Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tomatoes and War

ТРИ, ИЮЛЬ 2009

Yet another hot day in the land of Mordor. My host mom is in the kitchen making the next couple of meals while my host dad is spackling the cellar walls for better insulation in the winter. I asked “Вам помочь?” although no one seems to need any help. So I’m practicing Russian/posting a blog.

So yesterday was an eventful day. We spent the afternoon on a site visit. We went to visit a agribusiness volunteer who had spent a considerable amount of time working on a heirloom tomato project. It was an impressive project. He helped the farmers get awarded a grant for a new greenhouse and then started producing heirloom tomatoes, something that few Moldovans have seen much less produced. The project seems to be highly successful thus far. He had proven that the greenhouse was substantially better at producing the tomatoes. The family that he is helping out is trying to develop a market for these by selling them to the nicer restaurants in Moldova. The family was very generous and let us fill up sacks with tomatoes for gifts to our families. My personal favorite of the varieties of tomatoes were the Zebra tomatoes that are red and green. Absolutely delicious.

After the tomato farm we drove to a World War II monument where one of the biggest battles for Moldova was fought. It was located at the Neistri River which you may recognize if you watched the videos at the beginning of this blog. Directly on the other side of the river is Transneistria, the semiautonomous separatist region of Moldova that is loyal to Russia and not recognized by many countries.

All in all a very interesting day in Moldova. I am very excited about the week to come though, we have the fourth of July celebration with the embassy folks tomorrow. Most importantly on Monday we find out our assignments. I will find out what where and what I will be doing in Moldova. Will I be in a city or an isolated village? I know that my job will have a choose-your-own-adventure feel to it, although I find out who my partner is and which organization I will be working with.

More to come.


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