August 2003 - First trip to try to find Georgiana as narrated by Vali Nas:
Some details of
Mariana's trip to Bisoca to find Georgiana: She had a few problems to solve in
Buzau, and when she made time to go to Bisoca, she had to delay again for a few
days because of two days of storm. You see, Bisoca is not a very large village,
located up on the hills, with not so very good roads, so whenever there is a lot
of rain the road up there can get pretty difficult. Also, Georgiana and her
family are not living in the village, but in a gypsy community outside the
village, with no road to access there by car. You have asked if it was a long
trip from our home -- well, I would say it would take 2.5-3 hours to get from
Bucharest to Georgiana's home.
OK, let me start from the beginning. Mariana went to Bisoca on Friday the 22nd,
and she first stopped at the main village store to ask about Georgiana and
Gheorghe Manea, but nobody had heard about them and they gave Mariana directions
to look 30 kms further. However, she stopped at the mayor's office too and
talked to the mayor and some of the counselors, who remembered Gheorghe Manea's
family (fortunately, Gheorghe had submitted a request for social support, which
is a small amount of money that the town hall gives to families in need based on
the council's decision taken after the case is analyzed). Mariana saw a copy of
Gheorghe's ID card and was able to read the home study they made upon receiving
the request for social support.
The family is comprised of Gheorghe Manea (born January 2, 1966), his mother
Ileana Manea (born September 8, 1947), Gheorghe's younger sister (soon to turn
18) and Georgiana. The whole family's monthly income is 210,000 lei (less than
$7), which represents Georgiana's school allowance. They live on the outskirts
of Bisoca, in a small village called Lacurile, a community of a gypsies called "rudari".
This term "rudari" designates gypsies who manufacture wooden things, like wooden
spoons, wooden tubs, wooden spindles etc. They are not nomad but tend to live
in one place, don't own any land and work for the peasants in the area who hire
them for help with the crops.
The access from Bisoca to the small community is made on a very bad road which
cannot be used by cars. The closest store is located 4 kms (2.5 miles) away.
The houses -- made of "chirpici" (a mixture of mud and straws) -- are built on a
rocky area at the foot of a hill covered with forests. The altitude is around
1,000 meters (3,000 ft). The area is not suitable to grow grains or vegetables,
which makes them even poorer. The only occupation is growing cattle and fruit
Oh, before I forget, Georgiana's last name is NADEANU, not VADEANU. Also, her
personal numeric code is: 2950530008072. If you have this number it's easy to
look for her anywhere in Romania, it is a unique code that only she has. The
first figure shows the person's gender (1 for male, 2 for female). The next six
figures show the person's birth date, so you can see that Georgiana was born May
30, 1995. I don't what is the significance of the six figures left.
When Mariana got there, Georgiana's father was not home. He is working as a
guard to a herd of cattle. The grandmother was home, and so were Georgiana and
Gheorghe's 18 years old sister. When Mariana asked about Gheorghe Manea,
everyone was curious and afraid he might have been involved in a serious
incident or some illegal activity. After Mariana reassured them that nothing
wrong happened, they thought she was coming from the Direction for Child
Unfortunately, the batteries in Mariana's camera were not working so she needed
new ones. Therefore, she asked Georgiana and her grandmother to accompany her
to the nearest village store so she can get new batteries. The pics I have sent
you were taken there, and not near Georgiana's home. Mariana has spent some
time with them at the store and here is what she was able to find out from
discussions with them: the grandmother is almost 56 years old, she had 9
children (7 are living), Gheorghe Manea is her oldest child, and his 18 years
old sister living with them is her youngest child. After her husband's death 4
years ago she developed some sort of mental condition and claims she cannot
Almost nine years ago Gheorghe left the community and tried to find something to
work in the Brasov area, West of Bisoca, over the mountains. There he met
Elena, the girls' mother, who was from Sacele, near Brasov. She was not
divorced (and today is still Ioan Nadeanu's wife), therefore Gheorghe's relation
with Elena was one of concubinage. They lived together for almost 4 years and
had two children: Georgiana and Bianca. Due to the mother's behavior (she was
showing no interest in her children), Gheorghe decided that the only solution
would be they should separate and take care of one child each. He took the
oldest child with him back home to his mother when Georgiana was about 3 years
old. Although she doesn't bear his name, Georgiana is his recognized child and
therefore he doesn't need to follow any adoption procedures in order to keep and
About 4 years ago, the mother came with Bianca to Bisoca. Bianca was very
poorly dressed and looked malnourished and very poorly cared for. Elena tried to
leave her with her father, saying that she has no possibility to raise her and
care for her. Both Gheorghe and his mother refused to take her in, so Elena
took Bianca to the orphanage.
It seems that the mother Elena is still living, probably still in the Sacele
area where her family is from. The last time she came to visit Georgiana was
before Easter this year, in April. According to the grandmother, Elena doesn't
have any other children.
Georgiana has finished 1st grade and will start 2nd grade on September 15th.
She doesn't seem very interested in school and says she doesn't know how to read
or write. Anyway, nobody in her family is preoccupied to help her with her
education. She has to walk about half an hour to get to school.
The grandmother asked about Bianca and Mariana told her that she has been
adopted and is now living in America. A few minutes later, during the
conversation, Mariana realized that for them America = Bucharest (Bucharest
representing in their eyes the maximum of well-being), and the word "adoption"
has no meaning for them.
Georgiana has never left her community and therefore is very shy. Her family
has no TV or radio, thus her access to any form of information is extremely
limited. She is a pretty girl, well developed for her age, with dark blonde
hair and light brown eyes and pretty white skin. It seems that Georgiana has
inherited these colors from her mother, the
rest of her family having the skin, hair and eyes of darker color. Mariana
showed them Bianca's photo and they consider her as a very beautiful girl who
was lucky to live in better conditions than Georgiana.
The grandmother said that there are days when they don't even have money to buy
bread, and they have a very hard life that they live day by day. Despite all
these difficulties, Georgiana and her grandmother care for each other. Mariana
was very impressed with their poverty and bought them some food worth 300,000
lei (almost $10), for which they were very grateful. However, Mariana thinks
that they would desperately need other help (clothes, items for home, money
etc.) The lady who owns the store helps them from time to time (she gave
Georgiana the nice hat in the photos). If you will ever think of trying to help
them, please let us know, we might have some ideas.
You were asking if you would be able to write to them in Romanian: you could
send the letters to the store (Mariana wrote down the lady's name and phone
number). We would very much like to meet you and Bianca, and Mariana could
accompany you to Georgiana's family. Please keep us posted.
Photos from the
first trip August 2003 - Georgiana and Grandma