Last 100 Days, Days 75-71

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 75-71.  See all of my “Last 100 Days” posts here.

Day 75: Each October, Ziua Profesorului (Teacher’s Day) is celebrated with special celebrations. For my first Teacher’s Day, I traveled with the other teachers from my school to our district center for a concert. It was the first time I got to see the dance ensemble, made up of students from my school, perform- they are very talented! The next day, we had a large meal at the school to continue the celebration. (October 2016)
Day 74: In the center of Moldova’s capital city, Chisinau, there is a pretty park called Cathedral Park due to the church in the center. One fall day, I walked by as the leaves were changing color- it was gorgeous! (November 2016)
Day 73: One of the hardest parts of being abroad is missing out on American holidays and celebrations. For my first Thanksgiving abroad, I joined a group of volunteers in the town of Ungheni, located in the north-west of the country. We made and ate traditional Thanksgiving foods (with a twist) and enjoyed the company of one another! (November 2016)
Day 72: Moldova is beautiful in the summer and warmer months, but it can also be beautiful in cold, snowy weather. I spent an afternoon walking around central Chisinau one winter day, delighting in thick snowflakes falling down and the silence that snow always seems to bring. (December 2016)
Day 71: I had a fun time attending a yoga retreat hosted by some fellow volunteers in the town of Criuleni (slightly north-east of Chisinau). In addition to yoga and delicious food, I also got my first view of the Nistru river and enjoyed spending time with other volunteers. (December 2016)

Last 100 Days, Days 80-76

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 80-76.  See all of my “Last 100 Days” posts here.

Day 80: One of the things I first fell in love with at my new house was all of the gorgeous flowers in our courtyard and garden! My host mom often cuts the fresh flowers and puts them in a vase in my room, which makes me really happy! (August 2016)
Day 79: When I first moved to my permanent site, my host family was building a bathroom. In addition to bucket bathing for the first six or so months, this also meant that we didn’t have an indoor toilet. I quickly got used to using an outdoor squat toilet- they aren’t all that bad to be honest. (August 2016)
Day 78: The first day of school falls on September 1st in Moldova. The school year starts off with a special holiday called “Primul Sunet”, or First Bell. This was my first day of school here in Moldova, and I really love how they make the first day of school a special celebration. After the ceremony, I joined one of my partner’s homeroom class and met some of my students for the first time. (September 2016)
Day 77: Moldova is known for it’s wine, and each October, the country celebrates Wine Day. The central road in the capital is blocked off for a block, and various wine vendors set up booths serving wine and other foods. It’s a fun celebration and well-attended each year. (October 2016)
Day 76: Most Moldovan families raise various birds (geese, ducks, chickens, etc.) and other domestic animals, and my host family is no exception. As a result, the food is very fresh and often straight from the back yard. Unfortunately, my host family’s (old and large) rooster decided early on that he didn’t like me and constantly tried to attack me each time I walked to the outhouse. One day, my host mom got angry and tied the rooster up as punishment. It didn’t help much, but it did make us all laugh! (October 2016)

Last 100 Days, Days 85-81

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 85-81.  See all of my “Last 100 Days” posts here.

Day 85: To wrap up everything we learned during Pre-Service Training, our last two weeks were “Practice School”. We taught real lessons to real students and received feedback. The second week, one of our partners from the schools we were placed in across the country came and taught with us. It was nice to start working with our partners and exciting to finally put everything we had learned to use. (August 2016)
Day 84: After practice school, we had a couple of final sessions, and then we were sent off to our permanent sites. During our last Romanian lesson, we talked about the things we would leave behind in Costesti and the things we would take with us. On our last day, we boarded several vans with all of our luggage and headed to the capital, where our host families picked us up and took us to our new homes. It was a bittersweet day. (August 2016)
Day 83: After arriving at my permanent site, I had to learn how to bucket bathe, as my host family was building a new indoor bathroom. It was a new experience, but I got the hang of it fairly quickly! (August 2016)
Day 82: When I moved to my site, my 6-year-old host niece was visiting my host parents for a couple of weeks. She quickly became my best friend and helped me quickly learn Romanian. We played together, colored together, and even worked in the garden together! She lives several hours away, but we get to talk on the phone every once in a while and visits during school breaks. (August 2016)
Day 81: During one of my first weeks in my village, I got to experience my first gorgeous Festelita sunset, over the thatched roof of our neighbor’s house. (August 2016)

Last 100 Days, Days 90-86

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 90-86.  See all of my “Last 100 Days” posts here.

Day 89: A fun moment during Pre-Service Training was drawing monsters to learn body parts in Romanian. We learned Romanian 4 hours each morning, 6 days a week for the first 10 weeks in Moldova. I was really lucky to have Galina as one of my teachers and while tiring, we also had a lot of fun! (July 2016)
Day 88: About a month or so after arriving in Moldova, I really needed a haircut. One day after our lessons, I joined two other volunteers and we went to a local hair stylist. I decided to cut off quite a bit of hair, and though I was nervous (it’s hard describing what you want done in a foreign language!), it turned out almost exactly as I wanted, even if it was a tad bit short. (July 2016)
Day 87: Costesti, my PST site, is well-developed and doesn’t lose power often. In late July, however, a heavy storm cut the power for a couple of hours. My host brother and I spent the time playing UNO by the light of my solar-powered lanterns. It was actually kind of cozy! (July 2016)
Day 86: After 10 weeks of Pre-Service Training, we were sworn in as official Peace Corps Volunteers! Our swearing-in ceremony was an exciting event, and many of our future partners, host families, or school directors joined us in celebrating. (July 2016)

Last 100 Days, Days 95-91

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 95-91.  See all of my “Last 100 Days” posts here.

Day 95: Day 95: Each week during Pre-Service Training (PST), we traveled to the capital for a day of training together with all of the programs. During this time, we learned how to navigate Chisnau’s trolleybus system. The trolleybuses are inexpensive (2 lei anywhere in the city- equivalent to 12 cents in the USA) and fairly comfortable (depending on how crowded they are and how hot the day is). While some are very modern, others are quite old and a bit rickety. (June 2016)
Day 94: I’ve never been much of a cat person, but while living with my first host family during pre-service training, we had some adorable kittens! My host brother liked to put a flower clip on this little kitty to make her especially pretty. (June 2016)
Day 93: One day during Pre-Service Training, we visited a museum in the capital to help another volunteer out with a project he was working on. The National Ethnography and Natural History Museum was quite interesting- full of the history of Moldova from pre-historic times through the Soviet era and after. (June 2016)
Day 92: After about a month of training in our PST sites, we found out where our permanent sites, where we live and work for two years, were. It was an exciting day! Our mentors and Peace Corps staff drew a huge map of Moldova with chalk and led us blindfolded to each of our sites. (June 2016)
Day 91: After we found out where our permanent sites would be, we spent a 3-day weekend visiting our new homes and villages. My first impressions of Festelita, where I have now lived for nearly two years, were very positive. The village was quiet, clean, and very pretty. I met my two partner teachers for the first time and even got to watch a dance rehearsal and meet a few of my future students. (July 2016)