Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 10, 2009—The Triumphant Return Home (Moldova)

January 10, 2009—The Triumphant Return Home (Moldova)

The vacation was an amazing experience, one in which I would gladly do again in the future although the world is too big of a place to stay in one place too long. We all need to see as much of it as possible. I have to admit at the end of the trip I was very hesitant to return to Moldova. I was a little overwhelmed with the experiences that I had been having. When you have been listening to the Call to Prayer from the rooftops in Jerusalem, or hiking to the Monastery in Petra or standing next to the Sphinx and Pyramids and looking over the enormous city of Cairo—all of which are humbling to say the least. So when you are waiting for your airplane in the Cairo international airport it is a little hard deal with the fact that I was flying back to my small village.

I had told my host mom here that when I returned I would cook dinner for some of the neighbors and her. This apparently turned into my birthday party without me really knowing it. Suffice it to say, the spaghetti I was intending on preparing was not nearly enough. While I prepared my addition, my baba and her friends cooked a variety of other dishes for the party. Typical Moldovan fashion is to completely cover the table with every piece of china in the house full of some sort of food. I am not sure if the goal is to eat all of the food, but if it is that goal is rarely achieved.

Host Family:

I made the spaghetti sauce from scratch so I received plenty of advice and know-how during the prep time. Luckily, the only superfluous addition into the sauce was a little bit too much oil. Not all that bad. I am not quite sure how the meal went over on the whole but everyone was kind enough to say that it was very delicious and that I should cook more in the future, despite some of the plates of it being barely picked at. Next up is tacos.

The birthday party made me feel ashamed that I even hesitated for a second coming home. We sat around the table eating and drinking for hours. Receiving toasts to my health over the next year every 5 minutes from neighbors, colleagues and my host family. It was great. I did try a few times to express my gratitude for all the generosity and blessings, I’m pretty positive it came out as garbled Russian, but hey I tried. In addition to an impaired sensation in the head and a belly full of food, I made off with two towels (which I really needed), some smelly stuff and my all-time favorite gift ever a traditional carafe sort of thing with 6 shot glasses which was full of “Taraclian Cognac” also called raiku or самагон. I had to be extremely careful opening the present lest I end up with cognac on the floor. The party winded down I believe around 11:00, a good 6 hours. My bed has never been more comfortable. (I fear going to a wedding here though, they are supposed to last two days).



I felt incredibly spry this morning which was a nice bonus considering the excesses of birthdays, although I did sleep the majority of this Sunday away. My plan is to next write about each of the countries I visited, which I regret not doing while I was in country. Oh well, you live and learn right? Talk to you soon.



  1. What a memorable birthday celebration you had!!! It is good to know you are being taken care of. We look forward to hearing more of your experiences that we wish we were enjoying with you. Dad says to tell you that Grandpa Reuben use to say "learn to live" instead of "live and learn". I think you are definitely doing that. It is good advice for us all. Love ya.........Mom & Dad

  2. Happy B-Day Aaron! Nice hippy hair too...

  3. You need to work on your Moldovian pose, It looks to American to me. Glad your safe, talk to ya later.