Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours

Yesterday it rained. A lot. My street was flooded. As you can see in the picture, I had to walk through it in order to get home. Not only was there water, but mud mud mud.
One of the most difficult things about living in Moldova right now is the fact that I still can't communicate in Romanian. I know that this is only going on week 3 but it still sucks. I have to use gestures and mimes in order to somewhat communicate with people. Luckily my host sister speaks English, otherwise I don't know what I'd do. I know everyone is in the same boat, but I feel as if I'm in the bottom of the boat slowly sinking.
Had language class for 4 hours today. It was all right. We learned about clothing, how to buy clothes, and sizes.
At 4:00 (which is in 25 minutes) I will be meeting up with the rest of my village volunteers to go to a handicraft exhibit at a basilica in my village. I'm not quite sure what a handicraft exhibit is, but it sounds fun anyway. The girls have to wear skirts and head scarves. It will be quite the interesting experience. I'm just wondering how we're going to stay clean walking through the mud to get there!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

One Hot Moldovan Summer

1: Moldova is very hot. Even when it's a "cool" day, it's still very hot.
2:Getting to know lots of awesome Peace Corps people.
3: Danced the Hora, as pictured above, many times so far. It's the traditional Moldovan dance.
4: Romanian lessons are slowly but surely progressing. It's stressful, but definitely worth the work.
5:Moldova is very pretty. Considering all the things I originally anticipated about it (it's the poorest country in Europe) it is gorgeous. Rolling hills and flowers everywhere.
6: Lessons today on Alcohol Safety and Personal Safety. It's funny how people are so scared about the safety here, but according to statistics provided today, it's safer here than in NYC or LA.
7: About to head back to our school for teacher training. It's interesting the differences between American schools/curriculum and Moldovan schools/curriculum.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rockin' Out in Moldova

In Moldova safe and sound!
My host family is very nice. I have a mom, dad, and 12 year old sister. My sister helps me out with homework, and we hang out quite a bit.
I have a dog named Tom and he's a lover. I also have 50 chickens.
The food has been pretty good. Yesterday I had the Romanian version of Roman noodles!
On Sunday the village I'm in had a welcome celebration for me and the other volunteers that are there. There are 2 groups of volunteers, each with 8 people.
We have Romanian lessons everyday for ususally about 4 hours. It gets very tiring and my brain wants to explode, but I'm learning a lot. I was able to successfully tell my host mother a few days ago that I was going to the pizza bar at 7:30 with other volunteers. I felt like a rockstar.
The homemade wine is good.
I've become close friends with some of the volunteers, which is great because we can vent to each other.
Off to eat lunch that my host mom packed for me. Lots of bread, hard-boiled eggs, and a grapefruit I think.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Istanbul- Hot and Humid

Currently sitting at the airport in Istanbul.
Grand Forks time: 5:40 am.
Istanbul time: 1:40 pm.
The weather inside the airport is hot and humid. Yuck. Definitely not used to this.
I'm very very very tired. I got about 2 hours of off and on again sleep near the end of the 10 1/2 hour flight. I'm exhausted and planning on heading for the gate shortly to take a nap until we fly out to Moldova at 4:50.
Once we get to Moldova, we are having a supper with our mentor. I'm not sure how exciting I'm going to be at this supper since I'm running on near zero energy, and I'm pretty sure I smell from the humidity... Oh well!
Meeting lots of fun people. We have quite the group. I'm one of the youngest coming in at 22. It ranges all the way up to several rockin' men who I believe are in their 60's.
There are 62 of us, which seems like a large number. However, I was told recently (about 10 minutes ago) that an average of 40% of each group that is sent to Moldova drops out within the first 6 months. Scary statistic. I sure hope I'm not one of that 40%.
Very tired; ready to take a nap. Missing everyone so much already.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

2 Days to Go

I'm sitting at home in Grand Forks anxiously awaiting my departure for the Peace Corps on Monday morning. I head out from Grand Forks at 11 in the morning, and arrive in Philadelphia at 4:30 that afternoon. That night about five or six of us Peace Corpsers (not really a word...) will arrive and I believe we are having a sweet dance party! Nice!
Then Tuesday begins and we have training all day.
Finally, Wednesday we fly out for the big country of Moldova.
I had a going away/graduation party last week. The questions everyone asked me were (in this order:)
"Are you excited?"
"Are you nervous?"
"Are you scared?"
Yes, yes, and yes again. As of right now, mostly scared and nervous. Man oh man. And sad. I'm really sad I'm going to be away from my family for 27 months. Or, as the guy working at the nail salon said while giving mom and I pedicures, "Two years and 3 months! Not 27 months!" Today I had a tea party with my little sister and brother. It was probably the cutest thing ever. Although it was really cute, it made me even more sad.
But as everyone is telling me, this is going to be an awesome experience and I'm going to learn a lot about myself. As I continue to pack and get ready tomorrow, I just need to keep reminding myself this.