Romania 2016 – Day 5

Our final day in Botosani ends as fast as it begins. We distribute any leftover supplies and medication in preparation for the long road home. With only half day on shift we are free to celebrate another successful mission. The team is welcome to a traditional feast at the hospital church by their head priests. The room is abundantly adorned with artifacts of olde time Romania. There the priests bake bread as they have for hundreds of years in a handmade clay oven. The priest reminds us that the traditional meal of polenta would not exist without the colonization of ...

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Romania 2016 – Day 4

On our last full day in Botosani, I shadow Laura and Ken Conde to experience the behind the scenes of what makes the mission possible. At the general hospital we meet with the hospital manager, to pass on our regards. Among the gifts is a small World Series Champion Kansas City Royals baseball bat, a gesture of cultural exchange and appreciation. At the hospital we head to a press conference acknowledging the mission's effort and the relevant government bodies that make this journey happen.   We continue to a day center that provides care and physical rehabili...

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Romania 2016 – Day 3

Our day begins with a team of 12 volunteers visiting the Little Prince Orphanage that houses children of varying mental disabilities. Amidst a presence from local TV anchors and radio journalists, the team builds a plan to scout for prospective patients and facilitate the local staff nurses. After a ten minute briefing the children begin to meet the teams helping hands. The kids are unaccustomed to the amount of activity around them and careful calm words are needed. Many of the children have down syndrome or cerebral palsy, and all have a disability of varying severity. ...

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Romania 2016 – Day 2

The second day of the mission began on a heartfelt note as two month old Karina Maria and her parents Bogdan and Roxana enter the clinic. Young Karina was born with a cleft pallet that local hospitals said could not be fixed until she was 10 months old. The team was confident that now was the opportunity to undergo the procedure as Karina would recover quicker at this age. Karina is the first born child of this couple of three years. They look to Doctor Hechler with worried hopeful eyes, concerned of surgery at such a young age. I could feel for the parents as I stood in ...

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Romania 2016 – Day 1

Midnight of day one the volunteers arrive, concluding two straight days of travel by plane and by bus.  The team is welcomed to Botosani by the sound of traditional Romanian music and the dance of a festive wedding. The bride's mother approaches us and relays that the bride had actually been helped by the Medical Mission Foundation years before. This miraculous coincidence is a living symbol of the lasting impact 15 years of medical aid has had on this community.     After a short rest, the team shrugs off jet lag and the day begins with a ...

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Romania 2015 – Day 4

Why does Medical Missions Foundation come back to Botosani every year?   There's family here. There's need here. There's sweat and tears and joy, along with an array of many other emotions. When the mission comes to Botosani, the town atmosphere changes ever so slightly. People flock to the clinic with their kids and loved ones, sometimes waiting long hours to be seen by one of our American mission volunteers. Nobody leaves empty-handed; some leave with life-changing surgery, others get a physical and vitamins. The Americans reach the end of a mission with ...

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Romania 2015 – Day 3

Romania is one of Europe's former communist countries with a very high number of institutionalized orphans . Botosani county's Child Protection Agency oversees close to 1200 orphans that are placed either in apartments, foster homes or family-style placement. These kids sometimes look at pretty bleak futures if measures are not taken to educate them early in the spirit of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Life in an orphanage is tough, the "every-man-for-himself" mentality setting in at a very early age. "These children are the result of the society we live in, so we have a ...

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Romania 2015 – Day 2

Certain patients we see during the mission stay with us well beyond our leaving Botosani. Last year a tearful and nervous mom of 9 (with one on the way) brought her infant daughter to see Dr. Hechler in hopes that he would be able to fix her cleft palate. The baby's name was Cristina, she had a feeding tube through her mouth, along with a pair of very scared blue eyes that shed tears of frustration at the sight of all the Americans cooing around her. The mom would say "all my children are healthy, I want this one to be healthy too" with tears streaming down her face, ...

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Romania 2015 – Day 1

The team got to the train station safely, loaded the bus, checked in, and grabbed a quick breakfast and set off to work immediately. The luggage truck made it too, so we were set to kickoff this mission.             We walked to the clinic, where a large group of children and some adults were already waiting to be seen by the American doctors. Some of our volunteers walked the 15 minutes to the Children's Hospital admiring churches, people-watching and noticing how much Latin influence Romania has, starting with ...

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Return to Romania – 2015

Each mission has such different surroundings yet the purpose is the same, to find Health for those seeking our support. The Romanian mission is underway and old friends are reconnecting to get to work to help those that have traveled so far to meet with us.   To help you understand where we are, Romania is a central European country known for the forested region of Transylvania, preserved medieval towns such as Sighişoara and many fortified churches and castles, notably clifftop Bran Castle, long associated with the Dracula legend. The area is ringed by the ...

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