Monday, September 21, 2009

09.22.09--A Day at the Cemetery

09.22.09--A Day at the Cemetery

Yes I slacked on the last post.... I owe you one.

Just before leaving from the Vadul lui Voda I was asked to continue my excursion away from Taraclia and to venture up to northern Moldova for a few days to help clean up an old Jewish Cemetery. Sniffing my clothes I realized I could at least get a few more days out of them and of course agreed. I definitely underestimated how long the bus would take to get up there. The finger measurements I quickly did on a map did not account for the fact that the bus took the slowest possible route to get there. It was kind of funny to see the bus roughing it by endeavoring down roads I previously hadn’t seen buses take on. Suffice it to say I we made it there in about four and half hours.

I believe there were about 6 volunteers total and we all stayed at a veteran volunteer’s house. The nightlife consisted of BBQ and longing for the wine of the south. Northern Moldovans from what I could tell don’t fashion themselves wine drinkers like the other villages I have been in, nor are they content with water so rachiu is the official substitute. I’m not going to lie and sugarcoat it: it simply doesn’t taste good to me. Reminiscent of rubbing alcohol. Luckily good food made for a good chaser J.

Post project:

Post-project photo op:

The next day we went to the cemetery to do some work. When we first arrived the cemetery really didn’t appear to be all that big, but after a few hours it turned out to be a fairly large cemetery. It was very interesting to read tombstones that were in both Hebrew and Russian. It is always good to actually be able to recognize a word or name in Russian.

One out of a litter of awesome puppies at the cemetery. This one in particular decided to nosedive into a puddle of mud shortly thereafter.

The work at the cemetery was definitely not just our doing. The blood, sweat and tears were given by about 25 people I would guess. The event was organized by a volunteer and his partner who did a great job of doubling our numbers by getting a microbus full of Jewish girls from Chisinau to come up to the site.

I got to use a scythe for the first as shown above. Not the most practical tool for what we were doing although it was fun to wield for a few minutes.

Post-work consisted of a picnic at the lake sponsored by the bus load of girls, a trip to a small agricultural museum and playing in some very cold water.


Water sports:

Not one thing I could complain about in regard to this day… It felt great to actually do some work. The major majority of my time here thus far consists of studying Russian, so a day in the sun doing work was everything I could have wanted it to be.

Hope all is well back home.



  1. Did you get blisters from all that manual labor?

  2. you know my hands Eric. Of course I did. The only callus I have is one big one on my butt from sitting in an office for the last couple of years.

  3. And I thought you were working all along... Hey, did you adopt the puppy? He sure looks like he wants you too. Had a great visit with your family and now we're back home. I'm getting caught up with your blog now and enjoying every minute of it. Love, Aunt Alice and Uncle Lou.....