So, here they are, the photos I took while visiting Romania and Moldova. The first set are from Moldova. Our first day in the country we visited a little village. Each village or town always has a crucifix of some sort set up as you enter, and so I took a picture of the one tha welcomed us to this little corner of the world. The food is the meal we were served while we visited.
You will also find a photo here of me with Leila, a new friend I met through Leona Bergstrom in Seattle. Leila works for Dorcas International and her husband is a missionary pastor who helps start churches in villages. Our meeting with her was by far one of the best. She was so sweet and humble, but really knew what she was talking about. It is so aparent she has a heart for the poor.
Chisinau is the capitol city of Moldova. It's streets are graced with trees that frame old buildings and beautiful architecture. I took some photos of buildings that caught my eye, both exteriors and interiors.
The city also boasts beautiful iron work and so I took a few photos of a fence that was near a bus stop where we were waiting to meet someone. The men in the photo are David Chronic and John Koon.
At one of the orphanges we visited I discovered an old Baldwin upright, so I took a picture of it in honor of my dad. For those of you who don't know, my dad and grandpa sold Baldwin pianos and organs for many years. This exact piano was one I was really familiar with as my dad sold many of them to Redlands Christian School where I attended.
Unfortunately, and I really don't know what I was thinking, I didn't take any pictures of Galati. I'm shaking my head at myself right now...But, I did get to see a bit of Bucharest before I left and so you'll find them here.
The enormous building is the People's Palace and was built under the communist dictator Chauciscu (I know I spelled that incorrectly, but hopefully you know who I'm talking about). It is one of the largest buildings in the world, second only to the Pentagon (!...you can imagine what I think about that). The road leading up to it is flanked with trees and fountains on all sides. Besides the trees are more enormous white buildings that look sort of Greek and seem to be mostly used as apartments and retail. When the dictator wanted to build this whole square, he plowed down old living spaces and I guess left 10's of thousands of people homeless in order to do it. It also cost kajillions of dollars to build, was never fully used, and left the country even more destitute. Still, he called it the "people's palace" like any good communist would. It truly is a beautiful setting and yet is shadowed by a sort of sadness that points to a time when the individual was forgotten in favor of the collective good...or at least what one man said was the collective good.
Bucharest had a huge French influence at one time, and so the last place I visited was modeled after the Arch de Triumphe in Paris. (I think maybe I spelled that incorrectly also...sorry).
And there you have it, my trip in a few photos.
I was able to squeeze out a poem during the trip...something that has grown almost as foreign to me as Romania itself. You'll find it below the collage.
Thanks to so many of you who remembered me in your prayers and for your kind thoughts and words via the blog, facebook, or email. I look forward to talking with you soon.
I Can't Do Anything with this Dark
It's a quarter to 4 a.m.
And I can't do anything with this dark,
sleep, read, pray.
I can see only as far as the bus headlights illuminate,
along a bumpy Moldovan road,
On my way to Chisinau for clarification
or further vision.
My fellow travelers sleep
and I am asleep-awake in the twilight
world of jetlag.
This road leads past the lives of the living poor
whose barren vineyards are eery shadows-
appartitions who trail us, me, mile after mile
in this dark,
and I can't do anything
A fog settles in and not even headlights
are enought to cut through what I cannot see,
along a bumpy Moldovan road
on my way to Chisinau.
The fog breaks
The bumps increase,
We turn a corner
and I find I still can't do anything with this dark.
We pass a man walking in the night
and I wonder where he is going all alone,
so late, so early, without a light.
Perhaps he knows what to do with the dark,
and that is nothing more than go straight.
"Go straight," I hear him say as we speed by,
Our lights catching his eyes reflection,
illuminating. "Go straight," he whispers.
I catch a gleam of his life, and
breathe deeply the beauty of this,
a night when I could do nothing.