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has served Vurpar well since the 1937.
of Scoala Generala Vurpar.
The kids are
as respectful as you could ever hope for. The children all greeted
us politely and expressed appreciation for the little that we were
doing to help them along. Classroom demeanor was a model of discipline.
Our next stop
was in the very poor minority area on the edge of Vurpar. We were
greeted by scores of excited and laughing children, and proud, respectful
The gypsy minority
makes up a growing percentage of the village and is beginning to
exercise political muscle through the ballot box.
got to the dispensary where we delivered medical supplies to the
clinic. One of two village medics, the mayor, Mihail Lienerth, Simon
Dragan and his brother gathered to open the boxes. There is need
for most medicine and basic medical supplies.
Much of what
was supplied from Fort Wayne was equipment. Stethoscopes, blood
pressure monitors, diabetes testing equipment etc.
eight hundred years the Germans have been a part of the life of
Vurpar, or Burgberg as they call it. Here is a wall "scape"
announces the names of the owners of this house, Petrus and Sofia
Sontag. during the communist era Ceausescu ransomed Germans to
West Germany. Many left. After Ceausescu was out of power the remaining
majority packed and left as soon as they could. Now, few Saxons
remain in Transylvania.
of the old German Saxon church sees services once monthly for the
40 to 60 Sasi (the Romanian word for Saxons). (Kirche) The Romanians
have a habit of displaying the date of the latest renovation on
the outside of their buildings, so edifices which may date back
two hundred years or more may proudly display the year 1978 on a
In our travels we visited an abandoned collective farm guarded by
a lone woman and her dog. The German church overlooks the scene
and the farm is surrounded by groves and groves of cherry, apple
and plum trees. It was said to have once been very productive and
We also visited
the newly established sauna factory of Helmut Michaelis who employs
seven or eight people from Vurpar.
And, we were
treated to a girl's choir singing traditional folk songs during
the Sunday service at the church.
as older women tended the graves of their loved ones.
Down the road
from Vurpar is Tichindeal where a gypsy boy contemplates passing
Here is Simon
with his aunt, "Matusa," on the left and her friends.
as old as Vurpar. The church has seen a thousand weddings and so
many burials. The church and school has a new coat of paint thanks
to Mr. Albert, a newcomer to town.
Hand crafts are still a pride and a source of decorative utility.
And the cows
do come home. You've heard the saying, "I was out till the
cows came home." Here that means about 7pm each summer night.
They herd ambles down from pasture, utters filled with milk, aching
Each cow has
a well-worn path and, being simple creatures, they follow the course.
So, if your car is parked a bit into the street, as was ours, the
passing herd might knock off a rear-view mirror, might smash the
side in, or more.
The Romanian countryside is gorgeous. It is lush green, uncluttered
and rolls from Vurpar to the base of the majestic Carpathians. The
memorial is to Romanian soldiers who died in World War I defending
their country from Germans, Russians, Turks and others. Romanian
has natural resources in abundance, plenty of crop land and great
water resources. So, for the last couple thousand years Romania
has been the battle ground of East Europe. No wonder they have problems
with the economic and political growth.
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