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Earlier that day, photographer Andy Mills flew by Christie and his family — twice — while taking photos from the open door of a small plane. Christie and his wife were catching some rays on an otherwise deserted shoreline behind a state-provided beach house.
For most people the word gypsy evokes a romantic image of a nomadic lifestyle. Although the traditional gypsy way of life was common all over Europe several decades ago, their number has dwindled during the past century and now they are mostly found in remote areas of Romania. Due to environmental and economic circumstances as well as governmental pressure, their way of life is threatened and facing inevitable extinction. The end of socialism marked the beginning of Roma/Gypsy decline from relative well being to extreme poverty. Low skills, discrimination, and the collapse of many state-owned industrial and agricultural enterprises during the transition period have contributed to their mass unemployment, along with rising illiteracy rates and deteriorating health, infrastructure, and housing conditions.