What I love about Romania: Bob Faulkner (US) - A beautiful land with a beautiful people
We're inviting our readers to share their stories and tell the world what they love about Romania. Bob Faulkner joined our campaign and filled in this questionnaire. Below you can read more about what he loves about the country.
Bob Faulkner visited Romania before and after the fall of the Communist regime and has seen the country transform. He says he would move to Romania right away if he were able to convince his wife and be able to travel to the country where he likes the people and the natural landscapes, among others. He argues Romania is not for everyone, but those who want to help others in need and have "and a love of nature and music and hard work" will find a place here.
More about his experience in Romania in the Q&A below.
What is your name and what is your nationality?
Bob Faulkner, American
Please share your story with us briefly, so we understand your relationship with Romania.
In 1985 and 1987, in connection with American and Romanian churches, I spent summers in Romania under Ceausescu's reign. I learned to love the toughness of the Romanian Christians, felt a little of their pain, learned their culture, some language.
In 1998 and 2002, I visited Romania again and saw differences but samenesses too. Soldiers with guns on every corner were replaced with cell phones and a little cash, but it was obvious poverty was still a problem. And still is. A map of Romania, with a circle around the Nord-Est hangs in my office. I will never forget her. I went to give to her, but she has given to me precious memories and some great friends. God bless Romania!
Would you recommend Romania as a country to live in or to visit? Kindly explain your answer.
If I could convince my wife and re-gain my ability to fly, I would probably move to Romania tonight. A beautiful land with a beautiful people. No, Romania is not for everyone. Spoiled Americans would have to lay down a few things. But for someone with a heart for those in need, and a love of nature and music and hard work, and in many cases the deep-seated love of God, pack your bags. Maybe we'll be on the same flight. One-way ticket if possible.
What are some of the misconceptions you most often hear about Romania and how do you feel about them?
I do not hear much about Romanians in the circles I travel in. I imagine that the idea of universal poverty would be one. There are actually some very modern and affluent cities there. Persecution might still be lingering in some people's thoughts. For the most part that died in 1989, though of course politics are still politics.
What is the most powerful feeling that Romania brings to you and why?
Hard to explain. There's a heart-burning there for sure. In the 1980's I knew my (Christian) people were being imprisoned and tortured and killed. I wanted to be there. I was so privileged to meet the persecuted church and their courage and devotion rubbed off.
Please tell us the three things you like the most about Romania.
The people. The courage. The beauty.
If you had to advertise for Romania as a country, what would be the top things you would mention to promote it?
Its past as a people who have overcome Nazism and Communism.
Its present as a nation that is slowly recovering its losses.
Its splendor, in terms of the natural landscape.
What could make Romania the perfect country for you (what's missing)?
Me being there is one for sure. I wish I could work in Nord-Est to relieve the suffering that still remains.
More faith. I noticed the churches lost something numerically and otherwise when Communism left. I see it in Western Romanian churches too...
What are your favorite places in Romania and why?
Iași and all of Romanian Moldavia.
Tichilesti (leper colony)
What is your favorite Romanian food?
Mamaliga [e.n. polenta]
What are the Romanian words/phrases a non-Romanian speaker should know, in your opinion?
Da and nu.
Anything else to share with us that was not covered in the questions above?
I have written a book, only recently. The book is available at Amazon. "Word Pictures from 'my' Romania." Documents two trips to Romania from my old journals, 1987 and 2002.
(Photo courtesy of Bob Faulkner)