Vurpar, Romania
Vurpar Street
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View of the Village
Vurpar is a necklace of red tiled roofs strung between the Romanian and German churches. Some 2,400 people live in Vurpar, mostly Romanians, Gypsies and Germans. The economy in Vurpar is rural, agrarian, and facilitated through barter.

Former Kolhoz
The communists tried to collectivize the farms on the Soviet Kolhoz model. At the same time they industrialized the cities installing great steam belching steel works, foundries and factories. Young people left the villages for the higher pay of the cities. The factories failed, the collectives failed. Communism failed. The cities are now filled with the unemployed. The villagers, who were taught by the communists to depend upon central planning, have no supplies, no spare parts, no income, no markets, and no idea where to start (How to Help). It is quite a challenge to rebuild farms, develop markets and compete with the significantly more efficient West, without outside help.

Sheep Flock
For hundreds of years the sheep have grazed in the fields around Vurpar and they still produce food for the village and some income for their owners. They are one of the few aspects of local agricultural that has not totally failed.

Sawing Logs
The entire economy has been disrupted to the point where power tools are almost unheard of. Labor in the village is more reminiscent of the 19th century. (How to help.)

'Til the Cows Come Home
In the morning the cows leave their courtyards and head toward pasture and food. They graze in the sun and rain and come home, leaderless it seems, at the dusk of each day to be milked and to find shelter. They go to "their" gate, nudge it open or are met by a member of the household. Being "out until the cows come home" has a clearer meaning in Vurpar. It's not all that late.

The Pasture Road
Life has a rhythm in Vurpar. Cows use the streets like the humans and it all seems well ordered and normal. The cows (oxen and horses, too) move with purpose from one place to another as if they have obligations to fulfill. Most families have a cow, a pig, chickens and a garden. That's how they get by.
Water Buffalo
Water Buffalo are big animals and they do their work in the village, too. They are important for carrying materials and for plowing. You occasionally see a buffalo plying in the streets on the way to somewhere and something.
The center of each home is the dining room table. Most homes in Vurpar are small, having one bedroom, a kitchen, and a dining room. A few have a living room that serves as an additional bedroom. Fewer still have an indoor bathroom.

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Make donations payable to:
Vurpar Project, St. Mary's Romanian Orthodox Church,
% Jim Sack
902 West Rudisill Blvd,
Fort Wayne, IN 46807.

It's a tax deductible donation!

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