I spent this past weekend in Chisinau. There were a number of Peace Corps related events happening, as well as the National Day of Wine, which I didn’t necessarily intend on attending, but ended up going to.
My rutiera (mini bus) gets into Chisinau at 8 in the morning, so I first went to the Peace Corps headquarters. There is a lounge just for volunteers, complete with very nice showers. I generally try to take a shower whenever I go into Chisinau, as it’s the only chance I get to do so. I really enjoyed taking a nice, hot shower, shampooing and conditioning my hair, using a toilet, and washing my hands for the first time in about a month. After my shower, I hung out a bit in the lounge, then attended an information meeting for Tech4Dev, a Peace Corps Moldova work group that primarily develops and maintains an online site for volunteers here that contains a lot of lesson plans, club ideas, and so much more information. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to be involved, but after the meeting, I’m glad I went! After a bit more relaxing, more of my fellow M31 English Education volunteers arrived. I hadn’t seen them in about 2 months, so it was great to see them and catch up. We headed to Smokehouse, which is an American BBQ restaurant run by former volunteers. There was a meeting going on there for Peace Out, another Peace Corps work group, so we joined that and ordered food. The main Peace Corps event of the day was an auction fundraiser for aTIP, the anti-trafficking work group. A lot of volunteers (over 50) came, and it was a lot of fun, even if I didn’t win anything.
After, I had some time before I needed to go to my host sister’s, where I was spending the night, so I joined some other volunteers and headed to the center of Chisinau to the National Day of Wine, which was a big event with many Moldovan wine vendors. It seemed less of a wine tasting event but more of a wine festival where you purchase wine and hang out drinking it either on the grass in the parks or at one of the many tables set up. It was a really nice event, I got to try several different wines, and I was really glad I went. It had been cancelled last year due to protests in the capital, so I am glad I got to experience it!