My Time in Romania

My last visit was at New Year’s and I was very excited about meeting the children that I had met during that visit.  Unforuntunately one of the little Angels that I really loved, Floricica, had passed away which made me very sad, but I kept being reminded by Sister Mary Aloysius that he was in heaven like the other little Angels who had passed on during her 18 years in Bucharest. I felt humbled and strengthened by her faith which helped make my own stronger.  In fact this visit to Romania really made my faith stronger.  It was so good to see first hand the love and devotion that the staff at the Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital gave to the children and the care that went into looking after their wellbeing. 

Children at 'Nazareth'

It was lovely being in Bucharest this time during the summer when the weather was so warm and being able to spend time with some of the children out in their new playground, which had been transported from Ireland!  I could see the enjoyment the children were having from their new play area and I kept being reminded of my own childhood when I loved going to the palyground.

We spent an afternoon at ‘Nazareth, which was a wonderful experience.  I absolutely adore the boys there and we took loads of photographs and the boys shared their talents with us in song, dance, poetry and much more, they are such talented boys and are a real inspiration.  They are doing so well with having that opportunity of growing up with such a caring family.  The following morning we spent with Rita Tudor and went to visit three of the elderly ladies who benefitted from the ‘Meals on Wheels programme. There was Rose, Mrs. Handegel and Grandma whose 18 year old grandson was living with her.  All of these ladies I felt were very proud but really needed the help that was being given to them.  I was so glad to hear that they not only got food from the Lawside Romania Project but also had a visitor one day a week.  It must be so lonely being on your own as an elderly person and it must be lovely to feel that you will have company at some stage during the week. 

Abandoned children

Lawside Romania Project and the abandoned children

After two visits to Bucharest and spending time at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital and with the children at ‘Nazareth‘ and the elderly ladies we visited I cannot wait to go back. It has a very special place in my heart and will do forever and I will try to make at least a yearly visit.  I feel a little sad being back in my comfortable home and having visited my parents today, who have always been so dear to me throughout my life, and then thinking about those children who have been abandoned by their parents and not had that experience. 

However, I feel grateful that I am able to go there and give, like others, some love and time and I know from being there that they are being so well looked after by the staff at the Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital and are very dearly loved.

Barbara McAteer


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