We left before dawn. A few hours earlier a couple Irish journalists invited me to ride with them into the Carpathian mountains of Romania. It was early 1990. They were doing a story on orphans and adoptions (and how ‘baby-selling’ was becoming a flourishing business). Romania was just awakening after decades under Soviet control.
It was a rutted, dangerous road. No street-lights of any sort. The four of us communicated in a mix of languages: Romanian, French, German and English. The taxi driver slammed on his brakes: “Aici”- he shouted! “Ici” – I confirmed in French. “Da”-he nodded. We were ‘here’. We slithered out of the taxi. It was cold…. And damp. And dark.
We started our way over a hilly, rough meadow towards a small village, lit by the morning outdoor cooking fires. We were about a 10 minute walk away from the first campground.
Little did I know my life path was about to change.