Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Easter Madness

I had the best 4 days of Easter holiday ever. The madness started on Friday after a medical midterm exam in Chisinau, where though I enjoyed a hot shower, some time chatting with other volunteers in the lounge, it was the worst traveling day ever. Everyone was in a hurry to go to the villages to visit their loved ones for Easter. I ended up waiting for a full 2 hours to get on a bus home and I also had to pay an extra 10 lei since the buses were taking advantage of the high traffic volume.

Saturday my host sister and brother came to visit and we pretty much spent all day cooking, cleaning and preparing for our big Masa. Sunday morning I ditched out on going to church at 4 am to get our food blessed, simply because it's 4 am. Though when I woke up I washed my face with holy water with money and two red eggs emerged in it. I then rubbed two eggs against my cheeks and made a wish. Then it was on for a day of eating. We went over to relatives' houses and sat and drink and ate all day long.

On Monday, we went over to my Mayor's house for a masa. I was taken away by how pretty the table was with the over flowing amount of food and drinks.

Throughout the whole 4 hours of sitting and eating and talking, I noticed something different about the dynamic of the conversation. No matter how many times my Mayor kept on saying, "Let's not talk about politics," the conversation kept on going back to it. It was very interesting to hear everyone's side of the story.

After the big meal, we ventured outside to capture the beautiful spring weather.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Zuia Ecologiei

We had a cleaning day in Gura Galbenei. Everyone at the school came out and picked up trash.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ziarului ╚ścolar

Here Presents an article about Me and Peace Corps in the school newspaper that I wrote (I got some proofreading help!). In the article I talked about what I came to do in Moldova, what are my roles in the village and a little background about me. Enjoy!

A New Beginning

The elections are over and my Mayor is back to work!! Last week I walked into his office to catch up. I tried to reach some leveling grounds, as to who is actually on board on this road project, when will we meet next, how we will approach this time around? I gave him two more potential donors, emphasizing that they are community orientated and we should have a general town meeting, or at least get a survey of some sort to reflect that this is what the community wants, and that they are committed to helping in this project.

After 20 minutes of drinking tea and discussing, I came out of the meeting with some tentative answers, such as: "We'll meet sometime next week, we'll go into Chisinau sometime next week to talk to one of the donors, we'll do it."

So here is to a new beginning, I'm excited to be on the wagon again.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Taking Inventory

After my big attempt to clean up our road, I got inspired to take inventory of the live animals I have around me.

Say Hello to our dogs. They are always alert and protective of the house.They still barks at me when I come home, I am taking it as they are saying hello. Maybe another year, they'll get used to me. Sometimes I wish I can let them run free, but here their function is to alert us of on comers. Still, I have a secret wish to take them out for a walk or a good run. That would be wonderful!

The baby bunnies...We have 16!

The baby chicks...25 or so of them.

The buzzing busy bees now excited it's spring, collecting pollen.

I do have to say, that once the sun is at a more constant shinning rate, I am a lot happier and more appreciative of the new life forms developing all around me.

Spring Cleaning

After work yesterday, I came home feeling all coped up from being inside in the office and wanted to do something outside, to be in the great sun. I decided while walking home that I will put on some gloves and hit the streets to pick up trash. I've been wanting to do so in a very long time. Compared to other villages I've been to in Moldova, I think Gura Galbenei is relatively clean, however there are still a lot of trash everywhere! I've talked with a lot of people about organizing a local clean up day, and everyone says there is already a day dedicated for that, but no one has ever given me a concrete answer as to when or how it's organized.

Well, after work I walked outside with my gloves ready. My host dad asked me where I was going, looking at me strangely. I told him, "I'm going to go pick up trash." At this, he blurted out laughing. He said that I can't do that. People would think I'm insane, even made a joke about a local lady who normally walks around talking to her nonexistence phone, is normally the one who picks up the trash. I got caught off guard. Really? Is it such an abnormal thing for someone to pick up trash? Why and how did that stereotype get placed? Now I know why the trash stays put, because no one wants to take on the responsibility to do anything about it. I held my ground, I told him, it's not such a crazy idea, I'm just going to be on our road, and besides I'm doing an ecological good deed. Finally he gave way, though he insisted that I restrain to just around our house.

This is such a WEIRD concept to me. Is it because I'm a lady and ladies do not steep themselves to that level of picking trash? Then how could they have ecological day where supposedly everyone goes out to clean the village, like everyone has told me? What is going on?

Towards the end of the evening I'd picked up a big bag full of trash and while doing so, several things happened: Several children passed by and contributed trash to my bag, one even kicked the trash all the way up the road to add it to my bag, and an old lady stopped to asked me what I was doing, once I told her, she came over to literally kiss me on the cheek!! OK, now I really don't know what is going on here?

My question then, why is it such a weird idea for me to go pick up trash when the people I encountered are very accepting of it? Is it one of those secretive deed that everyone have to pretend they have this prejudice towards, but wishes it gets done?

Wait, I think I might have an answer to that. When I was done and came back with my imploded bag, my host dad asked me, "So now what are you going to do with it?" I said I don't know, I was going to ask you the same thing. He then laughed again. He finally said that he will burn it.

In conclusion, I think the problem is not in the fact that it's a strange concept of picking up trash, but they really don't have anywhere to put it, besides burning, and that includes everything, plastic, styrofoam...things that are really bad for the environment to burn. There is another choice, it is to take it to the village dump, which is literally located on the other end of the village. No one without a car, or even with a car will go all the way to other end having to trudge through the lame roads. It's literally a hassle.

Here is how bad the trash pile up can get.

Here is my host dad burning my collected trash.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Testing, Hello Testing

I really feel like everything that is happening today is a test call for me to see how much endurance I can take. I am very touchy today, the sounds of people, me, myself, everything is really getting to me. I need a vacation from myself. I don't know what it is.

I am disconnected...not that person I wanted to be.
I am useless...not being used.
I am done...done with the same things over and over again.
I should be better at taking criticisms.
I need to have more trust in my own abilities to not let that kind of stuff get to me.
I need to not care about what other thinks, then I care that I don't care. Can I get away from that?
I need to hold others at the same level of expectations, and then know that it's not my fault.
Or maybe I need not have any expectations at all...maybe that is the answer.
Maybe I need not compare myself, my own situations with others.
Maybe I need to trust.
Somehow, I need to get over this ugly nasty funk, that I am in.
Who needs confirmation? It is not I...Or is it?

Testing...be done with it already. For the love of all things beautiful.