This is the third in series of interviews, all about Volunteering being a two-way street. We hear the term V-squared, a lot during our training in Peace Corps, which stands for volunteers creating volunteers; and as Peace Corps Volunteers our goal is not simply to encourage volunteering in America, but also in the countries in which we serve.
The girl below was one of the first Moldovans I met when I came to Balti and watching her grow during my time here has been a dream. She is genuinely one of the nicest, most hardworking and creative people that I have had the pleasure to work with here.
Name & age: Natalia Cojuhari, 21
Where were you born?
I was born in Balti
Where do you work?
I am coordinator in Salut, Balti volunteering initiative
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I was born and raised in Balti. In 2011/2012 I was an exchange student in USA, which greatly influences me, helped me to become more open-minded and flexible regarding life around me, my decisions and my relations with other people. I love writing and English language and this is why I study these areas online now and I’m going to pursue a degree in English and writing starting this fall. I love my family, airports, tea and desserts, I like yellow color and enjoy reading. I love Moldova, and growing up I learn to appreciate my country more and more.
What do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
I like spending time with my family and friends. As for the hobby, I like decorating and being crafty.
Tell us about the first time you met a Peace Corps volunteer…
I briefly saw Peace Corps volunteers in spring 2012, but back then I didn’t really know anything about them. A real meeting was in summer 2013, when my friend introduced me to a new Peace Corp volunteer in my town and since then Peace Corps volunteers became a part of my life.
Has your perspective on Volunteering changed?
Yes, my perspectives did change since then. Before I was associating volunteering with States, but now I don’t connect it with any place, it’s just what you do no matter where you are.
Has your perspective about Americans changed?
My perspective about Americans didn’t really change, because I lived for almost a year in US beforehand, and the Peace Corps that I know are not different from the people I’ve met there.
How have Peace Corps volunteers impacted your life?
Peace Corps volunteers in my town helped me to continue working on myself, getting more and more out of my comfort zone. They helped me to find amazing volunteering opportunities. They keep developing my translation skills. Because of Peace Corps volunteers I have my job now and I also work with a Peace Corps volunteer. They are also ones of the closest friends for me!
If you could say one thing to all Peace Corps volunteers what would it be?
Keep doing the great work, because it does make a difference.
If you could say one thing to all Moldovans about volunteering what would it be?
Be more open to a change.
What are some of your hopes for Moldova’s future?
My hopes for Moldova: better economy, stability with Transnistrian part of Moldova, changed mentality