Several of the church members fed us. This couple didn't even know we were coming, but went home right after church and made us a meal.
This was a special meal. We were really drawn to this family when we visited four years ago. Then two years ago, their daughter came to England for a fortnight and we were privileged to host her for an evening. On this night the mom made a Romanian specialty of minced meat wrapped in cabbage. I've had similar things in other parts of the world, but never as lovely as this. *sigh*
Another one of the sweet ladies from the church cooking another delicacy...tripe soup. (It was actually very good.)
On our first trip to Romania, Jewel was two. She took and immediate love to "Sister Maria" from the church. Maria would come get her and take her who knows where! Jewel was in many more homes than we were. While we were there, Maria was watching her granddaughter (also 2) while her daughter was having a baby. A boy. This trip, Maria was watching that baby boy, now 4, while her daugher had another baby! Here is a picture of my girls with Maria and the "baby". The girls loved playing with the grandson...but mostly they loved being doted on by Maria.
Maria also made the most amazing pastries, cookies and doughnuts for us!
Here are all the little kids (and one big kid) playing in the church yard!
This pastor hitchhikes 15 miles to his churches every week in addition to working in the prison during the week.
One of the families that touched my heart the first trip lived in part of a railroad building. They are actually squatters in the building, and have been for five years. They live in hope that they will someday be allowed to rent it legally, but it is unlikely. Here is the building.
They do not live in the entire building. They live in the two rooms that make up the front, single story level. The rest of the building is condemned. The two rooms would easily fit inside my living room. There is no toilet, running water, etc in the building. SEVEN people live in these two rooms. And I complain about what I have!
We had so many "only in Romania" moments. On this evening, we were traveling home about 10:30 p.m. We saw what looked like a light on a bicycle coming toward us. It was flashing for us to stop. Jeep or bicycle? Who should have the right away? But then we got closer. This is what we saw.
They were moving sheep from pasture to pasture. There were probably 50 of them on the road, with a shepherd leading and a shepherd at the back. They had us turn off the jeep so as not to scare the sheep and then they herded them around us and on down the road. The rest of the trip, the girls job was to watch for sheep!
Some more animals on the road!
Most of the people around this area buy second hand clothing. It is brought in by the truckload from Germany and other surrounding countries. A common morning sight was watching the ladies sort through the clothes.
Here are a few images of rural life as well!
selling onions and garlic by the road
grapes in the garden, notice the well for water
pumpkin growing on trellis
transportation (that is a car that the cow is in!)
four generations living together
cows going home at the end of the day
The Roma, or gypsies, have a very definitive caste system which amazed me. "Rich" gypsies and "poor" gypsies would live side-by-side, and apparently have nothing to do with one another because of social standing. Here are some of their homes. Can you tell which is rich and which is poor?