Life Lately in Moldova

Somehow it’s already nearly halfway through November and the end of the first semester of school is quickly approaching!  Although some days feel like they drag on forever, time in general seems to be flying by.  In just 20 days, I will have been in Moldova for a full year and a half, which means I’m nearly three quarters through my service and time here.  Although there have been moments when I’ve questioned being here (I think that’s a part of most volunteers’ service), I really can’t believe I’ve already been here so long and that my time here will be winding down in a fairly short amount of time.

The last two and a half months have been busy at school, as fall always tends to be for students and teachers.  Here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to since summer ended.

1. Celebrated a handful of Moldovan holidays and celebrations in my community.  We celebrated First Bell (the first day of school) on September 1st, International Day of Peace on September 21st, Teacher’s Day on October 5th, and the opening of our new School Library on October 11th.

2. Spent time helping my host family pick grapes and observed the wine making process.  I didn’t help as much as I would have liked, but it was fun to help out and learn the basics of how to make wine.

3. Got my English Club up and running again at school.  We’ve met three times now, and I’ve loved working with my students in a more relaxed environment.  So far, we’ve done a review day (greetings, important verbs, and speaking and asking about one’s self), talked about Halloween (complete with a powerpoint presentation with Halloween photos from our childhood- my site mate, Amir, has been helping me run the meetings this year), and learned about numbers (students struggle with larger, more complicated numbers).  The “whiteboards” and markers my parents brought me this summer have been a huge hit!

4. Started cooking and baking a bit more.  While my host mom still makes most of my meals, I’ve started cooking more, especially on the weekends.  I’ve also made banana bread and brownies.

5. Attended a conference in Chisinau.  The conference was for the Access micro-scholarship program for English teachers.  A few Peace Corps volunteers were invited as guests and there were some really great presentations on inquiry-based learning and using technology and games in teaching and learning.

6. Welcomed two guests from Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington D.C. to my village.  My site mate, Amir, and I welcomed two guests from D.C. as well as our country director to our village when they came to Moldova for a week or so.  We were their first volunteer visit, and we welcomed them to our school along with our partner teachers, school administration, and some students.  We then accompanied them to our raion center to meet with a larger group of volunteers.  It was a fun day getting to see everyone, and the restaurant we met up at surprised us with a beautiful Peace Corps cake!

7. Started a bullet journal.  I heard about bullet journals from some fellow volunteers and I finally started one.  It’s definitely become one of my new hobbies and has helped me fill my free time in a productive way.

I’m looking forward to the next several months in Moldova and can’t believe how fast my time here is going!