This past Sunday, myself and a few of the other mentors went to visit the new group of COD Volunteers. Moldova is one of the only Peace Corps posts in the world where there is an active and organized mentor program. This means that the older group of volunteers can choose to apply to mentor volunteers from the incoming group in their program (ie CODs mentor CODs, SEDs mentor SEDs). I volunteered to be a mentor because I know the value of having someone to ask lots of questions of and someone to give you some off the record feedback and clarifications about the country you’re about to live in for two years.
For me, the people I could pepper with questions and who gave me more insight into Moldova than I could have ever even had the questions to ask about were my two site mates, but I felt that hopefully through the mentorship program I could impart some of my acquired knowledge about Moldova, Peace Corps and the COD program to the new volunteers and hopefully make their transition into Moldova as smooth as possible.
The new group of COD volunteers live in a different training village than my group did, so when we went to visit, we asked them to give us a tour. After the tour we all sat and had cold drinks, fruit, bread and cheese at a local cafe. Their village of Magdacesti was much more traditional and slightly more rural than the training village we lived in, Stauceni. Their village is also technically not in the Chisinau district, it’s in a neighboring district Criuleni and is about 25 minutes from Chisinau.