20 July 2012

The Leprosarium of Tichilesti and Bygone Days in... (Brăila - 4430 km)

(Brăila, 17.07.2012 - 18.07.2012) An article released by the Czernowitzer daily newspaper "Der Tag" on 01.08.1933 attracted my attention, as it related to a leper colony located in Tichilesti. Reasons enough for me to pay a visit to the neighbouring city of Brăila. The most impressive old center of the town has many 19th century buildings, mainly built on behalf of Jews, but just a few of them fully restored. Join me for a city walk and feel the mood of a bygone era in Brăila!

However, my real target was not Brăila, but the Leprosarium of Tichilesti, located somewhere in no-man's-land halfway between Brăila and Tulcea.

I was cordially received by Dr. Răsvan Alexe Vasiliu, the manager and head physician of the leprosarium, and got every opportunity to visit the institution and to talk to the patients, or more precisely, to the residents, as the medical possibilities for assistance are very limited.

"Aunty Ioana", at the of 84, the eldest resident of the colony, lives - together with her not contaminated daughter - in a small house next door to the small Baptist church. She was taken to the leprosarium at the age of twelve in 1941 and lives in Tichilesti ever since then.

Crossing the Danube by an auto ferry back to Brăila and reconsidering what I saw, I had the strong feeling, that Dr. Răsvan Alexe Vasiliu and his team, focussing on social aspects, are doing their utmost to enable their long-term-to-eternal "guests" to lead a "normal" life.

It was just a very short visit, but as I promised to you, dear Dr. Răsvan Alexe Vasiliu, I'm going to return to Tichilesti, perhaps not this year, but one day...!

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