Thursday, 29 November 2007

Visit to Bonnie Scotland!

After not managing over to the UK at all this summer we finally found a 10 day gap between visitors to make a visit and catch up with business at the Scottish end of the charity. We had a meeting with our trustees and our Scottish support group as well as appearing at a few other gatherings and meetings.

We were overwhelmed as usual by the kindness and generosity we received while in Scotland. A special treat was being invited to the Girls' Brigade group in Brightons, Falkirk. The girls were so lovely and interested in our work, asking all kinds of relevant questions about the children here in Arad. I was touched to be given a cheque for over £300 by the group.
On our first Sunday we attended our own church, West Glasgow New Church which was great as it allowed us to catch up with many of our friends. On the second Sunday we went to Brightons Parish church in the morning where we were invited to address the children ... Kenneth gave them a practical demonstration of how street children dress and where they find their food (I'll leave that to the imagination!) After church we spoke at the youth fellowship, followed by the church choir who surprised us with the gift of an amazing £1000 from sales of their cd. In the evening we visited Sauchie United Free Church of Scotland and we were touched by the friendliness and warmth of our welcome.

All in all it was a really good visit but over too soon and almost before we knew it we were back in Arad and in the thick of things again. Two visitors from France had arrived in our absence and had done a great job of fending for themselves and keeping Amy and Rosie company. We collected another two visitors at Budapest airport on our way back so the last week has been very busy showing them all around. The morning after our arrival saw the delivery of Christmas shoe boxes from Blythswood Care in Scotland. We have already given out almost 600 boxes to very poor families. Hopefully we are having some more helpers arrive in December to help with this task - we try our best to make sure all the boxes go to the genuinely needy, they really do make a difference (photos next time) so we are very grateful to Blythswood and to all those who make it possible.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

At last ... the promised photos

OK I know it doesn't look that much, the front wall had already been filled with the traditional mud but it will eventually be covered with polystyrene insulation and then rendered. The other walls have wood on the outside and then it's all plasterboard inside with mineral fibre insulation in between the two layers. To finish off, the whole house will be rendered on the outside, but that will now have to wait for Spring as by the time we return the weather will be too cold for plastering.

We are so pleased to have had help from Andrew and co from PCF Romanian Projects, our partner charity and also from Tom Cleary, a youth worker from Liverpool and a couple of his young people. The guys have worked very hard over the past couple of weeks and their hard work is much appreciated by us and by Cornelia and her family.

Cornelia's new house is almost twice the size of her old and the difference between the two could hardly be more marked. Cornelia and her 6 year old daughter Ghisela couldn't hide their excitement - they even have a lovely new concrete floor instead of the mud floor that so many of their neighbours have.

... and finally at one o'clock in the morning on Wednesday night/Thursday morning Cornelia was handed the keys to her new home! (The door was on our living room last night!!!) Kenneth and I left for the UK early this morning and the team left later today. We are in Scotland for 12 days, mainly to discuss future plans with our Scottish "branch" and to speak at a few meetings but also hopefully to fit in some paid teaching work along the way.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

New house almost ready to move in.

Due to technical difficulties no photos yet, but some will come soon! The new house is looking good ... it wouldn't pass building regulations (though it is very solid) and is literally only one room but compared to others in the area it looks wonderful. Cornelia is now telling her neighbours that she will have the best house in the area ... her roof is certainly something to be seen as all the others are made up of a variety of bits and pieces. The children are also excited at the prospect of moving into the new house.