As I mentioned in my previous post, I have moved in with my host family in the town of Costeşti, with is southwest of Chisinau. On Tuesday, we went to the “hub” site in Chisinau. There, our language instructors taught us a bit more about Costeşti.
- Costeşti has a population of over 12,000 people. This is very large by Moldovan standards. It is the second largest rural community in Moldova.
- We are staying in Costeşti Ialoveni (Ialoveni is the raion, or district, that Costeşti is located within). There are two other smaller villages in Moldova with the same name, and about 20 villages in nearby Romania with the same name.
- There are over 12 separate neighborhoods.
- The Botna River runs through Costeşti. Some people fish on the river, but the river is polluted, so we have been told to absolutely NEVER eat fish caught on the river.
- The village is 444 years old. May 22nd was the village’s celebration, which is called “Hram”. Each village celebrates its own “Hram”, on different days.
- There are orthodox churches in Costeşti. Both churches have existed hundreds of years, but one was rebuilt about 200 years ago, and is considered the “new” church.
- The village has 2 high schools (ages 15-18), 1 middle school (7-14), and 4 “kindergartens”.
- The town has two resorts, both with lakes and swimming pools (a big luxury in Moldova). These are both pretty fancy an expensive and bring money into the local economy.
- The village has a public library, many stores and cafes, a small winery, several mills and bakeries, and is also agricultural. The village exports fruits and vegetables.
- The village has a very active female mayor (one of the other volunteers is staying with the mayor’s daughter’s family).
- There are numerous active cultural folk groups- plenty of bands, and even a music school with 50 students.
It was cool to learn more about our village and see some pictures of places in town we haven’t seen yet.