I woke up around 7:30 on Sunday morning. I slowly got ready, wrote in my journal, and then joined my host family for breakfast- which was similar to pancakes, but they were fried. We then joined my school director, and drove to a nearby monastery.
On our way to the monastery, we stopped to visit a piata- my first time actually going to a Moldovan piata. There were lots of fruits and veggies, as well as eggs, meat (it was hot sunny day- ew), homemade brinza (cheese), and even some animals for sale. It was pretty cool to see what a piata is like, but I was not too keen to see all of the meat laying out, completely un-refrigerated, and with flies flying around. My host family got some peaches and some apricots.
We then drove a bit further to the monastery. It was a Sunday and a service was taking place, so it was very crowded and busy. We checked out the gift shop, then observed part of the service from a doorway, as it was too crowded to go inside. The grounds were quite large, so we then walked around for awhile, admiring the nice gardens. Below the main church, there was a church that looked a bit like a log cabin. It was pretty cool! We were unable to go in, but even from the outside, it was cool to see. I think my host dad said that it was modeled after some Austrian churches.
On our way back from the monastery, we stopped on the road to take in the huge fields of sunflowers stretching out below us. The sunflowers are gorgeous, and were in full bloom. They are so beautiful! And the color is my favorite!
In the afternoon, I mostly just relaxed. We had a late lunch/early dinner, and my school director and her husband joined us. The food was quite good- chicken and fried potatoes, as well as cooked vegetables and some sarmale and stuffed peppers. We also had whiskey, house wine (which was vin negru, or “black wine”), and beer. When I first came to Moldova, I kept hearing about vin negru, and kind of just assumed it was red wine, until someone once said they made vin rosu (red wine), vin alb (white wine), and vin negru (black wine). This was my first time actually sampling it. It is pretty close to black in color, although it is actually a very, very dark red/purple. I’m not a big fan of red wine, and assumed this would probably be even worse, but it wasn’t too bad. It was fairly sweet and not too vinegar-tasting! Our guests stayed until fairly late. I went to bed pretty early, after my host mom came in my room to inform me that the bus would leave at 5 the following morning, back to Chisinau!