Elizaveta is a small town located about 11 kilometers or a 15 minute bus ride from Balti, center. Since the NGO I work for, CASMED, does work here, my Director was invited to an event the Primeria (Mayor’s office) was holding there. This event was to celebrate the completion of the construction of a new water system for the town. My Director had meetings in Chisinau yesterday and since she knew the project has been partially funded by Americans, she asked me to attend.
Yesterday, my co-worker and I caught the bus over, (the bus runs only once per hour through Balti center) and headed to visit a few of our beneficiaries before the ceremony. I enjoyed talking to the beneficiaries and learned more about the work my organization does, the conditions the elderly live in the villages and some of the challenges they face. I also enjoyed walking around the village, that holds 1,000 homes and has around 5,000 residents. There is a legend here that if you drink the water in Elizaveta, you will stay and get married – sorry mom, but I was really thirsty…..
After these visits it was time to head to the Primeria for the event. It turns out the project was largely funded, engineered and lead by the development arm of the Mormon church. The ceremony consisted of several parts, a good portion outside and involved a walk through the village, this would have been lovely, but since it was raining and it was a village, the unpaved streets meant that my shoes and pant legs were covered in mud.
During the masa after the ceremonies, I got a chance to talk to the two couples who were visiting from the states and who had worked on this project. It was really interesting learning about their work backgrounds before they became involved in development work for the church and about their past and future projects in Moldova.