Sunday, 27 March 2016

A grave situation

March 27, 2106

This is the second post for today. Deb and I have been trying to figure out how to do the Billiongraves project here in Moldova. We were uncertain how to begin, so we talked to some members  and they suggested we simply go to city hall. Which is not just one building , I might add. So on Thursday we took our Zebra elders, Elder Allphin and Bekker, who speak both Romanian and Russian, to city hall, and got referred to a very kind lady, Maria Diaconu, who was a consilier. She was very helpful and had us return the next morning. At 8 am on Friday, we met with the deputy Mayor of Chișinău, Vladimir Coțet, who had a stern look, but a heart of gold. He asked several questions and as soon as he realized this was a service to Moldovans, he was incredibly helpful. He gave his approval, asked to see our results and sent us to the director of cemeteries, Ludmila Boțan. She again was a very helpful lady, who was excited to us to do this. We did find out Chișinău has 500,000 graves and also the largest graveyard in Europe. Whoa! Her assistant then gave us a tour in the smallest cemetery, only 11,000 graves, and many of those are one on top of the other. Again, a very helpful man who showed us around , answered questions and gave his approval. Nice people. It is interesting, many look stern to start with, but it is an Eastern European trait that hides the goodness underneath. We were worried about the bureauocracy, but had no need to worry.
Sorry, this is a double, did not figure out how to remove. It is Vadul lui Voda

These pictures are all from the Lazar cemetery, the largest in Europe. At least 200,000 graves here. Note the table and chairs by the graves. Families come on holy days, or other occasions to visit and have a picnic. By the way, 5 lei to enter the graveyard.

 Deb on one of the tables, with a sepulchre in the foreground and an Orthodox church in the back. Some of those sites near here were all cemented, just waiting for people to fill them.

                Any white monument is for a doctor who has died. I think it is our angelic personalities, or maybe just the old white coat thing.

Just an example of the huge monuments on each grave.

There are long roads in these cemeteries, hard to walk to the graves. They are packed in as well. About half are in Romanian, half in Russian. The area behind her was all children.

If you look close, you can see multiple tiers, for burials now and in the future. Most of the cement tombs have 4 tiers.

Right on the edge of the city. As we left the cemetery, we realized what an monumental undertaking this was. But we were excited to start and have the Young Adults help with their smart phones.

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