Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What the Hell is That?

March 2, 2010—What the hell is that?    

That would be the sun and the broad and overwhelming-welcome changes in the weather, life and most of all (in this humble bloggers opinions) in the ol’ psyche that come from the new season. I have not written on this blog for over a month now and I suppose it is time again to inform the minute following that I have.  Although that amount has grown a bit since last I checked, which is always nice.  So what has happened in the last month?  Some would say not too much, but I suppose since this is the Peace Corps it is interesting to at least someone.  Just kidding really, in all honesty the past month has been rife with new experiences and good/bad times. 

A large percentage of Moldovan statues incorporate guns into the art:
To start off this, I will talk about маслыница.  A holiday a few weeks back that celebrated an ol’ pagan and Russian tradition for the coming of spring and the start of пост (Lent or the 40 days of fasting that some other religions take part in the states).  The day itself is celebrated by eating pancakes all day with fruit or sour cream. The pancakes symbolize the coming sun.  In this blog are a few pictures of the day, which was surprising the first absolutely beautiful day of the year.  The irony was that the very next day turned right back into a foggy, raining, muddy day again--dashing the hopes for spring starting already.

France vs. America: My money was on France:

They take the fasting a little more serious here from what I have observed, not drinking water or eating food for the first 3 days at all.  I refused to give up water, but I did tell my Babooshka that I would fast with her.  She said “ok”, and then next time that dinner time rolled around there was the all too familiar multiple course meal that I have become accustomed to; waiting for me.  She insisted that I did not need to take part in the tradition, so I said “how about I just don’t eat any meat for пост?” something that she also does for the remaining days of пост.  Thinking that this time, for sure we were on the same page and that surely breakfast the next morning would only be eggs and bread.  No, I was surprised with a large defiant helping of Salami standing in the place of eggs as if to signify her adamant refusal for me to “endure” in her traditional way.  So now, instead of trying respect her traditions and I get to be a jerk and eat large meals of meat in front of her, even when yesterday she told me she was craving BBQ.  Yeah, I get to be that guy, that says yeah that sounds delicious saying that with my mouth full of a cutlet of meat that she prepared for me.  I tried.

More pictures of the nice day: 

Over the past month or two, I have met a fairly large group of European Union volunteers, who have proven to be more than entertaining.  Most of them live an hour’s bus ride from my village.  Hanging out with them, definitely is refreshing.  It actually reminds me of being back in a youth group in church before I opted for working Sunday mornings at a restaurant. They are incredibly fun and always trying to make the most fun out of their situations.  A day spent with them most likely means I will take part in some sort of artsy project, whether it be cooking or doodling.  I appreciate it quite a bit because suffice it to say it makes me feel young in spirit again. What is it that makes us lose sight of the little things like that? I don’t want to blame it on anything specific; I feel that would be disingenuous to the cities, jobs and people I have come from.  Anyhow, more about Moldova.
Very serious theater performed by the French and German ladies:
Over the past month I have also had a couple of Peace Corps ISTs (In Service Training)s, once for the work I am doing here and the other for language training.  Both were incredibly helpful for me.  My partner and I made significant progress on the grant that we are writing together.  We hope to have it completed early this month.  The language IST couldn’t have been better, I think all of the Russian students agree that they miss the tutors that we had in Chisinau—some of the best.

I have decided to grow out my chest hair: 

My hope is that with the changing weather I will have more stories to talk about with you kind folks.  This winter I could have been a professional film critic, but I don’t think that is what you wanted to hear about that from Moldova (For any future Peace Corps volunteers that read this:  An external hard drive is the best/worst thing to ever bring to a country.  It will consume hours on end, but will also supply you with much needed breaks from PC reality. Consider yourself warned).  The last few weeks before the nice weather arrived, my village reminded me of London horror movies that take place in 19th century, such as the Movie “From Hell”, massive amounts of thick fog obstructing your vision for anything past 5 meters, and an eerie inordinately small amount of people on the street.  All is well now though. 

Anyhow I need to be on my way. 




  1. I'm curious about the scarf--I like it. Please elaborate:) (or point me to the post I may have missed explaining)

  2. It's about time..........I was beginning to think you weren't going to blog again. You don't look real happy in the first picture....it must have been foggy that day or it could be that purple stuff in the bottle. Is it wine or just grape juice? Glad you are doing well and the sun is finally shining. Love you......Mama

  3. You spoke too soon about the nice weather. We had snow today in Comrat. I cursed quite a lot when I saw it coming down this morning.

  4. I didn't know that you had bet some money on this big fight between Ryan and me ?!? I'm a bit disappointed now...
    I just hope that I would have my money when I will return in Moldova!