2009 Visit Reports
Spring Survey Report, March 2009
Team consisted of: Peter Tolson, John Roche, Paul Smith
team arrived safely, but had a rough 'start' as it was discovered Istvan had
left his lights on, and we had to push start the car.
arrived at the flat around 9pm, and Paul immediately set about mending the
various leaks to enable us to put the water on tap. Unfortunately whatever we
did, the water wouldnít flow.
next morning the hospital plumber informed us that he had turned off a tap near
the immersion heater. This was a tap that we never touched We had never even
gave it a thought. We went to the hospital where the patients mobbed us, in a
nice way of course.
a meeting with head nurse who informed us that Dr Grigoriou wanted to employ a
building firm to build the extension. With the money that the Dutch charity
offered, the Mormon money and our own contribution, he reckoned that it could be
done. We had many questions but she could not answer. A meeting would be
scheduled for 10am the next day.
spent the rest of the day getting provisions, and sorting the flat. Paul cooked
us a nice evening meal.
next morning, we went back for a meeting, and Nurse Stoica arranged for us to
meet Grigoriou in Brasov within the hour. It was with some doubt that we went to
the Brasov main hospital because in previous visits he proved illusive. To our
surprise, he not only convened a meeting with us, but with the building
contractors who would do the work. They seemed very professional, and had been
used before to good effect. They seemed confident that they could finish the
whole project within a month and it would be handed over in a finished
condition. A site meeting was planned for 10am the next day where we would talk
specifics, and make plans.
went into Brasov for some lunch and then went to Istvans home. It snowed hard
the whole day. We also went to Baumax and bought some spare pipes for the
returned home in the evening and Nina came to the flat.
the next morning we visited the dentist and took a list of things she needed to
be replaced. Everything was fine except for a light not working.
met the builders and Dr Grigoriou at 10am. We had a detailed tour of the
complete hospital, and the builders suddenly decided that there were some
problems with permissions to build, and maybe the building after all would not
be completed. The building was to be a 2 ward unit with toilet and
corridors. Dr Grigoriou wanted us to build a covered patio area along the back
similar to decking.
the tour was complete, the priorities changed. He wanted us to help
convert the old sewing room and store room into wards, and to build a shower
room with 2 toilets and a sink roughly where the old toilet is. We decided that
this was entirely feasible if we could get the labour and the money to buy the
patio area would be the second priority. Paul and John made initial measurements
and came up with a basic plan of before and after scenarios.
the meeting, we went to the flat for some lunch. Nina came with some pancakes
which was nice. We went to the surgery where we needed to make some repairs to
the water system. Many of the pipes were broken. How this happens regularly is a
then moved on for a visit to the school. Everything was fine. Some of the
exterior walls were crumbling but not too bad. The guard was not there, and we
were told that they did not have any money to pay him, so he went.
told us that they were desperate to get some ďLegoĒ. They also wanted us to
tile the toilet areas. We thought to ourselves that this would be good as it
would save too many bodies crowding the main project.
journey back to England was uneventful excepting the speed with which we got
through customs and security. They were really on the ball for a change.
the Friday after the visit, Istvan phoned saying that they would like to use 80%
of the Mormon money to purchase the windows, and asked us if I could put the
rest in the builders account to buy materials. It was stated that as long as the
Mormons got a proforma invoice then it would be no problem, Istvan also said
that Dr Grigoriou was going to e-mail a colour coded drawing which we could
hopefully work into our plans to help. Each colour would represent an option
over and above the basic shell in which we could improve the structure if we
have a) the finance, and b) the workforce.
we feel that it was a successful trip and gave us a clear direction for the
summer. Prices in Romania have escalated to the stage that they are similar to
ours. Unemployment is rife at the moment and more people are being made
redundant each week. The roads are much improved with fewer areas of potholes.
Beware, they are still there.
car is still working well although it is really starting to look its age. We
must really start to think what will happen when the car eventually dies.
thought of several memorial word versions of the plaque for Phil. We decided
that we should produce the variations and present them to the next meeting for a
vote on which to choose, or further ideas.
2009 Team Report
Peter Tolson, John Roche,
Peirs, Chester and Stephen.
Team consisted of Peter Tolson, John Roche, Piers, 'Chester' and Stephen
1 Sunday 2nd August.
The flight on time, all was
well. We stopped at Sinai for some
We Arrived Mina at around
4pm. Unpacked and had a cold lunch. John was not too well as he had not slept
the previous night. He went to lie down. All the rest of us had a look at the
new building. We were not overly impressed, as they appear to have cut corners,
and are using local timber which is very green.
We could see the structure warping as it dries out. Still this is our opinion,
and we are not the experts. W will wait until John has seen it in the morning.
Floor is sloping also.
We had some tea snacks. All
went to pub. We plan to meet the head nurse tomorrow morning, and meet with
Grigoriou at 11am.
