Part 3: A Smile Worth Searching For

ANGI

I spotted this Angi only because I happened to be looking for another Angi that I couldn’t find at the time. Regardless Angi’s big, brown downcast eyes got my attention. I sensed a voice worth lending an ear to for a little while. She was one of the few children that did not find a cell phone enchanting at all, which helped to lessen distractions during out chat.

After breaking the ice I learned that Angi was and 11 year old that hoped to become a cosmetologist. She enjoyed going to school and her favorite subject was math This was an interview where my questions ranged from “what do you want to be when you grow up?” to “what is something that you would want on your Christmas list?” Sometimes asking these questions, I might be expecting fluffy answers, but it sobered me to hear that Angi wanted a cell phone for Christmas just so that she could call her foster parents. It had been a while since she had been in their care.     I used my better judgement and avoided asking why she was in a children’s home if she had foster parents. I figured that was something better left to her privacy. Besides her Roma appearance, she identified asHungarian. She spoke the language, she ate the food, and even spoke of one day moving to Hungary where she could speak Hungarian all the time [rather than the national language, Romanian]. She considered herself a good child—quiet and well-behaved.

[The time has come reader, to breach a relatively sensitive topic of the Roma or “gypsies.” Gypsies are a minority of Romanian population as well as the Hungarian population here in Miercuara Cuic and greater Romania. They are a generally nomadic group of people who are believed to be derived from India. They are characterized not only as beggars but stubborn to conform to modern practices like education or working for a wage. Generally, they are seen as lazy and a nuisance. You may encounter brown-skinned women who don beautiful colors in their scarves in skirts and/or the dirtied appearance of their children who may follow you for a bit to ask you for money. If you do encounter them, do not treat them with scorn, but simply go about your business. Nod and move on.]

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