This week, we visited Cluj, a city in northern Romania about the size of Spokane. We took the day train for 9 hours and thrilled with the views of the frozen countryside. It was our pleasure to visit with three groups (NGO's as we call them--Non-Governmental Organizations). The first visit was to a boarding school for 4 through 10 year old disadvantaged children. Think about that.
Twenty years ago when Communism was overthrown here, some landowners were lucky enough to be given back the land that had been previously taken away. The land where this school sits belongs to a kind old man who wanted to make a difference in the lives of children in villages. He built a school and now about 60 children live here, going home on weekends and holidays. They are from poor families who gladly give them up so they can have a hot meal, a clean bed and an education. The children were so young and all I could think of was our own grandchildren and how they would feel leaving their homes. As we rode home on the train we talked to a friend who shared our cabin and she said she went to a boarding school when she was 6 because her parents were poor and...she cried every night. This is Romania.
I tried a new trick in this posting...a slide show. You will see pictures of quilts and wonder why. This school received part of a shipment from Salt Lake City giving them school kits, hygiene kits and quilts. Mormon women make these quilts! If one looks familiar to you, you probably tied it! Thank you! Romanian winters are brutal! This week the temperatures are below zero.