Well, after waiting weeks and months we landed in Bucharest yesterday (Monday). Flight at 8.00 a.m. landed at 1.00 p.m. their time (2 hour time difference). Bit of a bumpy landing but apart from that it was a decent flight. However I was sitting next to mr Huffy-Puffy ! Whatever happened he let out an exasperated sigh and this to be every 10 minutes. I nearly asked him if was having breathing difficulties, when I realised it was probably because he couldn’t see out the window and was bored !! We then had a four hour drive to Poiana Constanta along some very bouncy roads and avoiding many potholes. It was certainly an experience and made the incoming flight feel quite smooth.
First impressions of Romania is of a dry dusty country where there are many empty derelict buildings left to rot alongside new building work going up.
The family we are staying with are a fantastic group. Read about them on www.standrewsonline.co.uk (links). They have been so welcoming and hospitable, its remarkable. They’ve simply handed their house over to nine of us, only three of whom they’ve met before, and made us feel so at home. Frustratingly this computer I’ve borrowed is over seven years old and is slowing their work up enormously. I wonder if we could raise the money to get them a new one or a laptop, so that they have more time to work amongst the street children ?
Tuesday. Done the tourist bit today, going into the local town and visiting the wooden Church which had a Romanian Orthodox service taking place. Beautiful Church made entirely out of wood. However, the approach to it was spoilt by the number of children begging for money, and we’ve even got a photograph of Sam, Heather and myself with a begging child on it because he refused to move away. The really sad thing is that these children are begging and taking the cash back to men sitting elsewhere. Its a real scam which means that those in genuine need are not getting the help they deserve.
Afterwards we went to the beach and relaxed in the gorgeous sun, and `plodging` (paddling to the non-Geordie’s) in the Black Sea. It was beautiful, relaxing and peaceful. We had lunch in local restaurant and stopped off at Carrefours for shopping. The contrast of what we’ve experienced today, especially in the Carrefours shopping mall, and what we’ve already seen en-route is quite severe. Here, the well off really do seem to live cheek by jowl with the poor.
Feel quite humbled already.