Its hard to believe that today is only my fourth full day in Moldova; that a week ago I was enjoying fried risotto and my couch at home with my mom and that a little over a week ago I was in the company of so many great friends on my last night out for a while in Washington, DC. I wish I could describe these days in detail, but I will try to encompass the highlights and I promise to devote a post soon to the food here. Overall, we’ve been insanely busy, but I am really enjoying the experience (although I will be happy once I’m caught up on sleep).
The morning after we arrived, we started Romanian classes. I’m surprised so far at how much I am enjoying learning Romanian, which is not at all to suggest that its easy. Its interesting being in a place where almost no one (outside of Peace Corps staff and other Americans) speaks much English (if any). My host sister (the 21 year old) speaks some English, but she’s often not home and so I carry my dictionary and kindle (for the google translate) with me every time I leave my room. I’m developing a new perspective on language and communication, something certainly took for granted at home.
There are so many simple things I want to communicate or ask and saying anything that I can’t clearly mime is a challenge. I can not wait until I can participate or at least understand conversations in Romanian, but especially at meal times, which is giving me so much motivation to study. I also can’t wait until I can ask about the plants growing in my family’s yard and whether I can help with the gardening.
My other host sister Anastasia (the nine year old), has adopted me; committing herself to helping me with my homework, pronunciation and referring to herself as my professora (profes-warua). I am sure that all this practice is also improving her english, we practice flash cards with her reading the english and me saying (as I can) the Romanian, although I answer nu inteleg (I don’t know) for a lot. I made a joke earlier to some of the other PCVs in my village that my new best friend is a nine year old, but I honestly could not be more grateful for her help and friendship. She is really talented at singing and on the piano, but more than that she’s always friendly, excited to see me and smiling. Yesterday when we were studying in my room, I turned on some music that was on my kindle and she loved One Direction; and today she asked for the music on my kindle, so I have a sinking feeling I may be listening to a lot of One Direction here.
Today the three kids, the grandmother and I went to the neighborhood park and had a picnic (that included ice cream!). The playground was similar to one you might find in America, with the exception of a section of that had metal work out equipment. There were the standard park pull up bars, a metal elliptical and a few plyometric machines that I can’t wait to test out.