I’ve been in Moldova for almost five months now and at site for about two and a half months. I’m starting to feel like things are finally settling in and I’ve gotten more or less used to life here in Moldova. So what have I been up to?
At first, it was quite an adjustment getting used to the ways in which schools are scheduled and run in Moldova, but things are starting to make more sense to me now. Peace Corps requires us to work 18 hours a week, which for me, means I teach 9 different classes, 2 times per week. At my school, there are one or two classes per grade and if the grade has more than one class, the class is denoted with a letter (9A, 9B). At first I was teaching 3rd, 4B, 5th, 6th, 7A, 7B, 8B, 9A, and 9B, but then the entire schedule changed again and the classes I taught changed again. For the past month I’ve been teaching 4A, 4B, 5th, 6th, 7A, 7B, 8A, 8B, 9A, and 9B. One of my partner teachers is pregnant and is starting her maternity leave this coming Monday, so my schedule will be changing once again because I’ll need to teach my 18 hours all with the other English teacher at my school. It looks like I’ll be teaching 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 9th grades. I’m sad I’ll be unable to work with the 7th graders, but I’m hoping to start a club with them. 5th grade will also be particularly challenging, as before it was split into two groups for English and now we’ll be teaching all 29 of them together. The partner teacher that will be on maternity leave is planning on returning in March, so it will hopefully be a temporary situation. I’ve found that I really enjoy teaching the “middle school” grades, especially 6th and 7th. It’s a challenge to teach students who barely know the language you speak (and are teaching), but it’s slowly getting better.
I continue to enjoy living with my host family. They treat me as if I am their own daughter and have been absolutely wonderful! I spend a couple of hours each night talking to my host mom over dinner, which I really love. It’s also been great for improving my Romanian. I do miss my real mom’s cooking quite a bit, as well as a lot of the foods I loved in the United States. My host family currently doesn’t have a kitchen in the house or a bathroom (due to renovations), so I haven’t really been able to cook or bake anything yet. The bathroom is pretty close to being completed (yay! I can’t wait to take showers again!!) and then they can work on the kitchen. The walls and such are finished in the kitchen, but cabinets and appliances (besides the fridge) haven’t been installed yet.
I’ve been having a problem with the rooster. I didn’t see him the first month I was here, then a couple of weeks ago, he appeared and has been trying to attack me every time he sees me since. I have to pass by him to get to the outhouse (my only toilet option). Usually, I don’t see him on my way there, but when I opened the door after, he is standing right in front of the door blocking the path, with his chest all puffed out. When I move, he starts charging at me! He’s a pretty big rooster, and definitely pretty mean, so I’m pretty sure he could hurt me if he got close enough. At first I just yelled at him and backed slowly back to the house, but then I told my host mom. So then I had a broom to hit him with if he tried to attack (which he did!). Yesterday, my host mom saw him attack the outhouse door rather viciously while I was in the outhouse, so she decided he needed punishment. So today he is tied to a fence with a 3-foot rope. He doesn’t seem to like it very much and tries to run in the opposite direction of me, so I’m hoping this will change his behavior!
My host family is preparing the corn they harvested for feed for the animals for the winter. Our friendly dog, Rochie, seems to really like it!
Trying to Stay Warm
The weather has begun to get cold, and we had a couple mornings with frost this week. Up until yesterday there was no heat at school, and the classrooms were freezing! I could even see my breath in some of the rooms! Thankfully, the heat was on and working yesterday! At my house, it’s pretty warm, thanks to our soba (a wood stove that is built directly into the wall). I’ve been layering up a lot to keep warm at school, but no matter how many layers I wear, I’m never quite warm in some of the classrooms.
So that’s what I’ve been up to lately (besides watching Netflix!).