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Bela Staicu


When you hear "Transylvania," thoughts of vampires and Gothic castles may come to mind. Fortunately, there's much more to this enchanting region. Just look at the picturesque town of Sibiu, where Bela Staicu, the hygienist at Calahonda's "Sonrisa" dental clinic, began her story 23 years ago. Despite having lived in Spain since childhood and not having returned for four years, it’s still where her grandparents live, and still a place she occasionally thinks of as “home.”

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As often happens, it was Bela's father who ventured forth alone from Romania, seeking a new life for his family. Despite being a trained veterinarian, economic circumstances forced him to find work in construction. In his mid-thirties, in 2006, he set his sights on Spain, where he had a cousin in Alhaurín el Grande, near Coín, despite not speaking a word of Spanish. Establishing himself as a gardener, he now works at Casa de las Flores, two decades later. However, at the beginning, success was far from assured, and there was no guarantee that the family would follow in his footsteps. Bela's mother made the first journey, leaving Bela in her grandparents' care. Yet, missing her daughter, she returned a few months later to bring Bela along. The three-day, two-night bus journey marked the beginning of their new life.


Initially, Bela felt exhilarated by the adventure, but reality soon struck her like a shockwave. She found herself in a school located in a predominantly gypsy barrio, where she was a stranger to everyone and unable to speak Spanish. Luckily, she was "adopted" by a Romanian classmate who already spoke Spanish and acted as her translator. To this day, they remain best friends, bridging the gap of many years. Alongside her friend, her friend's sister, and her parents' social circle, Romanian culture continues to enrich Bela's life.


Thankfully, her school experience soon improved. The bright young girl quickly picked up Spanish and now passes as a native speaker without a hint of an accent. Encouraged by her ambitious mother, she dedicated herself to her studies. Moreover, years of watching English TV shows with Romanian subtitles honed her English skills, which are now virtually flawless.


Bela's talents extended to the realm of music, and her heart was set on teaching the subject She played in the town band, called into action for processions through the streets. But not for her the pretty flute or clarinet – Bela opted for a cool tenor saxophone. Her creative prowess naturally led her to pursue an arts baccalaureate, but she discovered to her horror that she hated the subjects  – so much that she took time out of school to figure things out. She found employment as a street charity fundraiser, known as "chugging," but eventually realised that her mother was right: she needed to return to school. This time, she attended a different school in Málaga, with a greater focus on science.


The logical next step was pursuing a dental nursing course—an achievement that fulfilled a lifelong dream. Bela's own positive experience during major oral surgery at the age of eight, coupled with the compassionate care provided by the dentist, inspired her to follow in their footsteps and care for others. After graduating, she began working at a dental practice in Coín, but only part-time positions as a dental nurse were available. However, being a hygienist represented a clear step up, a role that she adores, especially when patients diligently follow her guidelines and maintain proper flossing habits. Witnessing the remarkable improvement in their gums and overall dental health is always a cause for joy. And when working with people who abandon their good habits, Bela approaches them with empathy, understanding that it's not just about education but also about self-esteem. On the bright side, she has witnessed incredible transformations when individuals turn their habits around.


But above and beyond her personal approach; Bela possesses a unique quality that allows her to perform hygiene treatments without causing the slightest discomfort. When she undergoes dental procedures herself, she carefully analyzes each movement, adopting effective practices like observing patients' facial expressions and maintaining constant interaction. It's all about taking the time to understand where it might hurt and where it won't, drawing on her expertise to give each patient a painless experience.


But in the end, it all boils down to a single secret, which she shares with one of her own brilliant smiles: “the real technique is love, and passion. It’s as simple as that.”

Comments (1)

17 jul 2023
I am Bela's mother, there were difficult moments but what matters now is that we are fine, we are united and happy! You did a good job with these articles!
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