In Romanian, masă means a number of things. It can be used to say “table”, “meal” or even sometimes what we would consider a “party” (of the dinner party sense). It’s a word we hear every day as volunteers and it is a time of not just eating, but also of gathering with friends and family.
One of the highlights of my service in Moldova has been working with a group of my 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students at English Club for the past two years. Today was our last English Club meeting. To thank them for 2 wonderful years, my site mate Amir and I decided to surprise them with an “American masă”.
We made some of our favorite foods and also served iced tea and fruit punch. It was a lot of work (several days of baking and cooking), but in the end it was a huge success! Our menu consisted of deviled eggs, cornbread, banana bread, cinnamon rolls, mac and cheese, tacos, and chocolate chip cookie bars. After everyone had eaten and tried all of the foods, we asked them which of the foods were their favorites. The overwhelming majority voted the tacos as their number one favorite, closely followed by the chocolate chip cookie bars!
Since this was also our last meeting, I said a short speech thanking them for coming to English Club, for being interested in learning English, and for helping make my two years here in Moldova so wonderful. They, in turn, thanked me for coming here and teaching and working with them both during lessons and at English Club. I somehow managed to keep back the tears- but was also very touched by their words. I will miss these kids so much when I leave, but I’m very glad for the time we’ve spent learning, working, and spending time together!
Photo credit: Amir Feinberg