One of my favorite things about Moldova are the fields that stretch on and on in every direction. There are corn fields, wheat and other grain fields, and sunflower fields. Even though these fields surround my village and there are roads and paths that cross through them, I very rarely have walked through them.
On my very first visit to my village last summer, when I came here for just a weekend to check out this place I now call home, I walked with my host brother through the fields for an hour or two in the crazy heat. It was then that I first thought, “I am so lucky that this is going to be my village!” Although I’ve walked from my village to a neighboring village a few times with my host mom, we usually walk on more established roads.
Last week, over a year since I walked through the fields with my host brother last summer, I finally got to walk through some fields in my village again! My sister was here and we were also joined by one of my volunteer friends (the three of us were heading to a nearby winery on our day off for Language Day). Because I had never walked through these particular fields and we had a specific destination, my host mom, host sister, and host niece walked with us.
We started off by walking through our village. As a group of six women, three of us with backpacks and clearly American, I’m sure every person we passed was wondering where in the world we were going. At one point, my host sister commented that it seemed like the entire village was outside that afternoon and we’d be the talk of the town later in the evening.
Once we reached the outskirts of the village where the fields began, it was a much more peaceful walk without everyone watching us. It was a beautiful, early-fall-like day, not too hot or too cold. My host niece kept my sister and friend amused and busy. We walked quickly for about an hour (we had a rutiera to catch on the other side of the fields), but still had time to pause a few times to comment on the beauty of the fields and sky.
Although the walk destroyed my almost-new sandals and my feet got disgustingly dirty, it will be a memory I’ll treasure: a beautiful late afternoon walk, perfect weather, clear skies, and fields stretching on in every direction.