Vurpar, Romania
Vurpar Street
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The school has served Vurpar well since the 1937.
The staff 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 adults.

And more children.
And more children.
And an occasional dog…

The gypsy minority makes up a growing percentage of the village and is beginning to exercise political muscle through the ballot box.

Finally, we 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.

For 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.

The sanctuary 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 wall.

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 active.




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.

And watched as older women tended the graves of their loved ones.







Down the road from Vurpar is Tichindeal where a gypsy boy contemplates passing strangers…



Here is Simon with his aunt, "Matusa," on the left and her friends.



Tichindeal is 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 for relief.

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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