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More Travels, the Travails Not Mine 
Feb. 9, 2013 7:02 am 
Updated: Feb. 9, 2013 7:22 pm
I would prefer to keep things light on this blog, but occasionally a comment or another blog brings to mind an event in my life that needs to be shared. SPOILER SLERT!!!!! This post is from an event that occurred when I lived in Germany. There are no recipes. There are some references to food, however.
Sassyoldlady made a comment on one of my posts regarding a Chicken Paprikas recipe, and that got my silvered, old pate overheating in no time at all. When I lived in Germany the men and women in our church would go to Moldova to help out with a kids camp sponsored by their local church. We played games with the kids and taught English classes. (Talk about those who can't do teach!) We had to drive through Hungary and Romania to get to Moldova.
Hungary is an absolutely beautiful country! I love the Great Hungarian Plain. It reminds me of southern Illinois only bigger! It probably isn't bigger, but it seems as though you can see forever. We always stopped at the last Tesco in Hungary before crossing over into Romania. This is the memory that sassyoldlady shook loose with her comment. In the Tesco, apart from millions of things were 10 kilo sacks of peppers. They were the same pepper that paprika is made from and came in green, yellow and red. And almost every shopper had one of those sacks in their cart! It reminded me of France except they had baguettes in their carts, not sacks of paprika. The sausages were amazing as well. I could live in Hungary if I didn't have to learn the language. I think my jaw would break or my mind would fry!
When we finally got to Moldova, we would be greeted with a sign that read: "Drum Bun!" This is apparently Moldovan irony. It translates to "good roads." I nearly lost a car in one of the potholes on those good roads!
The last time I was able to go to the village in Moldova for the kids camp, two things happened that truly touched me deeply. The first was when I got to the camp, my car was covered in mud. When I say mud, you've probably never seen mud like this. It was black and like clay. When your wheels rolled over it, it would build up on the tire until the wheel wells filled with mud. If you were dumb enough to let it dry, good luck moving ever again. One of the older girls at camp needed to go to the doctor, so I turned the car around and drove her and her friend to the village and she got her injection and we drove back. No problem at all. When we got back, one of the counselors asked if he could drive my car. I had a BMW 328i and there were stars in his eyes. I handed him the keys and went and set up my bunk and got ready for lessons later that day. About two hours later he came to me and said, "David. Please follow me." He looked a bit worried. We walked around a corner and there was my poor, muddy car except it wasn't muddy any more. In fact, it was cleaner than when I bought it from the dealer in Munich! Sergie's face was split with the biggest grin I have ever seen. He and the kids spent that time, not tooling around in my car, but cleaning every last centimeter of it! I'm still in contact with the Pastor there, Anatol and his beautiful family. I miss the people I met in Moldova.
The other event was a sad one. I was out amongst the kids and my daughter was with a group of 12 year old girls. Several of them were from the orphanage. I came up to the group and put my hand, gently on the shoulder of one of the girls and she cried out and backed away fast. Her smile disappeared and she looked terrified. One of the older girls who spoke English told me that she had been raped by older men in the village. My heart darn near broke in pieces. Here is this sweet child, and she has been robbed of her childhood and innocence by adults who should know better. They should be protecting her! That might be the only time in my life I've wanted to personally execute someone.
Those are more travels and travails. There are so many more. Especially for the boys and girls in orphanages in eastern Europe. The girls often resort to prostitution in order to make money to supplement what the orphanages can afford to give them. If you pray, pray for them. If you have expendable income, help them. If you have time, visit them and get to know them.
Feb. 9, 2013 8:07 am
Oh my Doc,what a heart wrenching story.Actually brought tears to my eyes.That poor child,robbed of her childhood.I'm with you there, to execute someone for that crime.Life is so unfair.
Feb. 9, 2013 2:02 pm
The mud of Moldova reminds me of the red clay of Georgia - - both are cement in disguise. But what an act of kindness by that counselor and the kids to clean up your car - now that was love in action!! What a lesson of compassion you and Sergie were teaching those kids by what you both did. And I hope that little girl (victim) was also able to see past her hurt and to know that not all men are bad or are going to hurt her. There are some actual "knights in mud covered cars" who will rescue them - - good job Doc!
Feb. 9, 2013 2:37 pm
Oh, my. Are you familiar with Father Bill? He is a British clergyman who is very active in eastern Europe mission work. You might find his blogs interesting.
Feb. 9, 2013 7:21 pm
One of the influential people of my life was a Hungarian lady whose kindness and generosity should have May I say thank you for giving care to made her a saint. I never heard her ask for anything, she was always giving. She and her husband are the godparents of our son. You speaking of Hungary reminded me. ... Thank you for giving care to some of this worlds forgotten innocents. ... At one point, I was an "unwilling helper" for the sheriff in a child sexual abuse case. It was very pale in comparison to the horror that little bebe experienced, but it still made me vomit. When all was said and done the perp got fourteen years when his attorney was looking for time served. At that time is when I realized that the perp not only caused great harm to a child but to all the people that knew the child and all the people that knew the perp. Then, I was glad that I was able to have a role that put that perp away for so long.
Feb. 9, 2013 7:22 pm
That sure got jumbled up!
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Doc Simonson

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St. Peter, Minnesota, USA

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Jan. 2009

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About Me
I'm old and smelly, kinda like a really good salami with that really nice white mould all over it.
My favorite things to cook
Meat, carbs, meat, carbs, meat, carbs and did I mention meat?
My favorite family cooking traditions
Drop a plate of Pierogis and sausages in front of me and watch my eyes glaze over in pure joy.
My cooking triumphs
Schweinebraten mit Knoedel und Krautsalat. Also Edel Hirsch Gulasch was very nice. I make killer Spaetzle and Knockerl also.
My cooking tragedies
There aren't enough electrons in cyberspace! :) Actually, the tragedies usually involve well intentioned creativity out of control.
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