Original Sent Date: July 8, 2005
America, America, America,
Great news! My grant which was on the internet is now fully funded! Joy! I am so happy and thankful for all of you who donated…thank you so much!
I’ve had a pretty busy last month! My center, Dorinta, finished up the school year on the last day of June. I have all of July and August pretty much free. It’ll be nice, but I’m going to miss those kids!
I’ve also been to camp GLOW (or Girls Leading Our World). It’s a 10 day camp for 120 girls from all over Moldova. I was in one cabin of 20 girls and we just happened to have the only evil girl in the whole camp in our cabin. It all turned out just fine, but I’ve never had to threaten to kick a girl out of a leadership camp before. Crazy. But I guess if you have a group of 120 girls and only one is actually pure evil, those are pretty good odds, right? The camp is run in Romanian and Russian, so all of the classes I taught were in Romanian. I taught First Aide, Conflict Resolution, and Puberty. It was fun, but I had to have a little dictionary time to learn words that I don’t use everyday. Oh, and internet time to make sure I actually knew what I was talking about! Ha.
At GLOW, I was also in charge of the Halloween celebration. All the girls found costumes from whatever they had and it was so creative—one girl was a salad (she taped tree branches to herself) and another was day (she wore a white sheet and had a yellow balloon on her head). I made them bob for apples—which is really confusing to Moldovans. Fun, fun.
All in all, GLOW was a lot of fun—but I’m really glad it’s over. I’m a little scared for next year when I’m supposed to be in charge of it—I think that will be a lot more work than I bargained for!
I also just finished helping to run a Fourth of July Barbeque (it was actually on the 3rd) for the FLEX students I am working with. These students all have physical disabilities and will be coming to the United States as Foreign Exchange Students. I was really surprised to find that one of the girls is going to be living in Liberal, Kansas. Small world, right? I made a surprisingly non-ridiculous piñata for the BBQ which turned out to be a bird. However, maybe a piñata wasn’t the best idea since the game was a little too easy for children with sight impairments. The bird, Squawky, was dead after one hit. Also, before we killed it, one child fell. Actually, only one child fell once in the entire day—and Sasha managed to fall right on the piñata. Huh, maybe that was why it died so easily.
But, it was worth the piñata dying it’s early death when we got to eat S’Mores. You forget how much you like things like that until having them is a huge treat!
Last night I had a fun time with my host ma…we went on a walk to the spring, since that’s the kind of water she really likes. On the way there, she decided that I had never eaten a peach before—I may have allowed her to think this since she asked me if I had tasted a peach but used the Russian word for peach, which I do not know; I only know the Romanian—and that I must must must have one. Since the peaches in this stranger’s yard where out of reach, she simply took a hunk of leftover cement (leftover, of course, from the many empty cement buildings of the soviet era) and threw it at the tree. After three near-death tosses, a peach finally came down. I really thought I might die, but that was a darn tasty peach!
On the walk home, my host ma became concerned that our 100 baby chickens are not eating enough or growing fast enough…even though she feeds them eggs and sheep cheese. So, she began “stealing” grass from the neighbors and the sides of the roads. She looked like a crazy bag woman who really likes grass. It was one of the funniest things I had seen, and even all the people on the street were making fun of her. She told me that the neighbors don’t understand because they don’t want their chickens to have as many vitamins as ours will have. I love my life here.
Today, I’m heading off to another village—Donduseni to visit a buddy of mine. He lives 4.5 hours away, so I think there had better be a present waiting for me when I get off the bus! That, and a lot of deodorant.
Take care and hope to hear from all you as soon as you finish this sentence!
The first set of these pictures are GLOW. The last two are from the FLEX BBQ.
|My training host sister, Viorica. I miss her!!|
|Alenulu and I|
|The girls in my cabin.|
|Seanne teaches tie-die|
|D'Andrea and I dressed up for the costume party.|
|My pinata, Squawky|