2 Monday 3rd August
After breakfast we all went
over to inspect the new building. While we were there, a lorry arrived with beds
and mattresses from Germany. The Head Nurse was tied up with the delivery so no
We discussed ways of
achieving the decking with the site foreman. There was no way that we could
finish this in the time we had available.
Dr Grigoriou arrived and we
all had a discussion. It was then decided that we would do the original project,
and he would ask the foreman to quote a price for the decking. He arrived at a
price but not including the roof. Dr Grigoriou was extremely polite and
courteous to us.
John went in to town to
start the purchasing of materials for the partitions. He organised the wood,
doors and plasterboard to be delivered.
3 Tuesday 4th August
Expected delivery of wood
didnít arrive. Some things never change. I went in to town with Stephen to get
the electrical and plumbing materials. Just managed to fit all the parts in the
car. Got most things, but still more to get. Enough to start though.
Got back and unloaded. The
delivery of Johnís items had arrived, but wood was holding us up.
Sewing ladies were meant to
move out, but they were still there getting in everyoneís way. Team working
well, but very small space to work in. After lunch, Istvan went to chase
up the wood, and it finally came an hour later. They gave us extra as
compensation for waiting.
Temperature is hot and very
humid and it ha just started to thunder. There was a gig thunder storm
during the night.
4 Wednesday 5th August
Real progress today. Lots of
trips out to buy food and materials. Partitions
arw really taking shape, and the electrics are coming together nicely. One
patient keeps taking stuff and running away with it. So far she has had wood,
conduit, the old lead waste pipe, and some electrical trunking. A 90-degree bend
100mm pipe has also gone missing along with a circuit breaker!!!! We are getting
the plumber to move some pipes tomorrow. They are buried in a wall, and need re-siting.
We have just about worked out the routes of all the water, soil and waste pipes,
but it is very difficult to get it together in a confined space.
Weather fine, but still hot
4 days now, and nobody down
with food poisoning. We must be getting good at this cooking lark!
Istvan is at home tonight.
He will be back later tomorrow.
5 Thursday 6th August
Morning started brightly.
The plumber had been to re-site a water connection. He had removed a pipe, but
did nothing else. We called him back to instruct him again about what was
required. He promptly cut his hand, and that was the last we saw of him. We
decided to do it ourselves. Job done in 10 minutes.
Work was slow because John
needed the water connections before fitting the cubicles. Steve cracked on and
got the water back on with the new connections. Istvan is back now..
We now had a problem with
the radiator pipes. They were sticking out right where we wanted to work.
Called plumber again, and he promptly made excuses as to why he couldnít do
it. No pipe, no 15mm fittings, never did this type before etc etc. Sent Istvan
out for the pipe and then did it ourselves.
The Team now moved much
quicker to get the connections in and the toilets in position with services
connected. Very awkward, but they all pulled together and got the job done. The
electric was connected along with another circuit breaker! All flowing smoothly,
and then disaster. Our new 100mm 90-degree bend waste pipe had gone missing
again. A thorough search proved fruitless, and Istvan and I went to the
nurseís station to get our pipe back. 3 nurses went to the girlís ward, and
found the girl cuddled up in her bed next to our pipe. None of us even saw her
Toilets now sorted, and main
connections where they should be. Called it a day and went for tea. Very heavy
rain and thundering again. The boys went in to Codlea for a drink.
6 Friday 7th August
Very overcast first thing.
We all made the decision that we would go out as planned and hope it brightened
up. How wrong we were. We went to Bushteni, and went up the cable car to the
top. We were literally walking with our heads in a cloud. We could see nothing,
and then it started to rain, and continued all day. It was a real shame as the boys didnít get to see the view
that we knew was there. We had a
meal in a restaurant, which was ok, but they were very impolite. We got home
around 6.30pm courtesy of Vladimir in his Volkswagen mini-bus Mk2.
7 Saturday 8th August
Foggy start. Continued with
plumbing and partitions. Went local to get urgent materials, then on to Brasov
looking for tiles, shower door, lino tiles, and lots of other
important stuff. Went to 5 shops, still bought nothing. You would think
the shopkeepers didnít want to sell us anything! Some were very rude, and
couldnít be bothered to help. Went to Baumax. Found most things, but still no
Time was getting on, so we
had something to eat, and went to a small outlet selling sanitary ware.
Found something that we
could adapt, and better still, it was in stock. Went back to Mina much happier.
The sun was shining at last. Why couldnít it do that yesterday?
Stephen turned the water on
to pressure test the system. All ok except for the central heating blanking cap.
Renewed the seal and it was fine. Toilet doors next. They cost around £40 each,
and were the poorest quality that we have ever seen. Wasted a lot of time making
them work, but we did it.
Started to cement all the
holes ready for tiling on Monday. Rest tomorrow. We are all very tired.
8 Sunday 9th August
Started sunny, then started
to rain. We seem to be cursed with the weather. Next door played loud music
until 2-30am. Very tired.
