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Organizzazione Umanitaria
ONG Bambini nel Deserto Onlus

Parallele 49-On The Road To Mongolia | STAGE ONE - ROMANIA

The poorest people are the most generous... The results of the last 3 weeks of our mission to bring cinema and artist workshops both educational and cultural to the children of Romania have resulted in mixed emotions of sacrifice and joy.

Our International team, comprised of humanitarian aid workers and film makers also includes our dogs which assist us in our non-verbal communication artistic workshops. Our dogs also protect us.  We often set up camp outside a major city in a rural zone whereas the only security we have are our dogs. They serve us well.

 

We left Paris at the end of March with 7 dogs.  We leave Romania with only 6.  The Romanian canine diseases and parasitic infestation affected our eldest dog TASKA and we leave her behind in a modest grave covered in Romanian soil. We chose to delay our scheduled appointment in Bucharest to attend to the health needs of our remaining dogs as all were subject to IV treatments for 10 days, weak from the attack of Romanian canine diseases resistant to all precautions: vaccines and treatments taken in France and Italy.  A decision difficult to justify in the eyes of people who suffer from poverty and expect our sponsored participation to assist their needs.

 

 


Romania was the first STAGE of our humanitarian expedition, Lézards Migrateurs-Parallèle 49 On The Road To Mongolia a co-collaboration with Italian  NGO Bambini nel Deserto ONLUS. Romania is a  country the size of the United Kingdom or the State of Oregon in the USA.   A country that has enormous economical difficulties.  A country that is trying to stabilize its identity after the fall of Communism.  But a country where one can find a soul and heart amidst the  enormous contradictions. We encountered many difficulties during our time in Romania. 

As it was the beginning of a long journey of 30,000 km traversing the steps of Asia retracing the ancient Silk Route, we were immediately immersed in a culture shock.  The diversity of ethnic groups: the Gypsies of Romania vs the full blooded Romanian or Magyars those of Hungarian descent. Within is a conflict of social unrest and racism. Romania is a country where 7% of the youth under 18 years of age have a least one parent abroad. 

 

 


A country whose youth has been abandoned as work and decent wages are few and opportunities call  away biological parents leaving children behind.  Romania holds the sad European record for abandoned children, the main cause being poverty, accompanied by unemployment and lack of proper care and decent housing.  A lost generation of  children “left behind”. Romania is also the only country in Europe in which dogs are abused and killed with impunity -a 'new' law permits its citizens to destroy them by electrocution, gassing with carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, argon or potassium chloride, penetrating captive bolts and poisoning.


 

Alas,  we found in the grey overtones of Romania our rainbows: a Veterinarian named Tudor that cured our remaining dogs and visited us daily to assure us that they would survive. We found refuge in a Gypsy encampment in Sighetu that shared local food and music while we waited and suspended our important meetings in Bucharest on behalf of our dogs.

Here we shared our cinema free and open air. Each night the children of the Sighetu Gypsies gathered in front of our solar powered cinema screen, their faces illuminated by the rays of hope, our cinema transmitting message of education and dreams of different cultures. 

An moment of joy in the midst of great compromises.

 

 

In Romanian we discovered unique un compromised friendship without an economic exchange. Even when our traveling tragedies  were heightened in the city of Targoviste, 70 km outside of Bucharest.

Our truck has delivered solar powered cinema to Morocco and Africa, over 200,000 km now in Romania we encounter a serious mechanical problem.

 

A condition that could have ended our expedition but once again  the Romania people came to aid with the assistance of the owner of a transport company that took care of our truck’s broken fuel injector asking little but rewarding us much…with friendship, discounted automotive repairs and even donating clothes, emptying his personal closet and collecting money, Romanian Leu out of the local’s meager wages, to further our expedition as we would soon cross the border to Bulgaria.

 

The Romanian people trusted our efforts  in our Parallel 49 On The Road To Mongolia expedition as the people of Romania believed in us.

 

To recap our results in Romania we have traveled 2300 km, experienced 3 weeks of delay due to difficulties, lost to death one of our dogs had 11 cinema screenings in orphanages, schools and city centers and 20 hours of artistic workshops.

We have lost count of the Romanian people who have welcomed us with open arms, offering us their hospitality.

 

 

In France, Spain and Italy, countries represented by our members of the Parallèle 49 On The Road To Mongolia team, Romanians are stigmatized and our countrymen take a position of  acute xenophobia , a fear and hatred of strangers. 

The contrast in Romania is powerful. In Romania a stranger is extended a helping hand while at home a stranger brings about fear and judgement.

Our Parallèle 49 On The Road To Mongolia team are citizens of wealthy countries, however the riches we found in the hearts of  the ethnic people of Romania is without compare.  We quote the old precept: “The poorest people are the most generous”. 

We acknowledge sad statistics that define this country but remain optimistic for Romania because were there is heart there are rays of  hope. 

 

 

 

 


 

Fotogallery

 

 

 

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ONG Bambini nel Deserto ONLUS

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