I have had a bit of a hiatus from updating this blog and I apologize. Nevertheless, I am aware of how these blog things work…people rarely remember to look at them. With this I imagine not to many people have missed reading my writing too much…oh but wait…there is so much you have all missed…and because of that I will FINALLY update you!
March: After my wonderful trip to Istanbul with my friends, Karen and Jimmy, I came back and wrote on my blog…not a great blog…but sufficient enough. Then after a short time, my AC adapter to my computer broke. Actually just the wire split close by the part that goes into the computer. There were sparks and everything. Without the adapter, I did not have a workable computer. Since my computer was an Apple, I could not find a replacement in Moldova and because it is such an old model, I could not use any of the other volunteers’ adapters. I tried to bid on the part I needed on E-bay…but I did that through a friend over the phone and it did not work very well. I told my dad about the situation and since my birthday was coming up and my family (mom and dad) love and miss me so very much they were so kind to buy me a brand new wonderful SONY laptop. The hard part was figuring out how to get the computer to me. It did not seem like a good idea to mail the new computer…I would never trust a computer entering the mailing system here. The only option, which was a very good option, was for the computer to come with Karen’s friend from Dayton, Ohio. (That shows you how lucky I am) Karen’s friend, Angie was to come (came) in April around the end of the month. Angie was so nice as to bring my computer with her on her long journey to Moldova.
Because I was without a computer for a month and a half, I was very behind on a lot of my work…I have been doing my normal work and trying to catch up… this is the reason in which I have not updated this blog…Again, my apologize.
In addition, a big THANK YOU to my Dad and Mom for my wonderful computer that I use very often.
Other things in March:
After my vacation I had to go back to Chisinau (the capital/PC office) the weekend after for a training I was co-leading. Here we have a group of volunteers who are apart of a network. It is called the Peer Support Network (PSN). We basically do things to support and help all volunteers. We are trained with different techniques on problem resolution…almost like RA training. So I joined this group in December and in March I was leading a training with some friends for the new group of volunteers that arrived after us. While I was there, it was during Loda’s (my boxer) menstruation. It was her second week which meant she was now interested in other dogs for a little exercise. So without telling me my host dad took Loda to another dog and she had some fun with the boy dog. I later come home to see Loda in the back of the yard in a small barn thing with a cage keeping her in. I got very upset and found out that they took her to get her pregnant. (Now my Host dad is not fully to blame, I am too, I did not explain the whole dog pregnancy to them…their cycle and that sometimes a bigger dog is not ready for sex their first period. My host family also spoke of how they wanted a dog just like Loda and insinuated very strongly that they wanted Loda to have puppies so they could have one. I was always unsure about this, because I am not for extra puppies running around in Moldova…or anywhere, but my host family was so helpful and kind to let me have her in the first place, so I felt as if I owed them) Everything happened so fast, and I was not around, so, she got pregnant.
My birthday fell on a Friday this year. And most people know, I am not really into celebrating my birthday. No need for attention to be on me…I can just do a little dance if I want peoples attention, no need to be born…I think being born is not original…but my dancing is =)! So, my friends and family respected my feelings. My partner and friend Tatiana (club partner) and my tutor and other friend Oxana came to my house and gave me a gift…a cake, and wrote me a poem. It was so nice. I then went to school, (I did not have classes that day) and took the cake and bought some juice to share with my colleagues. We had a little masa (table- meal) and ate the cake and some cookies that I made. There were also a ton of flowers on my desk that students left for me.
Later that night, as a family we had pizza and all ate together. My host brother gave me some flowers, my host mom and dad gave me a soap holder in which they bought with me there in the store with them…and my host mom showed me what she was making, which should be done in the fall, and my sister…well. It was around 9 pm or so and we (hbrother, hsister, hmom) went to the store down the hill. (Our stores are small and have some food and some little trinkets you can buy) So we enter the store and all three of them start looking at the trinkets and then speak in Russian…in any case, they tried very hard to be sly, but it just does not work when you ask someone to go to the store with you and then buy them their gift in front to them. When we arrived home, my sister came into my room a little later and gave me a very nice picture frame. This is where you learn, that the thought is what really counts. They really just wanted to give me something, and as most of you know, I am a little difficult to buy for…so it was hard for them, and I am very thankful for everything they gave me, it was all very thoughtful and nice.
But again, nothing beats sweets!! =) (And a new computer!!)
That next day, Saturday, I went into Chisinau to file my taxes electronically. And later went out to a nice French Café for dessert…it was delicious! I went with a few of my friends!!! (Karen included of course)
Since they are Orthodox here, there are a lot of similarities to the Catholic faith. They have a period of Lent. Which is pretty difficult. They are not suppose to eat meat or anything that comes from an animal…eggs, milk, etc. So their diet is limited. A lot of people actually only participate in this for a week of Lent instead of the entire 40 days, etc. This was also a learning experience for them and for me. I participated in the Catholic Lent and was given the opportunity to explain what we do as Catholics and why.
Anytime there is a big religious holiday here, Moldovans make massive amounts of foods that all take a really long time to make. My host mom and sister cooked all day the day before Easter which was the last Sunday in April. There were several types of salads, meats, sarmale, crepes, placinta, etc. On Sunday, we really did nothing…absolutely nothing. Around 6 am my host mom and my neighbor Stella got up and went across the street to the church and had the food that was prepared blessed with holy water, incense, and prayers, etc. We also had some eggs that were dyed red, which represents something that I am not aware of. At that point, instead of people saying Good Afternoon or Day, it switches from Easter day for the next 40 days to “Christ has risen“, and the response is “With truth he has risen.”
Later that morning my hbrother, hsister and I took red eggs and hit one another’s eggs to see whose was the strongest. Who ever cracked the other two and theirs did not crake will be lucky in the next year. I won…but I had a goose egg which is stronger than a hens egg. Then around 1 or so we ate this big meal and it looked as if we had not eaten anything because there was that much food. Later I went to my partner/friends house and had dinner with her and her family and her marriage godparents. (There are baptismal godparents and marriage godparents here)
That next week was spent preparing for the next Sunday. We went to the cemeteries and painted the crosses and cleaned up around the burial sites of my host families family members. And of course it rained…and rained. But trudging through the mud to get to the new cemetery in the rain was worth the adventure and learning experience!
The day that we went and painted/cleaned the burial sites, I was invited to a neighbors house for pizza. This lady, who I call Jean, has a daughter and sister in America. She goes herself to America every six months for six months to work for a Russian family. She is a very nice lady and she started to come to my Adult English club. She wanted to know some English for her next trip to America. She had her brother and sister in-law over and invited me to come and have pizza with them. I did not realize there were other people there, I thought it was just going to be her and her family, so I arrived in my rain boots, rain jacket, wet and late. But they accepted me and fed me some very delicious pizza!
Still to come….
The Sunday After Easter.
This is what I call the Day of the Dead. It was another rainy day.
The new volunteers ARRIVE!
DAD and BRAD come to MOLDOVA!