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Moldova, Peace Corps

Free Hugs

During my site visit, I met a University student, Caterina, who works for another NGO in Balti and is a friend of both my partner and my host mother. While she was showing me around Balti, she told me how much she wanted to have a ‘Free Hugs’ booth here; she’d seen it done on a video blog online and wanted to bring it to Moldova.

A month later, during my first weekend at sight, I was showing another PCV around Balti and he commented how central Balti would be the perfect place for a ‘Free Hugs’ booth. I connected the two of them and this past Saturday there were lots of ‘Free Hugs’ given in central Balti.

When I told my work partner about the event she suggested that all the participants wear t-shirts from our organization to promote awareness of our organization. Caterina and her friend Igor, both of whom are former FLEX students, made the banners. (FLEX is a program that brings high school students from former Soviet states to America to study for a year in an American High School.)

Saturday, we arrived in the central square in Balti around five and it wasn’t as crowded as we had hoped. We met a Czech couple who were backpacking through Moldova, took pictures with a wedding party and had a Russian gentleman ask us to tell Obama not to bomb Syria. The event also gave me a chance to interact with some new Volunteers and helped me find two interns. Overall the event was a success – the youth involved had a good time interacting with their community, a lot of hugs were given and we discussed what could be done differently next time.

Free Hugs

Free Hugs

Two of my site mates Robyn and Barbara with Caterina.

Two of my site mates Robyn and Barbara with Caterina.

Maddie (my boss' daughter offering free hugs)

Maddie (my boss’ daughter offering free hugs)

Some of the volunteers who helped with the event.

Some of the volunteers who helped with the event.

Bogdan offering Free Hugs

Bogdan offering Free Hugs

Offering a wedding party Free Hugs.

Offering a wedding party Free Hugs.

One of the event coordinators Igor (former FLEX) offering hugs.

One of the event coordinators Igor (former FLEX) offering hugs.

A PCV and Natasha (former FLEX) offering free hugs in the square.

A PCV and Natasha (former FLEX) offering free hugs in the square.

Hugs from a photographer who asked for Caterina's hat.

Hugs from a photographer who asked for Caterina’s hat.

After the free hugging was finished, we all had a sing along.

After the free hugging was finished, we all had a sing along.

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Discussion

5 thoughts on “Free Hugs

  1. i really like this 🙂

    Posted by marthakaren | September 24, 2013, 5:36 pm

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