Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Elder McGovern's final days in Moldova and farewell

All gathered in the mayor's office for signing of the contract
Elder McGovern remained in Moldova until July 18th and one reason was the clean water project which we have been working on since February of is finally happening!
Lydia, son, Elder McGovern and towns people at contract signing

Parascovia and Ray at contract signing

Another reason for his staying was to receive 10 computers, donated by our Church in England.  Five of those went to school #5, which is a school for the handicapped:

This director of school #5 is one of the most dedicated people we had the pleasure of working with!

Three of the computers went to the school of Cimislia where we hope the teachers of English each received one, but we are not certain of that part!

One of the computers was donated to Doina Stepinenco's NGO and one was donated to the school in Scorteni.

Two teachers in front of Scorteni School

The first part of September 2012 Dr. John Lewis will be returning to Moldova and bringing expertise and a new piece of equipment for the hospital and Dr. Lupan.  Elder McGovern worked hard to see that all would happen smoothly as Elder and Sister Pinder, our replacement arrive in Moldova today, August 22, just a short time before Dr. Lewis will arrive.

I, Sister McGovern, had my hip surgery July 31st and am recovering nicely.  We are adjusting to life here again, have received new callings, etc.  However a part of our hearts will always be there with the people we love so in Moldova.  We thank God for the opportunities which we had and ask His blessing upon Moldova and her people.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

From very busy to winding down

Upon our return from Isai we visited Balti branch again and also inspected Tirnova, the site of the TB Children's hospital where we are doing a sewer project.  Much to our dismay the electricity to run the pump for the system had been ignored so things were still not working.

Titiana in the light green suit is the director and this is the septic system

After visiting there we went with Elders Garlic and Jones to visit a family which has 9 children, yes 9.  2 girls, the oldest is member of our church and 7 boys.  It was truly delightful visit in which the Elders taught 3 lesson and each family member participated.  It was a treat for Elder McGovern and me. 

Elder McGovern, school director, Sister McGovern, Doina Stepenenco, and Pres. Carausenco are with the children and their new shoes in Bulboaco
Thanks to Constantine and Irene, 122 pairs of shoes where made and ready to be delivered to the children of Bulboaca.  Doina and Ruslan drove in their car and Pres. Carausenco rode with us to deliver shoes and other items collected by Pro Speranta.  We had just a few children because the shoes will not be theirs until the fall.  The children were very pleased but a bit awkward because they were unable to take the shoes with them.  The reason for this is that if the shoes were to leave the school, many of the parents would sell the shoes to purchase various things, some of which would not be in the best interest of the family.

We drove to the site where Elder Ballard dedicated the country (2002) of Moldova for the preaching of Christ's Gospel.  We went  with Elder and Sister Kitchen, in preparation of the visit of Pres. and Sister Hill's arrival next week.

On Thursday we attended the first day of a two-day camp for the handicapped people of Moldova.  We were able to meet many volunteers throughout the country, learned much and had a great meal. 

McGoverns and Hills atop the dedication hill
 The following day was Zone Conference.  Saturday we took the Hills to the dedication site, had a great meal and then watched a movie with the Hills and Kitchens at the Kitchen's apartment.

Sunday, the Hills went with us to visit the Balti Branch and met many of the members.  Following that, we ate at the Kitchens, and it was delicious as always!

On the 28th we attended an opening ceremony for our project in Balauresti with Susan and Curt Adams, who were Peace Corps workers and members of the Chisinau Branch.  The project was better than expected and we enjoyed a nice Moldovan lunch.

Ribbon cutting with nursing staff, Doctor and Sister McGovern

Susan and Curt Adams

Moldovan feast!

The following day we picked up Lidia Constanenescu and Petru, and with the help of our translator, Hripsime, had a enjoyable drive to Scorteni where Lidia, as a Romania/Moldovan author, spoke with the children.  Many of the children had memorized poems which Lidia had written and after Lidia had spoken the children asked questions.  It was the first time that the children of that village had met anyone who had written a book or poems.

