Thursday, February 26, 2009

M22 Sworn IN

I present you a list of all things that I still miss

Even after a full year there are still somethings that I miss:

1. Hugs and kisses from my loved ones
2. Hot steaming showers at whatever hour and not have to wait for showering night
3. My charcoal pencil to depict my imagination
4. Fresh fruit when I crave it
5. The ability to take off with my car to any destination I want to end up
6. The ability to pick up the phone and be able to speak to loved ones without having to calculate the hour difference
7. Than Brothers' Pho, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian food
8. Going to the movies and seeing all the new releases
9. Times when I always know what is going on and what is being said
10. Situations where I do not have to wait for others to help me complete my goals

One year down

February 28 will be my one year mark here in Moldova!!! Just got me thinking that on 24th of Feb last year was when we (M22) met up in Philly for training. When we embarked on our journey. It gives me all kinds of mixed emotions. Ones that take you by surprise. For some odd reason the night of 24th in fond memory of leaving home, I sat and had my long crying session, like it was an anniversary of saying goodbye to my loved ones.

On the split side, I am so happy to have made it this far. All things aside, whether or not I have work, or how many projects I have going, I have evolved so much from the 24th of February, 2008.

To celebrate our one year anniversary some people are meeting up this weekend. I can't wait to see everyone again, especially those that live very far from the capital and never really get a chance to come into town. I feel so connected to my group, we've been together thus far...I am proud!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Transnistria and Moldova

Here is a BBC documentary about Transnistria.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

International Art Exchange Program

These are some of the pictures of the 4th graders who made some awesome art work for the International Art Exchange Program we are participating in. We are going to send in 30 pieces of art, then we will get 30 pieces of art in return from a different part of the world. A type of cultural exchange. The children were so excited to get their art chosen and is also anticipating what kind of art work they will get in return.

If you would like to contribute in providing the children more motivation in making awesome art, you TOO can send us some art supplies!! Send it to my Peace Corps address! Thank you!

87 not at all random things about me

First go here: To see what the hype is all about. Making random lists about yourself, who really wants to know anyways?

According to this journalist, no one does...I say, somebody obviously cares if not, why would there be a need to write this article with a list of their own to begin with. This just proves the point that the world love lists!

That is why I am making a list of my own too, except mine is bettter because it's longer, whether I am revealing nonsense, you'll have to be the judge of that.

