Since I arrived, I have been living with a host family (familia gazda) in Stauceni. I can not begin to express how much I adore my host family and how lucky I feel to have been placed with the family I was. I will forever be grateful for my host mother treating me like her own child, for her jokes, laughter and care. I will always be grateful for her offering, strongly, that I help her make cookies for three hours that Sunday afternoon when I skyped my mom for the first time and could not stop crying. I will always love that a nine year old took me under her wing, became my best friend and helped kick-start my Romanian. I love that the younger siblings are still excited for me to come from school each day. I will always be grateful for my host father not giving up on talking politics with me – even though my language is no where near that level; when he told my language teacher he thought of me as another daughter – I almost cried.
I have been so impossibly lucky to be a part this family and I will never be able to thank them enough (even if I can one day verbalize this to them in Romanian) for not only bringing me into their home, but for giving me a family in Moldova.
Since so many of the other volunteers in Stauceni feel just as strongly about their host families, we decided to organize an event for them. We wanted to have an event where we could bring all the host families, LTIs (language instructors), program managers and volunteers in Stauceni together.
We decided to invite all our families to gather at the school on our last Monday night of PST (last night), serve American desserts (I made Apple Pie – from scratch!) and sing the Romanian songs we have been learning for the 20th anniversary celebration. (On August 15th the official swearing in for M28, will also mark 20 years of Peace Corps Volunteers in Moldova.)
The event was a great chance to thank our families for all their hospitality, to introduce them to our classmates and each other. There were lots and lots of delicious American desserts made by the volunteers and the singing went really well! My video camera died before the singing but the songs we sang were Bade Palarie Noua, a love song and Asa e Viata, which translates to that is life.