In November 2001, I travelled with an "Operation Christmas Child" team to Romania to distribute gifts to children.
This was my first trip to Eastern Europe and it was a "Baptism of Fire"
We flew to Bucharest and then had a six hour journey in a mini van right across Romania to Constanta on the edge of the Black Sea. I was glad I had taken some thermal underwear as the temperature never rose above -12 centigrade - the Black Sea was actually frozen solid near the coast.
We distributed shoebox gifts to children in a local hospital, several orphanages and gypsies living out in the open countryside in make-shift sheds.