Lidia and Petru being welcomed at Scorteni
Presenting the bread and salt in Moldovan dress
At least 10 girls recited poems written by Lida

On the first day of June we joined the Kitchens in visiting the only castle still existing in this country, Soroca Castle.
 It was a great day!  This castle (or fortress) sits on a river and the other side of this river is the Ukranine.
Sister and Elder Kitchen looking at Ukranine with Elder McGovern

Kitchens and Kathy at the base of the fortress or castle of Soroca

Historian greeted us as we entered the castle and his English was great
so we learned alot

 A local historian provided a very informative insight into the history of the castle.  Also, while there, we saw some the the students and teachers from Scorteni.

We have begun a project to purchase a sewing machine for the shoe shop in the factory of the Society of the Disabled and that was approved on the 31st of May.  Early that same day, we attended the "last bell" ceremony, which signals end of school.  This particular ceremony took place in Cimislia.
last school bell of the year at Cimislia

some of the graduates

9 year olds performing
Orthodox priest at graduation


yes, this is a rusy "new" baking sheet!
Hripsame went with us to the school and Elder McGovern was asked to say a few word and handed out some certificates.  Additionally, Lidia Constanenescu made a few remarks.  Seeing the English teachers and Viorica, the school director again was a treat.  Further we also dropped off, FINALLY, some stainless steel baking more rusty baking sheets!

We are working on several projects, finishing a water project at Tanatorii Noi which was begun a year ago by the VanWormers, but the city still has no water committee so we can't close the project; a vision project with Dr. Lewis from the US and Dr. Lupan, a local doctor; a water project in Piatra/Jeloboc, which has hit a few snags; and a wheelchair shippment to arrive this fall. 
Kathy in the botanical garden
One the 2nd of June we went with the Kitchens and walked in the Botanical Gardens, which was beautiful and big!
That same day we were able to have lunch with Ray West, the President of Moldova World Children's Fund and he introduced us to a great restaurant.  We enjoyed meeting him and possibly working with his organization.

A week ago Elders Harrison and Jiles had set up a meeting with the director of Child Protective Services for the Raion of Chisinau, in hopes of service projects, Helping Hands project and Humanitarian projects.   We hope we have found all three for ongoing projects!  They have over 13,000 children which they are responsibile for in varying degrees.  We are anxious to continue following up with this.
Both the 16th  and17th of June we had dinner with the Sargysans, who are Chisinau Branch members.  What wonderful cooks Sergi and Hripsime are and we learned so much history, not the boring type.  You can see what a beautiful Armenian family they are!
The family came from Armenia in the early 2000s.  All but the father does translation for us, Senik is set to go to BYU Hawaii this fall, thanks to outside help.  I will miss them.

Hripsime and Sergi are great cooks!  (The first night we ate with them.)

The following night we shared with the Kitchens and this time I got it while it was still pretty!

Last Thursday the 14th Sister McGovern had a follow-up x-ray taken at Med Park hospital.  It looked significantly worse than the one taken in January.  After sending a copy of the x-ray to Elder Merrill, our Area Doctor, who also sent it to a Radiologist serving in Russia, the cconclusion was, go home and get it taken care of.. ( I am so grateful for Dr. Merrill's service.)
So tonight is my last night here in Moldova and Elder McGovern will follow shortly.  We are hoping that Salt Lake will quickly replace us here!  I might add that I LOVED serving here with the Elders and Sisters, with the Chisinau, Orhei, and Balti branch members and with all of our partners organizations throughout Moldova.  I love and respect for so many Moldovan people....  A portion of my heart will always be with them! 

I am including a few pictures of what we see as we drive between villages.

Family affair each day

I was a bit worry that they might be offended but her smile says differently!

a normal landscape in this beautiful country

small problem...

hard at work...
water for the crop
a family!!

La revedere! 

Hope you have enjoyed this adventure.  God bless each one of us!

Sister Kathy McGovern

Friday, May 25, 2012

Leonard's Visit, Projects, To Romania twice, Projects

Elder and Sister Leonard arrived from Germany on the 18th of April and we had until the 23rd to show them some of the projects and a few beauties of Moldova.

Sister and Brother Leonard are on the left with various members of the staff of the school in Cimislia.  We are gathered in the kitchen looking at the new equipment.

 Leonards visited Cimislia, met Mihai and Constantine at the Society of the Disabled, visited Bulboaca and Piatra/Jeloboca which are all projects we have in one stage or another.  Also, with the help of Doina Stepanenco we visited the monastary at Orehi Vechi, the oldest here in Moldova.

