no bad news

From: ef (
Date: Wed Jul 11 2001 - 10:41:04 PDT

wow... i can't believe i am saying this but there is (incredible) no
bad news from romania... just talked to the grandfather on the
phone... some news but no real bad ones. wheeeeeee.... hahahaha...
i'm happy!

so is the grandfather. he says:

you know, zsoka, i was so worried cause you didn't call. (but
grandfather, i can't always call, it costs a lot and sometimes i
don't have the money for a phonecard) oh okay. but i was still
worried. the mrs. reverend gave me the money for fixing the water but
you still hadn't called, so i was worried. (but i am calling right
now, see?) good, good. the water will be fixed in a week and a half,
the plumber is doing a job in szentgyorgy and he will be available
after. you'll see when you come, i'll have the bath working and
everything. when are you coming. (i can't right now, grandfather.
maybe i'll try in the fall, okay)

oh and i have really good news, he says. okay, i say, i can use some
good news, so what is it. guess what, he says. mihaly left to work in
hungary, he left last night. wow, i say, that is incredibly good
news, you mean he finally got off his ass. he finally did, he says,
and now it will be easier for melinda and the kids. there is some new
law in hungary, he says, so they don't harrass people from romania at
the border, they actually want them to come and work. and jozsi has
good contacts there so mihaly can use those. now we will see how he
does. i'm really happy to hear this, i say. cause it was really hard
on me, not helping them. he says, but probably the best thing, this
way mihaly was finally forced off his, forgive my expression, behind.

heh... grandfather, as he puts it, is a gentleman, so he does not
like to swear in front of a woman.

and jozsi, i ask, how are they doing. well, he sighs, iren is once
again in the hospital. but at least now jozsi can pay the nurse, and
so he is not in the hospital all day. he takes care of his kids,
grandfather says.

well --and this is to you guys, and not grandfather-- the only thing
that may save iren (and even that is just a 50% chance) is openheart
surgery. which is very expensive, at least 1000. we can't do it, i am
sorry to say. but what we are doing now is providing medicines,
nursing care, and food for the family. for these difficult months.
but you already know that.

back to grandfather: yes, i bought katika the graduation present,
thank you zsoka. i bought her a little piano, not a real piano but a
little thing with batteries. she loves it. yesterday, we brought it
over to melindas so that janoska and marci can play with it too. (oh
that's nice). the kids are all okay, they are all healthy. (oh that's
really good to hear). melida is a bit sick, with the same thing she
has had for a long time, you know, when she loses her voice. the
doctor said she needs to go to the hospital for a treatment cause she
may lose her voice forever if she doesn't. and then she would be
mute, zsoka. (but that is impossible, with mihaly gone to work, there
is no one else to take care ofthe children) yes. there is no one else
to take care of the children.

there is nothing to be done, he says. so lets just hope for the best.
true, i say. at least now, with mihaly working, they will have enough
to eat and all that.

prices have gone insane, he says. yes, i know, i say. do you know
that the price for a chicken, that used to be 10,000 lei per pound is
now six times as much. i figured, i say. he sighs. but we are okay,
we're eating. it's lucky that i send your food money in dollars, i
say. and the reverend keeps it in the bank in dollars so that when it
goes up you get more lei. lucky, he says.

i have a request, please forgive me for it, he says. okay, what is
it, i say. well, he says, you know, in september, when school starts.
when the school starts and katika is in second grade. would it be
possible then for me to buy her, you know, a little dress. and a
school bag. so she could be more like the other little girls, he
says. would that be possible. we'll see, grandfather, we can figure
something out i am sure.

the next time you come, he says, i would like to go to court and have
melinda officially relinquish katika to me, you know, on paper,
legally. i have been raising her since she was a baby, as you know.
but i am an old man. i would like to make it legal, and then i would
ask you to be entered as guardian for katika if anything happens to
me. sure, i say, i would do that. if anything happens to you, that
is. but you just stay healthy. oh i try to take good care of myself,
he says. but katika is just a little girl and i would like to make
sure that if anything happens there will be someone. and that she can
continue to learn. i'll do it gradfather, don't you worry. legally,
he says. legally, i say.

hey grandfather, i say. what if katika was able to go to highschool
too. oh, that's very expensive, i hear, he says. no, i don't mean
university, i mean highschool, that's like elementary school, four
more years after, i say. oh, he says, is there such a thing. let's
dream a little, i say. you know, she is an industrious little girl.
who knows, i say. we can try. we can dream. you can dream a little, i
say. a real future for katika, wouldn't that be nice.

and the next time you go to get the food money from the reverends.
take katika along. the mrs. reverend said she hadn't seen her since
you moved into the house. and she said she sure would like to see her
again. so take her along, i said. it would be nice for everyone. show
off your nice little girl, i say.

so then katika comes to the phone. so what are you doing, katika. i'm
reading a book. i have a book she says. what's in your book, i say.
it's a book with stories about the sun, she says.

so that was my phonecall to romania this morning. i'm kinda happy,
right now. and i'll ask the reverend noemi to give katika some more
books. she likes to read. isn't that great.


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