Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Thought of Moldova and such

June 20 2017 Another late post , in the middle of a heat wave. We have been in the middle of missionary transfers, with some early mornings. Deb and I were just out for a walk before the heat really hits. We had a concert here last Friday, Bret Bryce of Jericho Road came to Moldova and Romania to give some concerts, free, at the buildings. He was a very gracious man, very kind and happy to demonstrate his talents. I was asked at the last minute to conduct the concert and did not get a chance for pictures, we had over 100 to the concert, a great turnout for us. We were going to go to a park and have him play, we realized by the time we got people moved and having no good sound system , it was better to stay at the Church building. Problem? We planned for about 40 for food and had about 75, Elder Godfrey and me scrambled with extra bread, cheese and sausage. I had about 150 cookies or so, they were gone in under 2 minutes, I joke not. All the food was gone in under 5 minutes, even with extra that we got. One of the most interesting parts of this mission is watching people eat and jostle for food. We also went to Bălți for a dinner with the YSA there, I do have pictures of that. We just love that place and those people. So what are my thoughts regarding Moldova? This post I will say what I feel about this country, and in another post I will discuss the Church here. These are my own opinions and do not reflect LDS opinion at all. I wish to be frank. What do we love here? Overall the people are friendly , but do not like to initiate conversation. There is an inherent suspicion of strangers. Those who are not native stick out, and are often viewed suspiciously. Most likely this is from years of communism and bad governance. We find the poverty at times overwhelming and very sad. Yesterday I was at a bus station watching the village people bring in their produce, beginning at 5 am. They are dirt poor. We love the piațas.and the variety, but realize there are so many people working there because of a need for work. We will miss them. I have found that the medical care here leaves much to be desired. Much of that appears to be poor training, much is the incredibly  bad wages of physicians. They tend to overprescribe, giving at least 4 prescriptions for every encounter, and seem to delight in frightening people at every chance. It is just bad medicine. The governance here is a mess, with people drifting towards Russian influence, despite Russian still having troops in Transnistria, despite Russian providing no assistance to this country at all. The problem is that the present corrupt regime says it is pro European, but are truly pro money and corruption. Most of the population pay a stiff penalty for this corruption in poverty and crumbling infrastructure. If the Russian drift continues, this country will be a long time in reaching its potential. Most of the elite here are not honest and seem to have complete disdain for those less fortunate. We see little charity from that level of society. At the risk of appearing intolerant, we have found the Orthodox Church to be a great hindrance in this country. They seem to take money at every turn, and worse, to block any charitable efforts by others that are not initiated by themselves. They refuse to work with other charities,of which there are many. We have personally been blocked by Orthodox priests from helping the less fortunate, for no reason other that we are not Orthodox. This church is unlike anything I have seen in our country. This church also seems to delight in keeping people steeped in tradition, because it keeps them in control and in the money. In my book, it is called priestcraft. Sorry, my opinion. Having said this, we have seen many good people outside of the Orthodox circle who try to help in the best way they can, but are frustrated by the system. I hope it will not take a revolution for things to change, but for this country to ever change, the corrupt must lose control and the Orthodox church must lose its tight grip on the population. I truly hope this country will joint the EU one day as this will help the corruption, but it may take decades. An abundance of Christianity,true Christianity, not tradition, will move this forward. There, that is my soapbox. Now, some random pictures.
This is what 3 days of no garbage pickup looks like, the garbage dump was blocked by a village, took some serious negotiations to re-open it. It was smelly.

How road hazards are marked, usually by sticks or branches.

Our Friday night, Bret Bryce in in the lower left of both pictures in a grey jacket.

From left, President Ivory, Marin Iachimov, Sergei Covali, Mariana Covali. Marin was in CES and was the most useful person on our arrival to Moldova. Pres Covali is the district and a good friend. He and I consult a lot on many issues.

Elder Forsyth and Evgeni Bekker in our kitchen

Stork young in a nest

Brother Păduraru and Elder Welling and Housington in his garden

My good friend, Gheorghe Păduraru, I love this man.

Our Bălți dinner. elder Aleman on the left.from right, Nikita, Elder Rybyskyy, Dacia, Elder Sargsyan

on L, Ana and Venea or John, on R, anatoli, Sasha, Sasha and the Elders Kohler and Griffeth

The biggest Stefan cel Mare statue in Moldova, in Bălți
Yet more storks, they are everywhere this year
So that is the way the world stands today. A great country , great people and lots of problems. Note I did not mention the crazy drivers? I have become one of them . 

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