Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Home Sweet Home

These are some of the houses in my city.
So much for the stereotypical view of Peace Corps and living in grass huts in Africa...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Too Much Time on My Hands

I've been watching a lot of movies and tv shows. I've discovered downloading is NOT illegal in Europe, so I've been going to town watching all sorts of movies. I suppose I should be doing something more constructive instead of watching shows, such as working on lesson plans or maybe even knitting, but hey, I dig movies! So, let's discuss some of the things I've been watching thus far:

Apparently the writers of this once awesome show have forgotten what their jobs are. Now instead of discovering new heroes with differing capabilities, we are reduced to watching someone playing the piano to see colors for five minutes. Not exciting. Now don't get me wrong, this season isn't entirely bad; I'm digging that we are meeting the "family" with all the powers, but I don't care about the deaf lady who sees colors. It was cool the first time, but really, gata! Also, Hiro cannot die. If that's going to happen, I'm done.

Grey's Anatomy
I'm glad Izzie is gone. I hope she doesn't come back. I'm sick of her always wining and complaining, and really, trying to seduce your husband with "I miss George"...? Not the brightest idea sweetheart. I didn't see last week's episode, but I read about it online. Didn't sound like anything too exciting happened. McDreamy is a stud; McSteamy is even more of a stud. Bailey rocks, and I don't like Meredith's laugh.

Flash Forward
A new show that my aunt Liz recommended to me. It's honestly not very good, the writing is bad, and most of the acting sucks. However, for some reason I'm hooked! I'm looking forward to the end and finding out why exactly the blackout happened. Also, super pumped that Charlie from Lost is in it. Read online about the show, and people were super upset about the lesbian kiss scene. Really, get over it.

Flowers in the Attic -movie, 1987
I was reading an article online Top 10 Flims That Traumatized Your Childhood and this movie came up. Luckily, the entire movie is in segments on Youtube, so I watched it tonight without having to wait for my internet to download it. I watched it along with my 6 year old host brother who luckily does  not understand any English to realize what the movie was actually about. He got the point that it was about a mean grandma. This movie was absolutely ridiculous, but not a terrible way to spend an hour.

This is one of my personal favorites I brought with me from home on dvd. Watched it with Adriana last week. It's obviously a pretty bloody movie, but it's so beautifully done that it really doesn't matter. The next day after watching it on my computer, it was on tv here in Moldova in Russian. Even in Russian it is awesome. One of my favorite scenes is when the queen stabs the guy in the conference thing. She does it like it's nobody's buisiness.

Princess Bride
It's a classic! If you haven't seen it, stop reading this blog right now and watch it.

*Stuff I want to see:
-The Fringe (Adriana says it's a "must see")
-Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (I already saw this, but it was a badly downloaded copy)

Any suggestions for other shows I should watch? Let me know!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

La Multi Ani Tata Gazda!

Host dad's birthday was yesterday. We had a huge celebration for him with lots of guests and even more food. And of course don't forget the continuous shots of cognac. We started the meal with three different types of salads, fried peppers, vegetable platters, and much more. After that, the roasted duck was brought out, followed by rabbit. Rabbit is surprisingly so tasty! Next came the sarmale. Oh how I love sarmale. Sarmale consists of a mixture of rice, meat, and carrots wrapped in cabbage leaves cooked in some sort of sauce. Definitely my favorite Moldovan food thus far. After sarmale, we took an hour pause to prepare for the desserts, coffee, and tea. There were two different types of cakes, a chocolate one that almost tasted like cheesecake and a poppyseed/nut cake. Also for dessert was clatita, which is similar to the thin pastry thing that crepes are made out of. They are fried and remind me of pancakes. With the clatita was a cream sauce that had coffee grounds mixed in. So tasty!

I came home tonight, and it turned out we were having yet another party for my dad with different guests. The meal consisted of the leftovers from last night, but there was also a salad brought by some of the guests which was made of potatoes, cheese, and some sort of fish. Not very tasty, but I don't like fish, so that's probably why. I ate a lot again tonight, and had lots of cognac shots to go along with it.

As I'm typing this, I'm extremely exhausted and ready for bed. It's only 10:54, but I was up super late last night, and today was quite an eventful day at school. I had a bonding time with my 6th grade class which I teach by myself. I realized that they really don't understand anything I ever say in English, so we had a discussion on what they want and expect from my class. At the end, we created the slogan for ourselves, "Noi sintem ca familie unita!" --> We are like a united family! Hopefully this will make my students feel more comfortable with everything and make them more excited about learning English.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cognac for Breakfast Followed by a 7 Course Meal

A few weeks ago was National European Language Day, so all the language teachers at my school did a presentation on their language in their language. I did a presentation about English. I had a lot of pictures on my powerpoint, and when the kids saw the pictures of the English Football Clubs, they started cheering and clapping. So that was fun.

A week ago was "Day of the Teacher" which was a European national celebration for teachers. The first two lessons of the day were taught by students, while the teachers all hung out in the teacher's lounge eating, drinking, and dancing. And when I say drinking, I mean there was not only juice and water, but cognac and wine as well. (Keep in mind this is at 9:00 in the morning!) It was really cool because all of us teachers danced the Hora, which is the traditional Moldovan dance, around the teachers' lounge holding hands and such. Then some of the older guy teachers and I danced. *Picture above*  After the first two lessons, we all went into the festivity hall where the students put on a concert for us. They also gave lots of gifts which included roses, boxes of chocolates, and photo albums. (Not sure why photo albums, but it was cool anyway.) After that, all the teachers in my district came to the "Casa de Cultura" which is like a big festivity hall. There was a long ceremony with awards given out followed by some famous Moldovan singers.

Today I went to a family friend's birthday party with my family. It was quite fun. I've learned that in Moldova at celebrations, there are usually at least three courses of food. There was the first course, in which all the food was placed on the table when we arrived: fried chicken, several different salads, eggplant, tomatoes, and of course bread bread bread. I paced myself knowing there would be more to come, but I just couldn't stop with the potato salad thing. Then came out the fried chicken wings. The host put the plate in my face, so I had to take one. You cannot say no in Moldova... Course number three was a roasted goose with mushrooms and carrots. Quite tasty but surprisingly really bony. I went to town on those mushrooms. Next was another meat that was like a meatball with cheese in it. Really good - I had two. Keep in mind that throughout this whole thing, the birthday girl's dad was going around pouring shot after shot vodka and cognac. Finally came dessert with coffee, tea, and two different types of cakes. I had a cup of coffee with a piece of cake. It was a chocolate cake with cherries soaked in cognac. Thinking the dinner was done, I began to relax a bit (foolish, I know) when out came another dessert. This one is apparently the hostess's specialty. It was a pancake like thin thing with a sweet cheese in the middle. Very tasty.