I haven't updated in over a month. Sorry. I've been pretty busy.
The new group of volunteers came June 10th, so I was in Chisinau all of June being a mentor and helping out with them. Yes, I was a mentor. Scary thought, huh? I was basically there to take my three mentees around Chisinau, show them important things, and answer questions if need be.
This is me and a couple of the other English Education Mentors at the airport waiting for the new group to come.
The 4th of July Party sponsored by the Embassy was quite fun. This year my group of volunteers didn't have a curfew, as opposed to last year when we had to leave at 9:00 pm, so we got to stay and party like grown-ups! There were several contests, as well as free food and drinks.
Roy's host brother got married in July. It was quite a fun party! I arrived at the party at 9:00 pm, and didn't get home until 5:00 am. There was lots of dancing, eating, and drinking. Moldovan weddings are a bit different than American weddings. They had the reception the day before they signed the papers and were officially married. There are also many traditions in a Moldovan wedding that are not in American weddings.
The members of the wedding party carried around this colac, which is bread used in every Moldovan celebration. They danced with it around the room, and then gave them along with the blankets under them to guests of the wedding. They also carried around scarves for guests. Lastly they carried around gifts for the bride and groom, including clothes for their future children, around the room for all to see.
After that, at about 1:00 in the morning, the bride and groom along with the wedding party went around the room accepting gifts. They would stop at each table, take a shot of vodka or cognac, and then each person would give a short speech and drop an envelope of money in a little box for the newlyweds. The man in the picture just gave his speech and was putting money in the box.
At the end of July I worked on a project with several other volunteers. Unfortunately I wasn't able to help out on the first two days, but I was there for the last. What we did was transformed a huge concrete sign from an ugly mess into a bright and beautiful welcome sign. It was for a pig farm outside of Chisinau. The main boss, Louis, was an amazing guy from Paraguay. He came to Moldova a couple years ago, after attending a school for pig farming in Denmark. He is working with the Moldovans to make the farm sustainable and workable. Basically he is one of the coolest people I've met thus far in Moldova.
This is only part of the sign, but I don't have other pictures. I will put up more when I get them.
The first week in August I helped out with one of the volunteer's camps in a village outside of Chisinau. It was a week long camp for students in 6th grade. There were other ages there, too, but mostly 6th grade. I was there on Wednesday, which was water day. We played Duck Duck Goose using wet sponges and other water relays. I was also there on Thursday, and we made paper mache masks. I think the kids enjoyed it because they hadn't done anything like it before.
School starts on September 1st, so I have about 2 weeks left of vacation. I'll be going to the Black Sea in Ukraine this weekend with several other volunteers, so that will be fun. Expect a blog on that! Then when I get back on the 25th, I will have to start working with my partners from school to prepare for the school year.
It's been a long summer, and I'm ready to get back to school!