Monday, May 12, 2014

Romania thru the Powell's Eyes

Elder and Sis. Powell are the senior couple that just finished their mission in Romania. I hope to meet them someday to thank them for watching over my son and loving him while they were serving in Brasov. I am going to miss the blog posts from this sweet couple. 
Here are a few pictures with captions from their blog that give a glimpse into a little bit of Romania.

The streets in Romania are typical narrow European streets. 
Sometimes they look scary at night but we have always felt safe.
We traveled out to a small town called Hoghiz (about a 2 hr drive north of Brasov)
to find a member that had just moved there from Rome, Italy.
Snow removal is not a high priority. The main roads get plowed eventually but they don't seem to have a lot of snow removal equipment. We noticed the city workers using a "claw" to try and remove some of the piles of snow.
It didn't work so well - very little snow actually made it into the dump truck.
The "claw" works great to pick up scrap metal -- not so good for snow removal.
We have noticed this fellow walking in different places all over the Brasov valley. 
We have never talked to him but he is always dressed completely in black - we call him Elvis.
The sidewalks don't get shoveled. 
A lot of the parents pull their little toddlers on sleds since it is so hard for them to walk in the snow.
This is the portable font that the church uses in their rented buildings.
One of the [humanitarian] projects…was a request we made to help this family build pig pens so that they can breed pigs.  There are 5 families (21 people) living in this home and they all work together trying to survive.  They are recent converts to the church and we have grown to love them.
We have passed this piece of art several times in our travels thru Onesti and finally stopped to take a picture of it.  It is made out of welded steel forming two trees but the branches create a face.  Elder Powell loves it.
This is a sculpture of a lady kneeling before the Mother Mary which is typical of the predominant religion here.  They seem to focus more on the Mother Mary than they do on the Savior.
March 1st is the Romanian holiday called Martisor. It is a celebration of the coming of spring and new life. One of our members explained the tradition to us. It is for both men and women to pin a red and white string on their clothing over their heart and wear it through the month of March. At the end of March, they tie the string around a branch of a fruit tree. The belief is that you will then enjoy good health through the coming year.
For the past year, we have seen these balls of growth in the trees and we thought they were bird nests.  We found out that they are actually mistletoe. Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that attaches itself to other plants.
The entire neighborhood has to carry their drinking water from a well back to their homes.
So many of the people pull little wagons or carts like this to carry their groceries, etc back to their homes.
It's spring and everyone is out working in their fields preparing and planting.
So much of it is done by hand. They work so hard.
They are doing lots of pruning and tying up the vines. The weather has been very mild and everything is starting to grow. 
The Romanians love the storks but occasionally, the storks cause problems by building their nests on top of their chimneys. We thought about Pres. Kimball's story years ago in England about "Storks in the Chimney".
We have seen this fellow walking all over the Brasov area. Sister Powell finally stopped him and asked him if we could take his picture. We told him he reminded us of 'Elvis' and he said "NO,  I'm Sylvester Stallone". He was very friendly and we enjoyed visiting with him - he was excited to practice his English and loves America.
Along the way we took some pictures of houses. They love to use bright colors.

The Gypsies are one of the ethnic groups in Romania. We often see them in colorful long skirts.

It's spring and the countryside is beautiful. The canola fields are in full bloom and everything is so green.
Sister Powell

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