July 2010

I should be studying, but I just wanted to share:

I went for a run tonight, and later in the evening than I ever have before. I left the house at about 8:30, when the sunset was at full color.  Because the house guard dog (weighing in at around 9 pounds, standing 7 inches tall, being able to jump about 6 feet off the ground and yap loud enough to make you press your hands over your ears when standing close by) has taken to sleeping on my running shoes and converses, causing them to be infested with fleas, I have begun running in my hiking boots.  As I was headed out to the field, where I’ve established a 30 minute loop I usual run twice, some twelve year oldish kids called me over and we chatted a little, and I showed them Jasiri X on my iphone, and then I continued on to the fields. I ran one lap, halfway through being chased by someone’s dog away from a field, and before beginning the second lap, I stopped to consider going home.  It was getting dark, and the flies and mosquitoes and jumpy critters were coming on strong.  Not knowing when I’d get to exercise again, I continued on, and I ran listening to Pimsleur Russian Lessons.  Eventually I came to the same spot where the dog chased me, but this time it was waiting in the center of the path and began barking before I could easily make out its shape.  Instead of running away, I went up and tried to befriend it – which failed – but the owner came over and we began to chat – in that broken way of “Hello” – “What’s you name?” – “I am from America.” when you can speak very little of their language.  He asked me if I wanted to try Moldovan Peaches, and of course I did, so I walked with him through the orchard for five minutes finding the perfect one.  It turns out that he plays soccer with my host brother (who is currently delivering Peaches to Moscow by Mac Truck).   After eating two peaches, I said that I had to head home, as it was nearly dark now.  I ran the rest of the way home, sprinting through a sea of misquotes in the dark, listening to Rufus Wainwright “Across the Universe,” carrying a gigantic peach in each fist for my host mother, back through twenty minutes of shodowed-out Sunflower, Corn, Peach, and Apple Fields until I came to the back of the village where my host family’s house is.  When I got home, no one was there, and the water to the town was out again.  I went outside to see if there were any buckets of water in the back.  There were none, except those that had been there since I first arrived, filled with algae and nefarious shimmy things, so here I stood, dirty, covered in dead and living bugs, dripping with sweat, at 10 o’clock at night in the dark.  I went around to the side, where I saw a bucket of water from the well.  Ah!  So, I bathed in the back of the house with that bucket of water, which was cold as winter, but wonderful and refreshing.  After toweling off, changing inside, I realized I had to refill the buck.  So this is how, for the first time, I went to a well and filled up a pale of water all by myself.  Walking to the well, the mini-guard dog guarded me the whole way, and as I raised and lowered the pale, he barked at and retreated from all passing cars.  I was surprised how far down the chain went, and I expected that I’d pull up an empty bucket.  But it worked!  I went home.  I filtered the water in a Brita filter, then purified it with an Ultraviolet light, and took a drink.  And that was the end of my evening exercise.

Welcome to Moldova.


Я знаю, что это было давно я опубликовал, и я извиняюсь за это.Корпус мира заставляет нас очень занят.

Yes.  It’s true.

But anyways, I went to visit my permanent site.  I have no pictures for all of you, but I will do my best to convey the place with words.  Anenii Noi, as I said in the previous post, is located thirty, forty, fifty ish minutes to the East of the capitol.  It is the Raion center, meaning that 1/32 of the country has its “county” offices there.  There are two banks, two bars, a tiny pizza shop – though I hear they put mayonnaise on their pizza, which I don’t think I will ever get used to – two disco-techs, three schools, a post office, several statues, both soviet and Moldova, and a little less that 16k people.  The school where I will be working has 750 students, and the building is sturdy but not a lot to look at from the outside.  This is in part due to it being a Russian school, because they do not get their funding from the entire Raion, they only get their funding from the local town.  As Moldova has become politically more Romanian (Moldovaneshte) speaking, and more oriented towards the west, funding and programming for the Russian schools has fallen off.  It seems that, in addition to teaching my 18 hours a week, I may be investing my extra energies in helping to fill the funding void, helping with IT technologies and computer education, and / or sprucing up the extra curricular activities of the school.  They used to have a national debate competition, but that is now, I think, only in Romanian.

The host family where I will be staying with are really wonderful people.  They are both 62, formerly teachers, and very patient and loving.  The husband used to be a musician, but he had an accident, where something fell on his hands, I think, and he can no longer play the violin or the accordion.  He also used to work at a special ed school for young adult with mental disabilities, helping them to prepare and look for jobs.  The mother was an elementary school teacher, and now she works as an inspector for the government, making sure that teachers are up to snuff.  The first morning I had breakfast with them, we looked at pictures of their family and chatted in Russian for around four hours.  Up until that point, the longest conversation I had had lasted no more that seven minutes.  We talked about family, friends, the school, the dream I had the night before, the town, a zoo for some reason . . . all in all, I’m really excited, and I think I am going to be really happy there.

