Monday, July 6, 2009

No-to-Low Expectations

No-to-Low Expectations

July 5, 2009

So tomorrow is a big day. We have it very easy right now as trainees; we live in villages with multiple volunteers that we can socialize with at almost any given time. After one more month here I move to another area where there is a good chance I will be the only volunteer. Tomorrow I find out where I will be living and what it is exactly that I will be doing for the next two years.

Apparently the older volunteers draw a large map of Moldova behind the school and we all stand where our cities/towns/villages are. The feeling is definitely surreal. I’ve been told that the Russian assignments typically are in cities rather than villages. So there is a good chance that I will be in a city rather than a village. I don’t have strong feelings as to where I go, but my only real hope is that I end up with a good business partner and host family.

In regard to what I will be doing I’m pretty certain I will be working in an extension center. I believe that means that I talking to numerous people on a daily basis about problems that they are having with growing agricultural products and seeking out good candidates for projects. I feel pretty good about the job especially after talking to more than a few Ag volunteers about their experiences in extension centers.

Oh yeah, about the 4th of July party. It was great. It was made up of socializing, dancing, taking two types of pictures: American style and Moldovan style. The American style means to smile in the over-the-top fashion that we are accustomed to in the US. Moldovans tend to smile a lot but as soon as the camera lens points in their general direction any indication of a previous smile disappears and a stern, serious expression is formed. It is difficult to give such a serious pose. The pictures posted are evidence our futile attempts.

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