There's Something about Mary

Stories and thoughts about my time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova

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5 Strangest Thanksgivings

So, there is a blog I follow where every one of her posts is a list.  I thought I would try one, and just so you know these are in no particular order

1) 2003 – My mom and I went with a school group to Europe.  We started in Ireland, but Thanksgiving day was celebrated and spent in London.  I remember that night for dinner they gave us American-stlye hamburgers and coke.  It didn’t feel like Thanksgiving at all, espcially since all of London was decorated for Christmas.  My dad was in Washington with my sister and her boyfriend, Steve.  They tried to do the typical Thanksgiving dinner but nothing really turned out like it was suppose to.

2) 1999 – My family and I went on a vacation to Disneyworld.  Thanksgiving day was spent in the magic kingdom, and in the evening we watched a firework show.  I remember we looked into eating at the restaurant by Cinderella’s castle, but it was rather expensive so we decided we would find a restaurant outside of Disney when we left.  By the time we left I think it was close to midnight and the only thing open was a Dennys (or some place similar), we ended up having soup.

3) 2006 – In April of 2006 my parents sold their house and put almost all of their belongings in strorage.  They moved into our 600 square-foot cabin while they waited for their new house to be built.  The original plan was that it would be done in time for the holidays, but life happened, plans changed and it wasn’t.  Since the cabin wasn’t really big enough to hold all 6 of us, we celebrated at my sisters house instead.  And we ended up celebrating there the next two years.  Some basic kitchen utensils my sister was missing, but it continued to get easier, and I think now we own 4 meat thermometers because we always seemed to misplace.

4) 2010 – Last year, it was our second Thanksgiving in my parents new house.  My dad had taken the week off to do some work around the house.  He and a friend dug a ditch by the front door and before they had time to finish the work, it started to snow, and it never went away till Spring.  I also was working retail and had to be at work around 2 or 3, so I went to bed after having some pie. At one point we also talked about how I wasn’t going to be around for the holidays in 2011, but I never realized how quickly that time would come

5) 2011 – This year I am in Moldova, and trying to describe to my work partner and my host mom what Thanksgiving is with my limited Romanian is a bit tough.  Yes, I miss my family and friends, I have since the day I left. But I am alo really enjoying all the new things I am learning in Moldova.  I also really want some of my dads stuffing and my moms dilly bread.   I am excited to see my family tonight via Skype and Saturday I will celebrate with my fellow volunteers in the capital.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family.  I miss you and I am grateful to have all of the wonderful people in my life!


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Half Birthday

The other night my host mom and I were talking about her birthday that is coming up (November 27).  She will be 61.  In Moldova, there are traditions that are different from the US.  The main one being is that the person whose birthday it is does all the work, buys the food, prepares it and then is a fabulous host once the meal is served.  And one of the many things I have found out about my host mother since living with her for almost 4 months, is that she loves to host.  She then told me that she didn’t like that her birthday was in November.

Our conversation then continued with me asking her “de ce?” (why), and she explained to me because of the fresh products that aren’t available, and how we have to celebrate inside.  My suggestion to her was that she should have another celebration on her half-birthday, May 27.  She seemed rather intrigued by the idea.

For now, I know we wil be celebrating on November 27, and we’ll see how she feels come May about celebrating again.

O zi buna!


Hram x2

I was invited back to my old host family’s house for Hram, they seem to really like me for some reason, and it was a chance to get away for a few days, so I told them I would be there sometime in the early afternoon.  I got to their house around 1, and my host mom was busily preparing plăcintă with brinza among other food.  She offered me some tea, and I drank that before heading back to the center of town to see what was going on.  My host sister was down there with her boyfriend, who works at the local bar/restaurant that my fellow volunteers and I drank at a lot over the summer.  The restaurant had a booth set up and had some traditional Moldovan food people could try.  I ha some mammaliga, sarmale, bbqed meat and a couple glasses of their house wine.  After hanging out for a bit, I went back to the house and got ready for the big meal.  The table was set, and their was food everywhere and lots of alcohol.  We sat down and started eating, and then I was saved when my host sister asked me if I wanted to go back to the center with her and her friends.  I gladly accepted.  My host dad jokingly asked me if I was going to drink any beer, my response “possible.”  When I got to the center with my host sister we went into the bar, I think because it was a warm place to be, I sat and talked with her friends for a bit, and then decided that I did kind of want something to drink, when I got the line, and older man in front of me let me order first, after talking to him for several minutes, he bought me my beer because I was American.  I thanked him, and then went back to my table.  After a while my host sister told me that we were going to one of her friends houses to eat some more food.  I wasn’t hungry, but tagged along anyway, at the house the table was all set, and the guys ate more food and had some vodka.  I passed on the shots of vodka.



The next day my host family let me sleep in and I stayed in my pajamas almost all day until my host parents invited me to their nephew’s birthday.  Once again it was an evening full of food and wine.  I also went on one of the carnival rides with my host sister, it was so much fun.



When I went to leave to go back to my other host family, I was given a 1.5 liter bottle of house wine, some cookies and apples.  They also offered to drive me to the train station when I go to Bucharest next month to fly to Brussels.  They are so good to me.


Bucket List

I decided the other day that I really wanted to make myself a bucket list.  I have those things that I say I want to do before I die, but now I have the urge to right them down, and hopefully follow through with them.  Where did this idea come from you ask, well last week I went back to my training village for hram, it was their 100 year anniversary, they had dancing, music, food and different booths selling products.  They also had a hot air balloon being set up, and I realized that I really want to go on a hot air balloon before I die.  I tried to go on this one (one of the girls with me told me I should try and charm the guy since I am American, I did and it didn’t work), but it was also out of my price (250-300 euros for 4 hours).  I did get to watch them set it all up which was pretty cool.



So, what is on your bucket list?


Recent Pictures

Here are some recent pictures from Moldova

Wine making and the cellar:



My host mom’s fathers 87th birthday:



Host mom’s daughters birthday:


Random pictures from the hallway to my office, not sure what all the files are for, or why they are all in the hallway.


Noapte buna!