The following is the account of my experiences in a town called Marosvasarhely. It is the story of the children of the Gabor family, the children of Revolutie Street.

In the fall of 2000, I travelled to Transylvania, the hungarian region of Romania. I went there to try to find the man who had saved my father's life.. but that is another story. Waiting for a train, roaming around Marosvasarhely, I came across a little boy in rags. That's how it started.

Then I met his family, a gypsy family with nine children. (I am using "gypsy" instead of "roma" advisedly, the people I know describe themselves as cigány, which translates to gypsy, the Hungarian gypsies of Romania). They live in extreme poverty. Starving. Having to beg to get enough food to eat. Racism and bigotry is rife in Romania, seemingly encouraged by the authorities....after all, a people in such deep shit as the people of Romania, need a scapegoat.

On returning to the Land of Plenty, my friends and I had news that they, and the other three families who live in the same courtyard, were to be evicted from their apartments. As bad as those apartments are --one room, small kitchen, and an outside toilet-- they are still places to live... and in that they are luckier than many other gypsy families. But a crooked landlord made them sign fraudulent leases, and as a result, they lost the right to stay.

We decided to help them fight the eviction and on December 15th, I left for Transyvania again.

And so it came to pass that Grandfather Got a House.




Elizabeth Fischer, 2002