Cleaned the flat, weather
improved. We went up to Poiana Brasov. Had
a good meal. Met Ilya Nastasi the tennis player in the restaurant.
Nice day. Hope we all have good nights sleep.
9 Monday 10th August
Bright and sunny. John is in
a lot of pain with his knees. Too much walking yesterday. Went in to Codlea to
get plaster so that work can continue. Later went into Brasov to get plaque. No
luck with brass, but have a good brass substitute. Only problem now is that by
Wednesday we will have a lovely plaque, but nowhere to put it, as none of the
buildings are ready.
The team did well today.
Tiling started in shower room, and shower tray in position. Booth will go in
tomorrow, and toilets ready for painting. Piers undercoated the doors ready for
a gloss topcoat.
Our thief took another
90-degree elbow waste pipe. John got it back. Later in the evening she appeared
in the doorway of the flat. Hope nothing is missing. She is so silent we just do
not see or hear her coming. She has taken the 90-degree bend again!
10 Tuesday 11th August
Bright and sunny. Everything
going well. Painted doors, partitions, and 1st toilet.
Shower cubicle assembled and
put into position. Tricky boxing procedure, but we did it.
Final grouting tomorrow, and
we may get use of the shower for the rest of the week.
Patients have been amusing
today. One particular patient seems to like calling out Pete, or it maybe beep!
The lads have been answering his call with their own version of Beep! Another
patient decided to strip from the waste down, and examines his anatomy in great
detail. John has just sacked him as his apprentice. Found the 90-degree bend in
the patientís bed again!
We went down the pub, and
were confronted with a 14 year old girl lying on the ground by the river
unconscious from drink. Apparently her 22-year-old sister was almost as bad. An
ambulance was called. First the ambulance crew refused to get her from the
ground, as it was dirty. The locals then grabbed her by her shoulders and feet,
and dragged her into the ambulance. End of a perfect day.
11 Wednesday 12th August
Rainy start today. Went to
the Metro to change some money, while the boys carried on with the work.
The shower was completed
today, and the doors were painted brown, to hide the defects. It works well and
looks good. The shower went live this evening, and Steve test-drove the first
one. Everything went fine. Tomorrow we are putting up shower curtains in the
doorways, but that still is not simple for a number of reasons. Just got to test
drive the toilets next.
We are considering re-siting
the radiator, but that also may pose problems, as we are mounting it on
plasterboard. We will see tomorrow.
12 Thursday 13th August
John up early, couldnít sleep. It is sunny today. Everywhere on the project was a hive of activity. Only problem was that we were all getting in each otherís way. Even Piers felt the pressure and let a little swear word slip. Doors had been drying all night, and were still wet! We moved the central heating radiator to the outside wall near the door. Managed to find some fittings and the copper pipe. Itís a pity we cannot pressure test the system as the plumber didnít want to turn the water back on. Everybody frantically painting, grouting cleaning and polishing. Modesty curtains were installed, and the sink was fitted. Soap dish and toilet role holder installed. Everything works. 5.30pm we are almost there. Just got to fit the toilet doors in the morning and put the signs on and have a tidy up.
A patient displayed some
aggressive behaviour towards Peter when I was emptying the rubbish. It was the
same one who attacked Reg previously.
Everybody enjoyed the new
shower this evening, except Peter. He was last, and the system lost water
pressure and ran cold just as he had got soaped up. Steve was just getting out
of the shower when he caught the thief entering.WeI am not sure who was shocked
the most. The Head Nurse is preparing some food for us tomorrow around mid-day.
We are all going in to Brasov in the evening for some food at Mados. The boys
have earned it. Unfortunately the money that they brought with them doesnít go
far these days, and all are running short of money. It is worth making a note
for future teams. Everything is so expensive now.
13 Friday 14th August
John and Peter put the doors
on and finished the floor. Last thing to do was to put the signs on.
We sorted the tools and made
a list of what was left in the flat.
We were called over for a
meal in the doctorís office around 1pm. Lots of food as usual and a little bit
to drink. We asked the Head Nurse what she thought of our work. She replied that
she could not have asked us to do it any better. We talked about future
projects. She said that the local building company doing the extension is doing
the decking at the back. She stated that possibly the need would be to extend
from the decking and make a new room, or to terrace the front of the building
which quite frankly, would be a better option for us, but both has its
challenges. John did say that none of their challenges have beaten us yet!
Fighting talk I think. We did suggest that Mike may send a team later on in the
year, and whether there was any work needed to be done. She stated that the
Kitchen needed to be cleaned and possibly painted. We discussed the placing of
the plaque when buildings are ready. Marian remembers Phil, and has requested a
photograph of him on a team visit. We said we will search for one.
3.30pm, and the boys have
gone into Brasov for a look around. We will join them at 6.30pm at Mados for an
evening meal. It has just started
to rain and thunder.
Another successful visit
from the NNRT team.
Winter 2009 Team Report
Again this year, it appears at the point of publishing, we will be unable to send a team for the customary pre Christmas visit.