It’s June Here!
Original Sent Date: June 9, 2005
How are things going back home? I think it’s been over a month since I’ve written, which either means I’ve been really lazy or really busy. You pick.
Moldova is finally turning warm and pretty… the cherries and strawberries are ripe. It stays light until 9:30 at night now, much better than winter when it was pitch black at 4pm!
My host mom informs me that today is yet another holiday. I thought, for some crazy reason, that we were through with these after we celebrated both Easter and Easter for the Dead. Nope! Tomorrow is the holiday for when Jesus arrived in heaven. I didn’t realize that this happened over a month after Easter, but I figure there are some things out of my grasp of understanding. By the way, the Romanian word for heaven is ciar—pronounced chair. Awesome.
My host mom (who is crazy, but a good crazy) has decided that she is tired of buying chicken from the store. Apparently, it has fewer vitamins than chicken from the house. This theory is also true of wine—house wine has far many more vitamins than the purchased wine. They did not appreciate my story that wine at the story is probably from SOMEBODY’S house.
Oh well. Anyway, in an attempt to not purchase any more chicken until the end of time, we have hatched 95 chickens and 6 turkeys. This is far too many birds in my opinion, but watching them has become one of my favorite pastimes. My ma and I like to chase them around the chicken yard, grab them, and feel their gullets to see if they are eating enough. My life is very odd here.
On the 20th, I’ll head off to one of the camps I’m working at… this one is called GLOW (girls leading our world) and 120 girls from all over Moldova (age 14-17) are coming to the camp. It’s crazy. I’m really looking forward to it, especially the Halloween night I’m going to run. That should be interesting…the Moldovan I’m working on this with speaks very minimal Romanian (meaning maximum Russian) so communicating was difficult. Finally, we just had to get a Russian/English dictionary… it was pretty comical, but it helped my self-esteem to realize I was better at Romanian than a real-life Moldovan. Yay!
The camp for the disabled children at Dorinta starts in August… and I am still hoping to solicit donations from you all. Please, pass this request along to everyone you know. Anything you can give would help—instead of going to a movie, rent one and donate $20 to Opening Doors. I would be forever grateful!
This summer I am also working with a group of 7 students going to America as foreign exchange students. However, this group is really unique because all of these students have physical disabilities, mostly blindness. This is the first group of such students to be going from the former Soviet Union and they will spend a month in Chisinau (the capital of Moldova) before departing to the US. During this month, we will work on perfecting English language skills and helping with ways to assimilate into American culture. I am in charge of the 4th of July BBQ, so I get to make a piñata. When it’s done, I’ll have to send pictures… I’m sure it will be the ugliest piñata ever!
My counterpart celebrated her 50th birthday last week, and it was the biggest masa I’ve ever been to! We had actual BBQ and mushrooms (which, technically, I’m not allowed to eat by Peace Corps law)—I bought some new shoes for the event and my ma was very excited, saying they are in fashion. She also told me that I’m young and need to have pretty things instead of the ugly shoes I brought. They’re beige colored with designs in the leather and pointy, curved-up elf toes.
So, yes, they are in fashion. And they only cost 100 lei (or $8) Fashion here is very different than home—for instance, Mom said she’s going to mail me a pair of those Crocs (which have been described to me as colorful nurses shoes) and I’m sure the Moldovans will hate them. But, they hate most of my outfits anyway. Argh.
Also today, a new group of volunteers comes into Moldova. I’m not sure how many there are or if they’re cute or not…this is very important. All of them will be English or Health teachers. Another group of EODs (what I am) and Ag will come to Moldova in September too. It’s hard to believe I’ve been in Moldova nearly 9 months!
Take care, all—It would be wonderful to hear from you all!
|My host mom waves at a birthday party.|
|D'Andrea (another volunteer), my counterpart Maria, and I at Maria's 50th birthday party.|
|Doamna Maria getting lifted to celebrate her birthday!|
|Some other volunteers and I pose with a nice case of wine.|
|Me and a statue of Lenin.|