Doina, Susan and John Leonard on the cliff outside of the monastary.

 They also attended Church with us in Balti, meeting the new Branch President there, Boris Reshetco.

President Boris Reshecto

We had a wonderful visit and both of us went to the airport the morning of the 23rd, the Leonards going to Germany and us to Romania for a mission conference and a few days of working with Elder and Sister Wolsey.
The morning of the 23rd was filled with mis and partical communications but we eventually connected with the Wolsey's, the Elders and Lidia Constantinescu, the Romanian author which we had met earlier in the year.
Elder Biggs, Peter, Sister McGovern, Priest, Lidia, Elder Barney, Elder McGovern inside this beautifully decorated Chapel

That Monday we visited her church, met her priest, visited the local cemetary and mayor's office and then were invited to lunch at Lidia's beautiful old home which once belonged to her grandparents.

Elder McGovern, Peter, Sister McGovern, Lidia Constantinescu, Elder Biggs, Vicky Wolsey and Elder Barney

 It was in this home where she experienced World War II and is it now where she writes her children's books.  We had a wonderful day and delicious food.

Tues the 24th Wolseys took up to visit Motivation Romania and meet with Christian who head that organization.  This is the organization through which wheelchairs for Romania are mainly distributed.  We gained a lot of insite and this visit gave us some goals to shoot for in Moldova.

Christan at Camp Varatic

workshop in Motavation Romania

End to a great day of visiting Motavation Romania and the park with Elder Randy and Sister Vicky Wolsey of Canada.

The following 4 days where spent in a Senior's Conference for the Romania/Moldova mission.  We were joined by the Kitchen's from Moldova and 8 other couples which working Romania, many of whom we had not met before.

Top right is one of our missionaries here FROM Flower Mound, Texas, Elder McBride!  Bottom left are the Howells who have since gone home to Scotland, the middle you can see Sister and Elder McFadden, the Howells and Sister Hill and ofcourse, President Hill.
We did have to say good-bye to the Howell's as they were leaving the following Monday for their new home in Scotland.  We are missing them and it is been one of our great pleasures of this mission as we have come to know them just a little!  You can tell they are struggling as they 'hold back the tears'!

Dinner out just before attending a concert.

 The conference was well planned and one of our favorite parts was being able to meet or talk with 2 or the districts presidents from Romania.  Much insite was gained from our visits with them. 
We did a little touring to include the site of the dedication of the country of Romania for preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a village where some of the oldest homes and mills had been moved.  Some of those homes and mills were built..

Living room of one of the underground homes built in the 1700s

part of the mill

another section of themill

Instructions for the mill

This house may have been built several hundred years ago but this red thing seems out of place!

Elder David and Sister Rosie McFadden
One of our greatest treasure here was becoming reaquointed with David McFadden, whom I knew as a teen and who knew and worked with my parents almost 50 years ago!  It was wonderful to get to know him again and to meet his wife. 
We returned to Moldova for just 4 days before packing the car and heading for Isai in Romania.  We met the Wolseys there on the 2nd of May, had dinner, leaving the following morning early after picking up 6 missionaries and 3 branch member and headed to Varatic and the camp there. 

Arriving about 9am we met the employees of Motivation Romania which included Christian and we all began to work! 

We stripped, sealed and painted 7 of the 8 building of this camp in preparation for the wheelchair campers soon to arrive.  It is at this camp both children and adult learn to handle their wheelchairs.  EVERYONE worked so hard that 6 1/2 of the buildings were stripped, 6 of them were sealed and painting had begun on three of them.  Meals were prepared there and that night they had a campfire for all.  The following day all was finished by 2pm.  It was a beautiful site and a great experience.

All of us worked very hard for two days, just over half were employees of Motivation Romania and the rest were missionaries and LDS Church members.
Before we left Varatic we visited their monastry which houses 700 nuns.  It was a beautiful facility.  After we dropped off the missionaries and branch members, we said goodbye to the Wolsey's and headed back to Chisinau, arriving about 10pm. 

Monastry at Varatic

Currently we have 6 projects in various stages of completion and are working on a vision project, a wheelchair project, a computer project and getting an additional sewing machine for the Society of the Disabled.  Stay tune for the deliverly of the 124 pairs of shoes which takes place tomorrow!