Dragobete is a Romanian holiday similar to Valentine's Day. It is celebrated on February 24th. The older kids at my school put on a Dragobete Concert. The show began with a skit preformed by some of the kids in traditional Moldovan dress. After was a competition between several "couples" from grades 11, 10, and 9. The competition was basically which couple was the cutest and most romantic. They had different competitions such as dancing, poetry, and confessions of love. The 11th grade boy above took his "love" on stage and confessed his undieing love for her with 1st grade angels in the back holding candles.
The Milestii Mici Winery is really a site to be seen when in Moldova. I went last week during Spring Vacation along with 10 other volunteers. We toured the cellar, which holds the Guinness World Record for largest wine cellar in the world. It is 55 kilometers long and holds millions of dollars of bottles of wine. While there we saw the cellar's most expensive wine which was made in 1975 and costs $3,000 a bottle. After the tour, we had a wine tasting in which we sampled 5 different wines, 2 white and 3 red. Then we chose our favorite wine and had unlimited refills while we ate a meal of chicken, potatoes, and salad. It was very tasty. We also received 2 bottles of wine to take home.
Today is "8 Martie" which literally means the 8th of March. It is National Woman's Day in Moldova, and it is a huge deal. It is similar to Mother's Day in America, however nobody works and there is no school. The men give all the ladies flowers, and everybody calls everybody to wish them happiness and love. When I woke up I had a flower next to my bed from a neighbor girl, and then I also received a bouquet of flowers from my host dad.
Not only is it 8 Martie, but today is also my host mother's birthday. So it was double the holiday. As I have previously written about birthdays, you know what I am talking about. We were up late last night preparing different types of foods and up early this morning continuing to prepare. Originally the meal was set to start at noon, but then it changed to 1:30/2:00. Because this is Moldova, people didn't show up until about 2:00, so we ate at 3:00. My host mother prepared a fish which is apparently very complicated to make. She cut open the fish, took everything out, cooked the meat in the fish, took out the meat and separated it from the bones, grinded the fish meat with onions and other condiments, put the meat back in the fish, boiled the fish, and then baked it for several hours. As I said, this was a very complicated process, and everyone was really impressed when they saw the fish on our table.
All in all we had about 25 people over, and as of right now at 11:18 at night, there are still people over drinking their vodka shots and kids running around the house.
Last week was Spring Vacation, and it was super fun. The first three days of vacation, the English Education volunteers had a seminar about Project Development in Chisinau. It was pretty interesting. After that, I stayed in Chisinau at an apartment with several Health Volunteers. We had lots of fun, and it was a good break.
(That's right, we did karaoke to Backstreet Boys! The Moldovans loved it!)
It was really beautiful and turning into spring with no snow on the ground. Then late last week, it started snowing again. At first it was little flakes, then they turned big and did not melt away. Now, there is once again snow and ice on the ground.
Ferecita 8 Martie! Multe dragoste si sucess!