coming from a (relatively) poor (american) family, most of whom did not own
property for quite some time (my parents have rented the same half a duplex
for 35 years), I would think that liquidity is more important than assets,
so skip the house. Conversely, breaking poverty cycles is putting a lot of
pressure and expectation on the generation that benefits from more money.
Its an ugly truth, but being poor usually means being uneducated, and,
often, a lack of responsbility. Money is never used as efficiently as it
should be, never for maxmimum benefit. So if you buy the house, there is the
hope that a fixed asset and place to live will provide security and hope for
starting them on some road to fiscal security. But if houses are easily
traded commodities (unlike the United States) due to depressed values, they
might just sell it anyway, out of need or selfishness. If you just give them
the money you will inevitably hear about how it is spent and be certain to
feel like it was wasted in at least some portion. In the end, you don't have
time or money to fix everything to the point where you can be satisfied that
you have made a difference. But that is also something that isn't for you to
know (I look at my father, child of the depression, so poor, and wonder,
what if I did become rich- would it 'help' him, could it make him happier? I
don't know). Flip a coin. Either way, you will be doing the most you can,
and that is the best you can hope for.
granted this is only advice not money, since I didn't contribute (added only
so others don't think I can presume to speak for their generousity, but I
thought it might help because I have spent some years trying to figure out
if I should bite the bullet and try to buy my parents house for them, with
many of the same concerns)
From: ef Fischer [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2001 11:17 AM
thanks for the concern, canela and i am happy to report that i am much
better and (ohbestillmybeatingheart) maybe i got the bugs outta my hair that
is i spent last night en graise so-to-speak or better yet, en-guck, with
some romanian crap schmeared all over my head and then this morning i did
find one lonely deadflea on my pillow and also a
maybe-deadflea-but-could-be-just-dirt, and then i washed the goo out, again,
gawd, i have now been steadily washing my fucking hair for weeks it seems -
and knowing me and the general state of my hair that is really saying
something for perseverance - and it is the cleanest it has ever been ever
period and man am i ever sick of washing the fucking thing as it has kept
growing past any reasonableness as to length. usually i don't even bother
brushing it and here i am with two shiny shiny goddam braids coursing down
my chest, how disgusting. maybe i should keep the fleas. but then again
maybe i did, i don't know yet. it still itches tho that!
could be me being neurotic instead of flearotic.
the big news is that the court judgement came today and holyshit, the
landlord did what no one expected and went and lost the fucking case!!! the
judge said in her judgement that the people were obviously conned by the
landlord as they could not read what they had signed!!! so voila, THEY CAN
this all is unheard of in all of romania, an honest judge?? or perhaps the
landlord had paid off the wrong one??
in either case, the families are safe for three years cause the new contract
they were made to sign is now void and the law of being able to stay there
is once again in effect.
in case the landlord decides to appeal, we are putting all papers into
safekeeping at the local human rights organization - i went and talked to
the director there, his name is istvan haller, nice intense young guy with
serious moustache - so even if i am gone by then all the families have to do
is to go tell him and he will fight the case.
well. this is where we stand. but now there is another problem.
see, i have already put into effect the little housebuying scheme, and made
the deposit the guy selling had asked for. so now, either i do go ahead and
buy the place or we lose the deposit. so what to do.
on one hand, it is a good thing to have a bit of security in place in case
the worst does happen, and it still could, yes. also, this will alleviate
the 12 people living in one room situation, this would be minus 3 people
going elsewhere, that is if grandfather and katika move into the little
house cause grandfather also said he would take janoska and make sure he
gets into a real school next year, that is, if i can help a little bit...
his income being app. $7 + whatever he can gather with the tv repair stuff.
that is, if i help so they don't starve to death. well, i can try that,
on the other hand, this whole scheme has brought discord in the family as
mihaly and melinda try very hard to have me buy *them* the place... but buy
them the place i never shall... they are not always to be trusted and i have
not forgotten mihaly-s ahem, selling extravaganzas. and not always for food
well, what do you guys advise? it will take all our money as it stands to
get the little house a few repairs, and a warm water tank installed. but
think, warm water, and inside toilet and a bath! yes it is just a room with
a tiny kitchen (also to be repaired) but so much cleaner than where they are
now. it will take all that we have, as i said. and then, for school help,
food and such, i shall once again go begging which i don't so much anymore
mind... arrrgh, having gotten used to it... but *you* might mind. oh the
or, i could simply tell the guy with the house that we have changed out
mind, leave the rest of the cash with noemi to use as she sees fit for the
food handouts, finich what i am doing (i am still in the middle of making
them get all the paperwork together for the acquisition of a doctor, the
fumigation, etc) and well, go home. and get a life.
what do you think i should do? it's your money too.
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