Saturday, 04 July 98
The Guest Editor for this edition of the Bucharest Bugle is Fran Roon
who spent six weeks in Romania while her husband prepared and delivered
training on public procurement. She makes a plea. We should all listen
EDITORIAL by Fran Roon
In recent years, the history of HIV infection of Romanian children has
often been forgotten. Although many of the children have died, many more
remain, fighting the disease, and in desperate need of medicine, medical
supplies and the basics of life.
I would like to give you a brief background on the problem. Due to transfusions
of untested blood and the use of dirty syringes primarily in 1988 and
1989, thousands of children were infected with HIV. The circumstance is
unique in the world: Romania has the largest number of HIV children in
Europe. In fact, over half of all HIV children in Europe are in Romania.
Many of these children were abandoned. There are children living with
their families, but in conditions of great poverty. As in other countries
in eastern Europe, there are simply insufficient funds for health care
and social services such as are found in the West.
Mary Veal is an American lady who is working with these HIV children.
Mary was a social worker in the United States, working with the homeless
and poor people. Feeling the need to do more, she came to Bucharest in
August of 1993. She thought she would stay for perhaps a year. She now
has been at Dr. Victor Babes Hospital in Bucharest for five years, simply
because of the children.
Over the years she has brought in medicine, equipment, clothing, toys,
and whatever else she could beg from wherever in the world. She organizes
outings, such as to the movies, whenever funds are available. She holds
their little hands as they die. Mary has no job description, she is only
here to help in any way she can.
Currently the children who have survived nine or ten years are reaching
a stage of extremely low immunity. I wish everyone could meet Marianna,
who wants a Barbie doll and to be well enough to go home. Or Ionuts, who
wants to live to celebrate his birthday in November. Mircea, cant
walk but gets around on his toddler-size plastic car. They are remarkable
children, bright, brave, but their time is running out. They all deserve
the opportunities that children have in the West, for anti-retrovirals,
the famous drug cocktails. They are so expensive and miraculous, and are
buying time for children and adults in other places, but not Romania.
These children need gamma-globulin, cephalosporin, and simple things like
vitamins, cough medicines, Ensure and Blistex. The staff meed latex gloves
to protect themselves and others. Barbie dolls, Matchbox cars, and coloring
books bring healing smiles to their faces.
When I visited the hospital I saw a little boy who liked to draw. All
he ever drew were pictures of tombstones. These children jumped for joy
over a piece of gum or a small toy. They loved the bananas that were brought
to them. How they would love to have toys such as balls. They need touching
and certainly loving. There is so much need but so little available.
Mary Veal is currently writing a book for HIV children staying with their
parents in the hospital The first part for the children, the second for
the parents. It is nearing completion, including illustrations for the
children. She needs cassettes and tapes for use in the hospital. Children
in the West love to have stories read to them. These suffering children
are no different. What a blessing some tapes and cassettes would be.
Mary Veal is an angel, who is dedicating her life to helping these children.
Mary Veal and these children need help.. Mary hardly can survive on the
very, small allowance she is given each month for herself to live on.
I hope readers of Joe Kelley's Bugle will help.
If you are willing to help these children in any way, please contact Mary
Copill Nimanui- Nobodys Children
Att: Mary Veal
Str. Smaranda Braescu No. 55, Bloc 22D,
Et. 1, Ap5
Telephone: +401.232.2698 (Ext. 209)
Thank you for listening. God Bless each of you.
Bucharest Bugle Issue 65
Friday, 10 July 09
"The moving walkway is now ending. Please look down. The moving walkway
is now ending. Please look down." Softly the gentle voice warned
me to be prepared to step lively. No problem, though exhausted from eighteen
hours of continuous travel, I was home. I could handle this. It was Monday,
late in the afternoon and I went home, ate some hotdogs cooked in Rice-A-Roni
and slept the long and deep sleep of the truly exhausted.
Began the day early with a trip to Arnold's on Irving Park at Broadway.
I had a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on an English muffin, overcooked
hash browns, a side of sausage patties and coffee with extra cream and
For dinner I went to Mike's on Broadway and had the Haystack, layers of
hash browns, sausages, fried eggs, American cheese, and pork gravy. Bellisimo!
Walked to Melrose Cafe and had three eggs over easy with bacon, home fries
(well done) and buttered toast. I asked for buttered toast but they brought
it to me dry and I had to do all the work myself. It's a tough life in
For a light dinner I stopped in at Las Manzanitas on Halsted and had a
frozen margarita with salt and a queso fundido con choriso.
I got up early so I had a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich on English
at Arnold's. A wise decision since I would be subjected to airline food
-- if any food at all -- on my trip to Boston.
Once in Boston, I rushed to Durgin Park for fish chowder and fish cakes.
Then to my sister's house for barbecued cheeseburgers on toasted buns
and Ruffles potato chips -- you know, the ones with ridges. Lip-lickin'
For breakfast I had a sausage biscuit with cheese and two hash browns
at MacDonalds on the way to Gloucester. Once there I had lunch at the
Studio Restaurant: fried clams, salted margaritas, and shrimp wrapped
in Prosciutto. While downtown I had a lemon slush at Mike's Pastry shop
-- the best lemon slush in the world.
Spent the day on Good Harbor Beach and had a hot dog for lunch and some
lemon slush there as well. That night Richard and I had fried clams at
the Down East. Love those fried clams.
Breakfast at Cameron's was Eggs Benedict with a side of bacon. The Hollandaise
sauce was a delight.
Dinner was clam chowder, an appetizer of fried clams and fish cakes again
(they are very hard to find). All served at exactly the same time which
proves that bad service is universal.
Back to Boston but before leaving I tried to get lemon slush again but
Mike's Pastry Shop was closed so I had to settle for a prociutto and provolone
sandwich on a St. Joseph's role. Love that salty ham!
I went food shopping and bought some Maple Syrup and some green chili
peppers. I save the rest of my food list for Chicago so that I wouldn't
have to carry it all onto the plane.
For lunch I went to Mr. & Mrs. Bartley's Burger Cottage in Harvard
Square a few doors down from where I used to live. I had scrumptious onion
rings with Bernaise sauce (on the side) and a Boursin bacon burger on
English muffin with chips on the side. Yum, yum.
For desert I took the Red Line into Charles Street station and walked
to the Brigham's at the base of Beacon Hill. I had a large hot fudge vanilla
ice cream Sunday with just a little hot fudge and a lot of marshmallow
and crushed walnuts and a cherry on top. So delicious! Brigham's has the
best vanilla ice cream in the world.
I wanted to go to Regina's Pizzeria that night but inexplicably I felt
full. It's good to be home where you can get the food you like.
This tale began with a departure and now concludes with a return. In between
there were many experiences in Romania, a country that I didn't know but
gradually came to like, even love. While I was discovering Romania I was
missing the familiar experiences of my home. Now that I am home (and have
eaten my fill), I find that I miss the ambience of Bucharest. Not the
dusty, noisy moments, but the people experiences. I haven't talked very
much about all the people I met there but they -- more than the architecture,
the history, the scenery -- made my stay pleasant and enjoyable.
Perhaps I will get to go back to Bucharest. Perhaps the Bucharest Bugle
will toot again. Until then, Narock!