INSP Advent Calendar: day four

Count down to Christmas with #INSPadvent! Each day in the run up to Christmas, we have a message from a different street paper vendor. Come back tomorrow to open another window.

Donate to back INSP’s work supporting street papers and their vendors here.

Elisabetha-Maria Iancu, 39, sells TagesSatz in a suburb of Göttingen. Credit: Ute Kahle

Elisabetha-Maria Iancu, 39, sells TagesSatz in Göttingen, Germany

When I was younger I worked in Sibiu, Romania in a cafe. As tourism flared and my first husband died, the earnings were nearing zero. We went with my children first to Italy and then to Germany to get jobs. I got a part time housecleaning job and my boyfriend worked in a building company. We can manage to support ourselves as long as we do not get sick, but I miss my big family here. I am going to school now to learn how to read and write. Ute from TagesSatz told me that I can manage that and she helped me and was right. Now I can even read the street paper I sell. That makes me very proud.

What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?

When my boyfriend of 20 years asked me to marry him last year, because I love him.

How do you plan to spend Christmas this year?

With my family here in Germany. I became a grandmother this year.

If you did not sell a street paper, how do you think you might be spending Christmas this year?

I’d be very much less well-off, and maybe unemployed and homeless in Romania.

Do you have a special Christmas message for your customers?

I want to thank them for the support they gave me and tell them I love every single one of them.

What is a traditional Christmas greeting in your language?

Craciun fericit! La Mulți Ani!