1. I am a person who gets very happy with the littlest things, such as when babies hold my thumb or when I find silly little notes left for me, or when all my shelves are arranged in a pyramid formation (thanks Pier 1)
2. I cry to be happy
3. I am making a pact to myself that from now on, when I have vacation days, I am going somewhere I haven't gone before
4. I'm afraid that when I have children I will spoil them and give them everything, so much that they won't be people who appreciate the little things
5. I want to learn how to write in Khmer and also learn how to speak Thai and Mandarin
6. I am going to pick up Piano again, but this time with an instructor that won't hit my hand when I can't get the keys right or tell me I'm tune deaf
7. I want to learn how to swim and be able to go scuba diving with my children in Hawaii for a family vacation at one point in life
8. I really don't think I can ever go sky diving, but perhaps hang gliding, the more I think of it I really do need something to hold on to me
9. I once gave the mail lady my secret admirer letters to deliver two houses down to my admiree
10. I am also afraid that because of #4, I will deprive my children of privileges on purpose and make them miserable for the rest of their lives
11. I am going to write a Moldovan recipe book and will make my family Moldovan food years from now
12. I don't think I can go back to not having some wine with my dinner after living here
13. I really do think that one day during my lifetime I will be able to go into outer space and see Jupiter
14. I would love it if a major television broad casting station could come up with a show about Psychologists. There are way too many shows about doctors, don't you think? I mean if they can have a show about a paper factory, they can do this!
15. I am a sci-fi nerd, fascinated about outer space...I would totally do anything to see earth from the other side
16. I once jumped over the bridge when my friends did
17. Once I am old and gray I want to have an "around the world collectibles store" called "Eden's Collectibles."
18. I would want to live in Cambodia at some point in my life, to learn about my roots and get to know all of my family members.
19. It is a mission of mine to find out who my great grand parents are and to know where in China they came from. Then find my Chinese roots.
2o. I would like to have something of mine published one day
21. The song: "Blue Eyes" by Cary Brothers and "Queen Bee" by Taj Mahal makes me cry EVERYTIME!!
22. I love taking polls that are made specifically for me
23. I think that being in silence with the right people are the best times ever
24. I love to dance, but only to the right music and it is the only thing that can get me out of my funk
25. I never knew how much I hate mud before Moldova, I'm thinking I am going to make my children experience mud without a doubt
26. I love children and I love the idea of me having children, but the children part in my life planning doesn't even exist until I'm in my mid 30s, go figure
27. When holding hands with someone I never know if I should let go first or if I should wait for the other person to, but when they do I wonder why they didn't hold on longer
28. I now know how to bathe without drenching myself in water
29. I am a color person, if you want me to live in a white and black lifestyle, kill me now. I also think my food is more tasty if it's colorful
30. Back in middle school, all I wore were platforms and combat boots, in high school, sneakers, does that tell you anything about me?
31. My mom freaked out about my black nail polish and baggy pants during my youth
32. I once drove a white Toyota Corolla that rusted so bad during the winter days in Indiana, my friends identified it by the rust spots
33. I once fainted 20 minutes after waking up, now that definitely freaked out my mom
34. I still like to write messages with my food, in the sand, on fogged up windows, or with anything I can find
35. I don't like to pick favorites, and when people ask me the favorites question I stutter, but then I do have a playlist, what is that all about?
36. I find ordinary to be extraordinary compared to the super extraordinary
37. I love to people watch, and come up with theories behind their behaviors, such as why they turn left or right when they enter a building
38. I once thought that I will not settle, but now that I am growing I find that sometimes I do not have a choice (Sorry for not believing you earlier, Linda)
39. I have a great fear that I will suffer from Alzheimer when I am old, which is why I do Soduku as much as I can to train my neurons
40. I like big changes with little doses of the familiar
41. I dream about a big garden of my own with a fountain, white benches, and a little tool shed.
42. I hate perfume. Magazines that have those perfume samples are the worst.
43. I once pinched a baby just to make it cry (ok I was 6)
44. When I come home from Moldova I am going to do and eat all the things I had to give up for the 2 years until I'm sick of it, then do it again and then again some more
45. I am a horrible speller, please don't give me your papers to proofread
46. I like to hang around people who introduce me to my firsts
47. I sometimes like to argue for no apparent reason, especially when I don't even care either way
48. I like to have a lot of hiding spots.
49. I keep all my letters and cards
50. I've always like to discover new places on my own and not tell people about them
51. I like to go to the museums alone, because I can take all the time I want to look at one painting if I want to
52. I like to celebrate with a cocktail, kick back with a beer, open up with wine and forget with tequila
53. I like to walk barefoot on hot grass or lay around in the sun with nothing else to do
54. I am the type of person who will give up her eggs and say, "I don't like it that much," if there are not enough eggs for the both of us to have for breakfast, as long as you don't question it.
55. I do have a hard time saying, "No" to people, especially if I love them
56. Don't you dare stand in front of me and block my view of the concert when I've been standing in line for an hour, freakin tall people!
57. I just found out today that I do have a problem with those that spit in their hands each time they go through paper, as if the germs will somehow make the page turn faster
58. I can tell you a list of things to do inside of a refrigerator box
59. I do not have a problem with going to the movies by myself, but I hate that I can never finish the popcorn
60. If I can be any animal it would be a kangaroo, I love the idea of having a permanent pocket in my tummy for my little ones.
61. I like to ask the question, "What if...?"
62. I would rather keep information to myself, so as to keep its magic. Well unless it's a life or death situation, then only if you ask.
63. I am going to have a solar house on an island with a bath tub where my feet can reach the other end when laying in it, and where I do not need a stool to see my bathroom mirror one day.
64. The smell of fresh baked bread has always made me want to live close to a bakery
65. I hate to have to turn on the lights to go use the bathroom at night, that is why I miss my light night from home
66. I love to pile on top of clothes fresh from the dryer, hot and fresh smelling
67. The way I spend time with myself is with a book on the porch sitting in my rocking chair as the sun is setting with a big bowl of fruit, preferably watermelon, honey melon, cantaloupe or pineapple, well actually just about any fruit there is.
68. When watching TV on the couch I have to have a blanket or two on top of me, and perhaps even a pair of soft comfy socks on too, until I get too hot and take them off
69. I sometimes wake up in the morning to find myself in a state of undress, I do not remember ever taking off any article of clothing, I wonder how I do that in my sleep, does that ever happen to anyone else?
70. I love t-shirts!! Especially the ones with silly wacky sayings on them. I want to own them all!
and give them away as gifts!
71. One of these days I will cut out paper eye balls and tape them to my appliances all over my house and freak out my guests. If that doesn't freak them out, I will have names for them too, like fridgy dicky for my refrigerator.
72. I eat my hamburger upside down and apparently I peel my bananas the wrong way, but I say, "Who says?"
73. After a year in Moldova I've discovered how much I really like the taste of beets and chicken liver. However, I can live without the chicken heart and testicles, which I often find in my soups. Imagine my reaction when I first glared upon chicken organs in my spoon!! AWWW!
74. Color me red all over, and I will be the happiest girl there is
75. I've always wanted to go dog sledding and have a warm cabin to go to afterwards to defrost
76. Somehow, part of me have always wanted to be that person whom someone is running to the airport for, but in my version, the movie does not end there...
77. I too want to play Wii!
78. One of these days I will learn all the traditional Cambodian dances and knock your socks off!
79. I got held back from the first grade of Cambodian writing class, imagine how pissed I was when the 4 year olds were passing and the 12 year me, sitting there with out a certificate! I don't care what anyone says, Cambodian writing is hard!
80. I would like to contribute to finding a mystery or an unknown phenomenon about the human race one day, by stumbling upon it via a mistake, isn't that how it happens anyways?
81. Apparently I like making lists! I would be more than willing to show you my list of grants for Moldova, both in English and Romanian that I am currently working on. It's so so pretty!
82. Wouldn't it be great if someone stumbled upon this list and decided to make an Amelie-like movie about it!
83. I am dead set that if ever in the future there will be a reality show about Peace Corps Volunteers I would buy stock on it. I think that if Obama is really serious about expanding Peace Corps to twice its size by 2010, this might be an excellent advertising strategy.
84. I am deathly scared of snakes, even if it's at the zoo. The thin glass that separates us does not make me feel any safer.
85. I have to admit, sometimes Norah Jones gets on my nerves, she is too whiny at times
86. I am currently reading the 2nd book to the Twilight series and I am hooked
87. I love the functioning of commas, I wish I can stick them anywhere I want, just like I am doing now, and never ever stop, ever ever

