Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Limited Edition Blog

11.26.2009—Thanksgiving Limited Edition Blog

Aside from a few hangovers here and there, today is the most I have longed for home since I have been in Moldova.  Over the last few days I have been reading the news headlines about how people and turkeys have both been gaining weight over the last 5 decades, about how the Thanksgiving day parade has changed routes defying history, and of course about the black Friday deals speculation.  These sorts of things I have not and will not miss in my time here.  Although talking to the family for a little while earlier has made me realize the things that I do miss:

1)      I miss beating my brother at ping pong during holidays. (and usually picking a fight with him at some point in the night)
2)      I miss flipping my sister crap about anything in general. (I also miss her motivation for fun during the holidays)
3)      I miss that oh so good feeling of overdosing on tryptophan and falling asleep on the couch. (yes, I know that tryptophan isn’t the reason why I fall asleep after the Thanksgiving meal—it is the fact that I eat and drink like it is the last morsel and last drop of wine/beer I will ever consume)
4)      I miss getting to steal my nephew’s bed for the holidays.  (Maybe because my bed was always one of the first to go when relatives came to our house when I was young)
5)      I miss the slight shade of red and the shit-eating grin that mysteriously appear on my father’s face when he has downed a beer or two.  (He is kind of a lightweight)
6)      I miss my mother’s constant threats about how she is going to break out the wooden spoon if I don’t quit what I am doing.  (She usually gets it out but they are hollow threats in the end—she is all talk)
7)      I miss getting my 3 nephews and niece all riled up just before bed.  Making it hell for my brother and sister.
8)      I miss being the sibling without kids at the holiday, because I get to rub it in a little. J
9)      I miss how hard it is steer the Eisenbarths anywhere.  (I was once told that we are like trying to herd cats)
10)   I miss friends that are essentially family members (and all of their flaws)

Happy Thanksgiving folks



Friday, November 20, 2009

A Few Words from Your Son, Brother, Friend or Acquaintance

November 18th, 2009—A Few Words from Your Son, Brother, Friend or Acquaintance.

Hello all,

Life has been rife with experience since the last post, although I suppose that is just a perspective, whether you think I am talking about the rife or the life part. I have been on a bit of a reverse facebook binge if you will.  With all the free time allotted to me here, I feel that it is far, far too easy to slip into the blackhole (both of good and evil) that is the internet.  When you finally muster up the energy to close the internet browser then comes the black box of laziness that is the external hard drive complete with damn near every series of television that I have ever wanted/needed/never should have started watching on it.  I actually don’t consider myself to have been all that lazy over the last two weeks although there have been few moments laying in bed with a laptop on my belly, and a movie and minesweeper open on my desktop.   Something about growing up in the great generation of multi-taskers has enabled me to detect mines and simultaneously watch a serious movie out of the corner of my mind.

That all being said I have been trying to find new things in my village to entertain this mind.  I have successfully found what I previously did not believe to be in my village: a gym.  It is hands down the best gym I have ever worked out in—in my entire life.  Why?
1)      Because it lacks 50 televisions;
2)       it is the size of my old living room;
3)      its dilapidated structure has more character than any of the sterile, lifeless structures that I have seen in the states;
4)       the weights and equipment are from a very classic yesteryear variety;
5)       it has 1980’s Arnold Arnold Schwarzenegger posters all over the walls;
6)       in Moldova you are not surrounded by meatheads flexing their muscles incessantly in the mirrors, instead you are surrounded by few people rocking sweaters and tracksuits;
7)       and last and certainly not least there is an old pingpong table located in the back that has a certain holy allure to it where I get to play a whole bunch of really good Moldovans.  I am currently shooting a 50% win rate.  I’m trying to make you proud America. 
Yes I realize that it is probably just a novelty factor, although let me have my moment, maybe I will finally lose that baby chub that I have been passively trying to lose for 25 years.  

Something else interesting that happened recently was my first and second visit to the Russian dentist.  Something I must say is an experience.  The fact that I speak Russian instead of Romanian to him, I believe gained me a few brownie points, although my ability to talk about dentist-related specifics has not yet bloomed (it is high on my list), so listening to the dentist ramble on about something about teeth and the sound of the drill told me that I definitely had a cavity.  Previous to this appointment I had made plans to meet a friend of a friend in the capital.  The friend and her sister ended up being two very good-looking women, who I am sure I impressed with my incessant salivation due to a numbed mouth.   Not exactly my smoothest moment.   My tooth is fine now, although before I leave for Egypt I need to get the permanent filling put on, so maybe I will have the pleasure of telling you about another grand experience at the Russian dentist soon.

The picture that I have posted are pictures from one of the many holidays for Saints, I have a new respect for all of the saints of the past.  They give a reason for celebration, there should always be more reasons for that.  In fact tomorrow will apparently be another saintly reason to celebrate.  Maybe I will be motivated to write about it. 

Talk to you all soon


Monday, November 2, 2009

Two Weeks in the Mici

November 2nd--Two Weeks in the Mici

Howdy Folks,

I have been told that the most cliché line in blogs is “sorry that it has been so long since my last post”. I intend to never say it again or at least never again apologize for my inconsistency whichever way you prefer to view it.

These past two weeks I have been staying in a different village named Milestii Mici. It was yet again another village that was beautiful and possessed a unique character that sets it apart from cities in the states. It is always interesting to get a glimpse of a different village here and it also relaxing to be back around native English speakers if just for a few days. I had another absolutely awesome family who I very much enjoyed talking with, although the fact that I was in a village with friends from the states it made it very hard to be home much at night because we all had more than a few stories to tell.

The purpose of the two weeks there was to wrap up pre-service training for the Peace Corps, this might not make sense to you at first thought I have been a volunteer for about 3 months now, but I assure you it was the correct way to finish up training. We essentially got two weeks of language class and technical classes that answered a wide variety of the questions all of us have developed over the past few months of confusion.

The two weeks was concluded with a conference where half of the current volunteers met up in the capital. One and a half days of what I thought was a made up of productive meetings, oh god what does it mean when I start enjoying meetings? Could this be the slippery slope of aging? Jesus, I am going to go check the receding hairline after this post. I haven’t decided if I am growing my hair out as defiant refusal to act my age or if I am acquiescing to it and simply growing the comb over while there is still time left. Either way Mullets are ok here, so I don’t have to worry for awhile. Anyhow after the conference was all over with we got to have a nice dinner at a local restaurant where we meet the Ambassador of the US for Moldova, a very nice and seemingly genuine person who was kind enough to give a memorable speech about his thoughts on Peace Corps and how he would like his son to do it as well. I personally liked the awkward silence that precluded the speech, it was kind of like when one person starts a standing ovation (you know when one person claps for a little while by their lonesome and then everyone chips in) except for opposite—a standing silent awkwardness—if you will. One person stood up in order to give respect to the Very Important Person in the room and then slowly everyone else did the same, although what was funny was that he was waiting for the champagne toast to talk, so instead of us sitting and waiting for that he got to make a fairly uncomfortable phone call while we all watched in silence. The night went on without a hitch after that and I even made it into bed at a reasonable hour, which is an accomplishment.

All in all, I loved my time in the Mici, but I am happy to be home in Taraclia. It is great to see the babooshka and get back to figuring out some projects to do. It is approaching the daytime freezing temperatures here and it is pretty dark at much at 5 o’clock. I guess this is all part of the test that is Peace Corps service. Anyhow until next time, I wish you all the best.