on Our Trip to Romania
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We had three
purposes in mind when we left Fort Wayne May 17, 2000 en route to
Vurpar: to deliver medical aide, to make arrangements for the visit
of the Indiana Lions Club in August and to observe the changes in
Thanks to various
organizations and people we were able to take approximately 250
Lbs. of medical supplies to the village. Friends at Whitley Manufacturing
Co., Inc. in Fort Wayne, www.whitleyman.com,
helped us package the bulky containers for the trip.
we were welcomed by members of the Romanian church and representatives
and driven north-west to Sibiu with in a vehicle bulging with boxes
and two very tired travelers.
After a night
in Sibiu we drove to Vurpar in the morning carrying the boxes of
supplies and other items for the village. In the summer Vurpar is
lush and green, surrounded by miles and miles of fallow ground,
some of it used for grazing, much of it simply idle.
base in the village was the home of Emil and Rodica Dragan.
The home is
an old-style farmstead. The big house, the summer kitchen, the barn
and a variety of smaller buildings all surround a central court
yard forming a sort of walled citadel. Chickens and hogs are raised
in pens within the court yard. Grain is stored, wood chopped, bread
made. On the other side of the barn is a garden where cabbage, tomatoes,
onions and many other vegetables are raised.
The first few
days we visited old friends in Vurpar and Sibiu.
a couple days after we arrived we took part in a village wedding
at Sf. Gheorghe Romanian Orthodox Church. The ceremony was proceeded
by a parade through the village. A bearer bobbed a wedding standard
up and down, Romanian folk music echoed through the village from
an accordion and a saxophone, and a string of celebrants followed
We went on to
the ceremony at the church where incense and candles burned in the
By the way,
Romanian village wedding receptions last two and three days. In
a rather poor country the priority is still on hospitality and paying
the appropriate respect. Vast amounts of food and drink landed frequently
on the long tables.
with the Mayor
fox trots, sambas, jitterbug and waltz, punctuated the whirling,
dynamic area folk dances. It seemed everyone had come to a cast-party
after the opening of a successful Broadway musical. They were simply
that good. People could dance.
the kids enjoyed themselves outside the wedding hall.
And at four
in the morning people were still dancing. The crowd had thinned,
but the music blared on and the pace was just as energetic.
from the two day marathon wedding we went to Vurpar Scoala Generala,
the grade school in the village. We met the kids and staff of the