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Inima mea este așa de plină (My heart is so full)

In 4 more hours, my full 25th year will be here!!!!! I don't usually get this excited about my birthday, but this year I'm finding it to be so different. I guess the excitement in making food and serving about 15 people at my Primăria (the Mayor's office) is getting me all hyped up. According to Moldovan customs, the one who has their birthday needs to have a party for everyone and that is what I'm doing! I'm not sure how big this party will be, but the menu in itself is getting me more and more excited.

My host mom helped me with the menu, we are having marinaded chicken with baked potatoes with tons and tons of garlic (how I like it), 5 rolls of invîrtită (Moldovan's extra large egg rolls of sort) stuffed seperately with pickled cabbage, sheep brînză (homemade cheese), and sweet pumpkin.

Besides that we are making corn and crab salad and sardine sandwiches. There will also be two different types of smoked sausages to go with the homemade cognac and white wine, in which my host dad made.

I also bought a cake! I don't think I ever bought a cake for my own birthday before, so it was a really strange feeling walking out of the alimentare (store) with it. The strangest part was when we saw my old piano instructor (I'd quit piano lessons, I'll explain at a later time) and I had to explain to him that the cake is for my birthday. I mean who does that in the States, buying your own cake? No's embarrassing in a way, but I am Moldovan for the time being and it is so okay. It's my party and I'm so going to rock it with my own cake!!!

My host mom and dad has been superb about all the preparations for this party. My host mom who is still suffering from her hurt spine due to that fall is still not able to go to work but she went with me to the store to buy stuff. Initially we were going to make sarmale, because she knows how much I like it, but it would have been too hard for her to sit for a long time to wrap them up, which I am fine with. Then my host dad, cracked who knows how many walnuts to get the inside layer of them to make the cognac and he also went three different times to the bakery to order the invîrtită today.

Then they surprised me with something of their own. I walked into my room after work today to find what looked like a Valentine's Day heart shaped card on my desk with this written in red:

Dragă Eden! (Dear Eden)
Felicitari de Ziua ta! (Happy Birthday)
și un inel, ce-ți va aduce NOROC! (and a ring, it will bring you good luck)
-Familia Gazdă Arnăut (Host family Arnăut)

There was a sterling silver ring with my birthstone sticking out of the card! It was the greatest thing ever to stumble upon in your room!

I love my host family. They are differently my family away from home. As time goes by I get more and more comfortable with them and can not imagine any other way of life here in Moldova for myself.

Core Expectations For Peace Corps Volunteers

This was published last week in our weekly highlights. I think it outlines everything perfectly for those who is thinking of joining the Peace Corps. For me, somethings on this list didn't exactly hit me until living it, for example #4 and 9 on the list.

1. Prepare your personal and professional life to make a commitment to serve abroad for a full term of 27 months
2. Commit to improving the quality of life of the people with whom you live and work; and, in doing so, share your skills, adapt them, and learn new skills as needed
3. Serve where the Peace Corps asks you to go, under conditions of hardship, if necessary, and with the flexibility needed for effective service
4. Recognize that your successful and sustainable development work is based on the local trust and confidence you build by living in, and respectfully integrating yourself into, your host community and culture
5. Recognize that you are responsible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your
personal conduct and professional performance
6. Engage with host country partners in a spirit of cooperation, mutual
learning, and respect
7. Work within the rules and regulations of the Peace Corps and the local and national laws of the country where you serve
8. Exercise judgment and personal responsibility to protect your health, safety, and well-being and that of others
9. Recognize that you will be perceived, in your host country and community, as a representative of the people, cultures, values, and traditions of the United States of America
10. Represent responsibly the people, cultures, values, and traditions of your host country and community to people in the United States both during and
following your service

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Stomach Parasite...yes or no?

Like I've mentioned...My fear of having parasites invading my intestinal tracks is making me nervous...Oh no!!! I might need to go see medical for some help soon...but I looked up the symptoms and I don't have all that is all the list...

Constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, joint and muscle pain, anemia, allergies, skin conditions, nervousness, sleep disorders, teeth grinding, chronic fatigue syndrome, and immune dysfunction are all common symptoms of a parasitic infection.

Maybe I need to wait for diarrhea...not a sound reasoning to take up, I know but that is something big, in which I don't have now, thank god, so in conclusion...maybe no parasite.

Cross Fingers