We’ve made the trip over the “puddle”, through Rome, and to Iasi (pronounced yash, light on the h), Romania. We spent about 30 hours in route, about 10 hours on airport layovers, arriving on Wednesday evening Romanian time. We were greeted by Aurora and her husband Adi at the Iasi airport and taken to a restaurant named Little Texas with an American and Mexican menu. We got a twilight tour of Iasi on the way to the Star of Hope Center for Rehabilitation where we are staying while in Iasi. We were soon asleep and slept for 11 or 12 hours.
In the morning among other things, we were served “mellon” which was very similar to cantaloupe only the fruit is oblong and the meat of the fruit is much closer to while than the orange we’ve come to expect in America.
We were provided a tour of the Star of Hope Center for Rehabilitation, where children and families with disabled children receive therapy and assistance. Prior to the fall of communism, 20 years ago, children with disabilities were taken from their families and institutionalized receiving little care.
Star of Hope is an agent of change in Romania encouraging change for those with disabilities. Chase met and connected with Razvan who has Cerebral Palsy. Chase was pleased to see Razvan beat me in a game of ping pong. We met with speech and physical therapists learning more of what they are treating here at the Center. Later, we met and refined plans for the conference schedule.
In the evening we were able to meet a Christian Roma (Gypsy) family who live about one hour outside of Iasi. They have a daughter who is affected by Down’s Syndrome. Their home is still under construction with help from Star of Hope. They sleep 2-3 to a bed. They were most gracious. Friday we take a longer trip out to a rural area and will spend the night in a home.