Dearest Cornelia,

We have been home just a few days and we think of you often.  It is hard to put into words how very much we appreciate the wonderful gift you gave us through our time we spent together in Maramures.

Friends have asked about our trip and we always start by trying to describe the magic that we felt while in Maramures.  It is like no other place to which we have traveled.   All countries have great museums of which they are proud, of wonderful architecture to be photographed, of interesting history to be told, and of nature of great beauty.  Indeed Romania has all of that .  But it has something that the other places we visited do not have.  You have Maramures.

Of course, we appreciated the trip to the museum in Sighetu Marmatiei and the Merry Sapanta Cemetery.  And we were amazed by the beautiful UNESCO wooden churches.  But what makes Maramures so special is the people.   We deeply appreciate the contact you helped us make with people along the way.  The woodcarver so proud to share his work.  The woman who patiently showed us how she turned hemp into cloth and went to put on her wedding jacket for our photo together.  The gentleman who brought the key to the church in Ieud so proud to do so when you called.  And being able to stop along the road to watch the farmers gather in their potatoes or stack piles of wood on their carts.  It is a place like no other.

Someone on the plane coming home asked where we had been.  When I told him, he replied “Romania?  Why would you go there?  It is so poor!”  But indeed, we do not believe that at all.  We believe that Romania has a richness to it that is invaluable.  The people. 

Stephen and Christina Anderson

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