Monday, May 23, 2011

Prince Charles visits Romania . . .

I don't know why, but Prince Charles' interest in Romania interests me.  He goes to Transylvania, whereas I go to Moldova, and those are two very different places, but it's still encouraging to see him recognize what Romania has to offer.

Romanian president Traian Basescu met the Prince Charles of Wales towards the end of last week, while the Prince was on a private visit to Romania. After having greeted Charles of Wales at the Cotroceni presidential palace in Bucharest, Basescu made a joke in front of the media, saying everybody would like to ask his Royal Highness about Prince William, who has recently married.
The Prince of Wales was on a private tour to Romania, where he visited several villages in Transylvania. The Prince has also met Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc at the end of last week.
“Back when I first visited Transylvania I was fascinated by this beautiful part of the world. Located in the South – East of Europe, in the heart of Romania, Transylvania is a place of extraordinary beauty, rich in culture. In the last decade , the foundation has ensured the future of traditional Saxon villages and helped preserve the scenery. The entire project was a successful one, helping preserve these places, helping them become prosperous without losing their historic, cultural values,” the Prince of Wales said in a TV interview about his foundation’s activity in Romania.
The Prince of Wales, next in line for the British throne, has a long-standing interest in Romania and has visited the country regularly since his first visit in 1998. He owns several renovated guest houses in Transylvania, among which one in the village of Viscri.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

No surprise, but still interesting . . .

It will come as no surprise to any of us that  "the length of time spent in conditions of social deprivation and neglect correlates with lower IQ and behavioral problems," but it's interesting to see it proven scientifically.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Well what do you know . . .

Shortly after the British Royal wedding, Prince Charles of Wales came to Transylvania, Romania, without his wife Camilla, but joined by few friends. During the visit they made a detour around the city of Targu-Mures and headed directly to his residence in Saschiz.
The Mayor of Saschiz, Ovidiu Soaita, said that Prince Charles arrived in the town on Sunday, around 16:30 hours and remained there about an hour. He visited a collecting and processing milk factory, upgraded to European standards with money from the Norwegian government, and met the farmers in the area. Ovidiu Soaita added that Prince Charles pays attention to small farmers around the world and believes that organic products its “a hope for all”.
After two hours spent in the middle of the villagers, the prince went to the county of Covasna. The Prince has a long-standing interest in Romania and has visited the country regularly since his first visit in 1998. He owns several renovated guest houses in Transylvania, among which one in the village of Viscri.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Terrible, Inexplicable News About Raul

I just learned that Raul has been denied a medical visa to come to the United States for treatment.  I don't understand this, and I don't know any more about it than that, so I can't begin to fathom why our own American Embassy would not allow a baby with a potentially-deadly (but non-contagious) disease to come to the United States for a treatment that is his last hope.

Raul has epidermolysis bullosa, an incurable condition that causes his skin to rupture and blisters to form.  The only treatment is to keep him wrapped up like a mummy, with some salves applied.  How can he live like that for the rest of his life?

My Global Volunteers colleague Caroline Ruhl had located a hospital, Colorado Children's Hospital, that is conducting a clinical trial on treatments for EB, and they had accepted Raul into the program.  It was his only hope.  Caroline had to jump a lot of hoops before even applying for the visa, including overcoming the resistance of the Romanian medical personnel and Raul's parents.  And now to have a visa denied by our Embassy?

I don't get it.  It's pretty much a death sentence for Raul.