Thursday I was sworn in as a volunteer and moved to my new home and permanent site in Balti. Since my work partner is out of town, my initial community integration has been left to my host mother, Rodica. Rodica is the Director of an NGO called AO Caroma Nord, that promotes ecologically friendly development. Friday morning we left early for a full day of town hall meetings, including surveying of community officials and discussions of ecological struggles and work within the communities. Over the two days we went to meetings throughout the Raion of Falesti, in Pirlita, Rautel, Ciolacu Nou and Pirizarei.
I loved hearing about the movement, communities, seeing more of the country and meeting so many people and there were certainly lots of new experiences – trying house made cognac, riding in a Lada, using an outhouse for the first time in Moldova (I really am a PCV now!) and my first concrete offer of a marriage introduction (I passed). I met lots of other interesting people, had a masa at my host mother’s parent’s house, during which I tried homemade wine and almost saw several impromptu chicken fights over scraps between the many, many chickens in the yard. I also spent the night my host mother’s home in the country and picked (and ate) lots of raspberries and apples!
Tomorrow we will attend another town hall meeting in Glauden and then return to Balti. On Tuesday I will head into the office for my first official day of work.