There's Something about Mary

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


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Christmas of the North

Merry belated Christmas to all my friends and family back home!

This year, like last, I spent my Christmas in Moldova.  A couple of other volunteers who live about 40 minutes away in the 2nd largest city in Moldova hosted.  They call their apartment “The Lodge” which is a very fitting name, there are some deer antlers when you walk in, as well as a lot of dark wood and wall paper.  It is also a great place for hosting people, and even has 2 ovens!

I decided to come down on Christmas Eve.  The day before I spent my evening making red velvet whoopie pies to share with everyone, and then when I got to Balti I was asked to also make some molasses cookies for a pie crust, chocolate chip cookies and also cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning breakfast.  So I got started baking right away.  We drank some mulled wine, apple cider and ate some salami and cheese.  And around 7:30 a few of us left to go to the catholic church for Christmas Mass.  It was mostly in Russian so I didn’t understand much.  After church we stopped and went sledding down the big hill in town and then made our way back to my friends place.

On Christmas morning we got up had some mimosas, cinnamon rolls and an egg and sausage casserole.  It was all delicious.  Later in the afternoon we did a Yankee swap gift exchange.  There wasn’t a lot of stealing of gifts, but I ended up with 3 boxes of Jello pudding…yum!  For dinner we had pulled pork sandwiches, scalloped potatoes, baked beans and coleslaw.  Throughout the day all the volunteers would disappear at one point or another to go Skype with their families.

It was a great day spent with some great people, and next year I get to be home in Washington for Christmas!!

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O zi buna!

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Winter Wonderland

We have a bit of a winter wonderland here in Moldova, but sadly I have to admit the snow has been around for about two weeks, and I am completely over it.  I want it to be warm again.

It all started during the first week of December, Riscani got about an inch, and when I went to Chisinau that same weekend they barely had enough to cover the ground.  That same weekend when I came home, Riscani had gotten about a foot in the 2 days I was away.  The temperature was at freezing or below all week also, so none of the snow went away, and last weekend while I was at my friends place in Balti (2nd largest city in Moldova, about 40 minutes away from me) we got more snow.  I didn’t think it was a problem until I was on my rutiera with about 20 Moldovans and we were not able to get on the highway because the police had closed the road and were blocking any traffic from going through.  So we turned around, I called my host mom to tell her I wasn’t coming home and then my friends to ask if I could stay another night.

The next day the roads weren’t much better and after talking with my host mom I figured out that no rutieras had arrived or taken off from my town all day, but since I was determined to get back, so with a lady I met at the bus station we took a taxi to the edge of town then hitchhiked to Riscani.  Luckily we only had to wait about 10 minutes for a nice man to pick us up, because I was getting a bit cold.

Now I am stranded in my town until the roads get cleaned.  I hope that is soon because this weather is ruining all my plans 😉

Here are some pictures from when it snowed last week:

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So if anyone is worried about having a white Christmas, come visit me in Moldova!

O zi buna


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My Love/Hate Relationship with the Post Office

I have a love/hate relationship with Post Offices.  When I was in the U.S. it was more of a love (tolerate) them, but now here in Moldova it is more on the hate side.  In the U.S. I worked at a store in college and I took care of all of the items that needed to be shipped, I packaged them, addressed them, loaded them all into my car and then I would spend lots of time waiting in line at the Post Office to ship them all out.  Waiting in those lines didn’t bother me, I knew eventually it would be my turn, and no one would cut in front of me.

But now, he in Moldova I try to avoid the Post Office at all costs, the 2 times I have gone previously were less than fun.  The nice line that forms in U.S. are not something that Moldovans do, you have to be the pushiest to get seen and sometimes that means putting your hip into a little-old lady.  Also the Post Office isn’t just used for shipping items and buying stamps, in fact it seems like in most cases it is utilized more by people paying bills and retirees picking up their social security money (not sure that is really what it is called in Moldova).  When I finally get to talk to the lady she always seems less than impressed with my Romanian skills and still tries to speak in Russian to me.  I also found out last time that packages can only be sent from my Post Office on Tuesday or Thursday before 10 AM.

I actually have 2 postcards I have been meaning to send out since October, but I really don’t want to wait at the Post Office. I really should stop procrastinating on it.  Hopefully this week will be the week!

And in happier news about Moldovan Post Offices, this week they delivered my package from my parents!!  Now I have my warm winter coat back. 🙂

O zi buna!