Sorry this is a couple weeks after the actual 4th of July…..When I accepted my invitation to the Peace Corps and realized that I would be moving to a foreign country, I started to think about what it was going to be like to celebrate American holidays in Moldova. Some holidays are super sentimental to me, 4th of July is not really one of them. When I was in high school I was always working, usually right on through the fireworks, and I sadly always missed the bbqs that my parents held. And in college I spent it with my friends, we drank beer, had some hotdogs and then would find a good place somewhere in Bellingham to watch the fireworks over the bay. This year I had no idea what to expect. As it turns out there is an American Chamber of Commerce in Moldova, and every year they throw a picnic. The picnic was held on Saturday, at a mini-golf park in Chisinau (I have heard there is all of 2 mini-golf parks in the whole country of Moldova). Families, Embassy people and lot of Peace Corps volunteers were there. Most everyone spoke English; there were games (tug-of-war, limbo, hotdog eating contest) and a band. Only 5 members of my village came, we started off meeting some M25 volunteers (My group is the 26th group in Moldova, M26) and grabbing a drink before going inside. Once inside we drank, talked to others and some even danced, even after the rain started. At 10 o’clock the picnic was over, and we had a private rutiera (maxitaxi as they are also called) to take our village and 2 others nearby villages home. It was a very enjoyable night. On Sunday we had a pancake breakfast (that included fresh raspberries and real maple syrup) sponsored by one of the Peace Corps groups. I spent some time Chisinau, found out where a few big stores are, then relaxed for the rest of the day in my village with my host family. Great weekend!
Check facebook for more photos, they should be coming in the next couple weeks when I get my own internet access