Maramureş County, Deseşti, Romania: April 30, 2018
One morning after breakfast, we saw the milk guy headed back toward the sheep fold with his wagon and milk can. We hurried and followed him at a distance because he had a head start and he was really moving. When the barking dogs headed his way, he threw a rock at them.
The milk guy was wary of the dogs up ahead, too. He stopped at the top of one hill and called toward the sheep fold before he continued. Emboldened because the dogs kept their distance, we followed a little while longer realizing that soon we'd be without the milk guy as a protector. We turned back toward the guesthouse and safety.
On Sunday, before our drive to Săpȃnța, we walked to church. We were hoping to see people dressed in traditional clothing, and we did. We milled around outside the church people watching.
|Placing Flowers on her Mother's Grave|
|Waiting for services to begin|
This morning, Monday, we showed up again and the priest gave us a tour of the exquisite interior paintings.
|Lower portion of Iconostasis|
|Upper portion of Iconostasis depicting the Crucifixion|
Frescos in the narthex remind you what will happen if you are not a believer. Judgement day is depicted on the walls of the narthex (entrance/exit) on either side of the doorway. As you leave the church, the left wall has kind of a rogue's gallery for those that are damned. Beneath the portrait gallery is the red burning river of hell as it carries damned souls into the maw of the Leviathan monster. The right wall of the narthex which shows those that have been judged to be pure enough for heaven isn't as interesting.
|Overall view of left wall showing the damned|
Who is damned according to this fresco?
|Jews--the merchants, rich, so easy to envy|
|The Habsburgs--they have a history|
|The Turks--more history|
|The Crimean Tartars--yep they did the Romanians wrong|
There is a second church in Deseşti. The denomination is Greek-Catholic. It is new but built in the traditional style. Its paintings are not as interesting as the other wooden church, but its proximity to a stork nest drew us to it.
Many people believe that storks bring not babies but luck. These white storks arrive every March to return to their nesting poles and lay eggs. They take turns sitting on the eggs and when the one mate returns to the nest both birds clack their beaks in greeting. They are mesmerizing to watch from the elevation of the church.
|White stork coming in for landing|