I am reporting today from Arad, Romania where I am part of a health mission sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I arrived in Budapest Friday afternoon and took a car shuttle for the 2 and a half our ride.
As in the states, Romania is suffering from drought. Without rain for over two months, the corn stands parched in the fields. The thing I had never seen were the sunflower fields. Past harvest, only the tall stalks were left. Corn is harvested by ear from the field as are the flowers are harvested one by one. Farmers don't till the soil for the following year.
The best way to learn about a country is from its people.
On the way, a Romanian student studying in Denmark, told me about his family, income levels (the average is $300 a month) and his decision to leave Romania. He told me he knew he had to leave his comfort level if he was going to have a different life than that of his parents. He was used to living on very little so he has no problem working two jobs, being involved in student government, and studying marketing. (picture to come...) He was the first one to mention the gypsies.
I arrived in time for dinner. All meals are taken on the patio of a local Romanian SDA member who happens to also be a baker. SDA members are often vegetarians I have learned. All that we will eat is organic and traditional food. (pictures to come...)
Saturday was the Sabbath. Pastor Adrian from Renton SDA gave a sermon. Later we were all called up one at a time to introduce ourselves and to mention what we will be doing for the mission. I will be meeting the mayor of Arad and participating in a press conference. And, I will start the marathon! No, not by running but by signalling the start of the race. (pictures to come...)