignment was to work at an orphanage in
a village in central Romania.
We found ourselves essentially 'abandoned' at the orphanage, without
language skills nor an interpreter. We were forced to become quickly acquainted
with the village peasants, the transportation system, the culture and the
language. We managed. Dave and Arnett loved the work at the girls orphanage.
Tia and I found we could be more useful in the community.
When we went home that summer, we knew we must return.
Our family members have made a total of nineteen trips
to Romania in 10 years, staying from 10 days to 2 months. On our first
trip, we were forced to learn quickly; we now manage fairly well by ourselves
in that very foreign culture. Dave loves children, and they adore him. He
plays sports, games, and exercises with them; he lets them practice their
English on him; and he leads Bible studies with the help of an interpreter.
Together we have had the privilege of spending hours at an old-folks' home
in a remote village, and bringing smiles to sick children in children's
hospitals. My time is also spent working with adults and working in the
backgroune, learning the culture & the language, and facilitating arrangements
& provisions for our work there.
It seems that every time we return home from abroad, a larger portion
of our heart stays in Romania. We intend to continue to go to Romania as
opportunities unfold, working in whatever ways we
can be useful.