Andrei Bazaiac was born in Stefanesti, Romania, in December of 1988, almost exactly one year before the revolution that ended Communist Ceausescu's crippling stranglehold on the country. From 1947 until 1989, the Romanian people lost properties and freedom creating rampant fear and distrust. It was a very disabling time.
Andrei's mother and father, grandparents and extended family all suffered personal loss during these times, but they have managed to resume healthy productive lives on land that has remained in the family for over 100 years. Their relatively small parcel is packed with fruit trees, vegetable and flower gardens with beautiful roses, phlox, iris and daffodils gathered and sold at local farmer markets throughout central Romania. The largest market place for the family is in the capital city of Bucharest approximately 70 miles away.
On April 11, last Wednesday, Andrei became a U.S. citizen. In a heartwarming ceremony at Scarborough High School, 58 individuals from 30 different countries became some of our newest citizens. It was my/our first experience with this process. The great mix of people from vastly different cultures created a diverse gathering. New citizens could bring family and guests. There were people from Canada, Finland, Central and South America, China, Africa, France, Poland and beyond. I'm not sure I will ever again be in the company of so many different voices.
Andrei was well supported. Many from his work place (seen in above photo) shared his accomplishment. Andrei, interestingly, works for a company called CIEE, which was responsible for his original entry into the U.S. through their work and travel program, a program he now promotes. He is an International Recruitment Consultant at CIEE, helping international students find summer employment. He has traveled extensively interviewing and hiring students for this program. Recently he visited Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Romania.
Friends and family from here attended Andrei's ceremony. Morgan, our daughter (Andrei's wife), her sister Megan (flew in from New York City), family friend Mary Lou Teel, Kevin and Nana Kiley, Rev. Kit Sherrill (who married Morgan and Andrei), Mom and I, John Druce, and Nell, who used to be Leadley, all celebrated this great event. Andrei worked locally at Linekin Bay Resort, Topside Inn, Rocktide, and Andrews’ Harborside. He and Morgan also managed Smuggler's Cove one season.
Andrei is fascinated with the Tesla company and its mission to “accelerate the advent of sustainable transportation,” especially the self-driving technology. Given his past achievements, I give Andrei a good chance of one day adding Tesla like vehicles to his Portland fleet.
Welcome to America Andrei.