Last 100 Days, Days 65-61

As I’ve mentioned, I’m sharing a photo and a look back on my favorite memories in moments in Moldova for each of my last 100 days here.  I’m counting down, so here are days 65-61  See all of my “Last 100 Days” posts here.

Day 65: I celebrated my first birthday abroad twice: first in the capital on Christmas Eve with some fellow volunteers, and then on my birthday in my village. My host mom prepared traditional Moldovan foods and my school director and one of my partners and her family joined us. I later found out my other partner, who was on maternity leave, had her son on my birthday! (December 2016)
Day 64: My host parents and I brought in the new year quietly at home. As soon as the clock struck midnight, various families in the village set off fireworks and then my host parents and I shared toasts and wishes for the new year. The day before, I attended “Carnival” in my village with my host niece Valerica. It was a variety show of sorts, and Valerica performed “Jingle Bells”. (December 2016)
Day 63: Most of our Christmas break was spent inside due to extremely cold temperatures and snow, but on the last weekend before we went back to school the weather warmed up a bit. I joined my host mom on a long walk to the next village over through deep snow to visit some friends. It was gorgeous outside and nice to get outside after many days stuck in the house. (January 2017)
Day 62: Moldovans celebrate Christmas on January 7th. My host brother and his family came to visit, and we also welcomed students carrying a decorated star. The children say a prayer and then receive money, candy, and braided breads. (January 2017)
Day 61: While in Chisinau for a training, I made my first trip to MallDova, a large and modern shopping mall in the capital. While many things are quite pricey, it felt a lot like any small mall in the United States. (January 2017)