Additionally, the town has a boxing gym.  I’m not sure if I will be able to transition martial weapons fighting into boxing – or if I will be comfortable having my face pummeled – but I am very excited to have a gym where I can be macho and exercise in the long winters.  The walk from my house to the school is about fifteen minutes, down a beautiful, ornate, staircase cut into the hill and past this gym.

All right, I am off to go for a run.  Today, the Russian-Speakers and the Aggro-Business Developers went to the winery in Malecsti Mici (sp?) to visit the largest winery in the world! and I need to run off the free glasses and sober up before I study for the night.

I won’t leave you without some pictures, though.

Kittens Brighten Days

My Buddy Ryne and me infront of an underground waterfall

!”]!”]!”]The Most Beautiful cloud I’ve ever seen, titled Nimbus Eclipsus [sic]!

More of Kitten

The wine cellar

All my love, More to come, including videos of the winery tour,

P.S. If you haven’t notices, I edit none of these posts and have little regard for grammatic or speling.  That’s just the way it’s going to be.


Unintentionally dramatic photography!!

It has been long, too long, since I last updated the blog.  A lot has gone on in the last two weeks, including several trips to the capitol, lots of language training, and site assignments!

The capitol is a very pretty place.  Trees line every street, and it feels very European — I don’t know why I’d have expected anything else, considering Moldova is in Europe.  Perhaps I could also describe it as being more St. Petersburg than Moscow.

Well, I intended on posting a set of pictures and committing one blog post to the first trip to Chisinau, so I am going to do that now and then get on with everything that has happened since.

Here is the outfit I wore on that fine, adventurous day:

Grooby-Moldovan Mode!

You will note the spiffy hat (which was given to me by Amy and Doug.  Also, in the bottom of the picture is my official Peace Corps name tag that I love and protect.  It has a Moldova flag in the upper corner.

I walk down and up a very large hill everyday, and on that morning, here is something I saw.

Two dogs, many goats.

We traveled in by public transport starting first on Marshootka (phonetic spelling of a Cyrillic word), and then we transferred to trolley.  Again, I am still in Ioloveni, my training site.


This is the primary mode of transportation among Moldovans and Peace Corps volunteers.  There are trains throughout the country too, but they are both slower and more expensive – or that is what I’ve been told.  It’s been said that they will cram up to 70 people into one of these tiny vans, and in Moldova they know of an infectious force called The Current.  The Current can make you sick, and it is caused by having windows open.  So in the middle of summer, the vans fly all over the country, crammed to the point where the suspension stops working, with the windows rolled up.




Here are a few photos taken on the walk to the Peace Corps office, where we congregated and split up to do various things in the city.  I wanted to go with the Piatsa / Bazaar group.  And, here, is the Bazaar!:

The Central Piatsa

The Central Piatsa 2

The Central Piatsa 3

The Piatsa is very big and very confusing.  Unlike a grocery store or market, you come here to barter for a better price.  As an American, that means you come here to lose money and practice your Russian or Romanian.  In the pictures you cannot see the food sections, but they are pretty amazing.  I took a video of walking through the fruit section, and I will try to upload it later.

The Chisinau Movie Theater

In the capitol there is one movie theater showing films in Russia with Romanian subtitles.  The politics of language are pretty interesting in Moldova.  As a “Russian Speaker,” that being someone in the Peace Corps learning Russian instead of Romanian (there are 7 Russians 63 Romanian Speakers), we will likely get some flack for coming to Moldova and not learning Moldavian (Romanian).  Already at a bar, I’ve had a few younger, politically-minded men tell me that they wouldn’t speak to me in Russian.  This was in a mostly Romanian speaking Raion, and where I will be placed will be mostly Russian speaking.

A fountain in one of the many parks.

More from a park.

An under-construction building with pretty grafiti.

So, I’ve lost my steam.  In forty-five minutes, I will head to Chisinau again, where I will meet the director of the school at my permanent site.  My bag for the weekend is packed, and I’ll try to take some pictures when possible.  BTW, my permanent site is going to Anenii Noi.  It is a raion center located about 40-50 minutes to the east of the capitol, which is very close.  Buses leave every thirty minutes, should I want to go in, but there will be a lot going on in the raion itself, and in the raion is where I will be doing my work.  The population is about 12k; there is a wiki article on the raion and the raion center, which I would link, but for some reason I can’t get the page to load right now.

All my love, More to come,