Friday, December 17, 2010

The Rootless Tree

A Peace Corps Volunteer here made an incredible video that brings to life the article that the NYTimes recently published about Children leading households.  It's a pretty incredible story and I don't think many people from the USA or other developed nations realize how hard it is for the people left behind to cope while their parents or relatives work abroad.

On a personal note, I make copies daily for people who are applying for work visas in other countries.  In an indirect way I am encouraging these people to continue "uprooting their trees" by helping them to find work outside of Moldova.  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Adoption in Moldova

I recently attended an "American Town Meeting" at the United States Ambassador's house.  I was not sure exactly what to expect from this meeting.  The invitation was extremely vague and did not indicate what to wear.  Upon entering I received a glass of hot cider!  After an update on the political, social and economic situation in Moldova, the session opened up for questions and answers.  Then we ate DELICIOUS food.  Salads, quiche, pizza and a fruit crisp.  YUM!

One interesting fact that I learned during this meeting was that the process for adopting children from Moldova has been efficiently and effectively streamlined. If you are thinking about adoption please consider the children of Moldova.  There are many orphanages and children trying to make their way on their own without parents and it breaks my heart.  The embassy here in Moldova has tried to make this process much easier for United States citizens to adopt and I hope that this results in more homes for the children of Moldova.  Here is an interesting story about Svetlana:

For more information please check out the following websites:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Music in Moldova

Music in any culture is a celebration.  It's artistic expression.  Sometimes you can hear it and sometimes the beats and harmony come from within.  The music of Moldova is an experience for sure.  As in any culture the music produced from Moldova has similarities to its neighboring nations: Romania, Ukraine and Russia.  When I asked the student participants in my English Club what their favorite kinds of music are their reply was far from boring.  Some of the students enjoy classical music (yes I mean symphonic orchestral music), rock, hip hop, rap, pop and traditional folkloric music.  In a nation so small it is interesting for the people to have such diverse tastes in music.  Of course the older generations tend to listen to more folklore and more music in Russian and the younger generations tend to listen to more pop, rock and music in English.  If you asked a university student in America what languages they listen to their music in the overwhelming response would be English with maybe some Spanish or French mixed in.  Here in Moldova it is common for students to flip their radio station or ipod from a bit of Russian pop to some English rap and back to a Moldovan pop ballad.  Crazy, right?  Anyway, it was recently published that Moldova is going to be participating in the Eurovision song competition again this year. Eurovision Contest:     
Check out some of these interesting bands/singers:
Zdob si Zdub:
My favorite Zdob si Zdub song is: Buna Dimineanta

Sunstroke Project and Olia Tira: Run Away

Nelly Ciobanu:Hora din Moldova

Pavel Stratan: S-o insurat baietii

Fun side note. Today, in the office my partner and Maria Frizerita (the hairdresser) whipped out a songbook of Christmas and New Year carols.  I offered to play them on the piano but then I realized that the book was only full of words and they were pulling the tune from their memories and singing in perfect harmony.  I was surprised that an accordion player did not just appear in the office.  My next blog post will be about what people do in for fun in the winter... 

Update on the political situation

Former Moldovan President Warns Against Communist Return To Power:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Things to bring in the Peace Corps: Meat Thermometer. Check!

As many of you may know, Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday.  It instills the season of giving thanks without the pressure of presents.  It reminds us that we have so much to be thankful for.  Since I am in Moldova I was unable to celebrate this holiday with my family directly and so I spent the Saturday before Thanksgiving with my Peace Corps Family. 

While a group of volunteers played football in the mud, several other smaller groups helped to cook the meal.  My team played games and cooked mashed potatoes and stuffing.  It was a great way to get to know some of the other female volunteers that are from other volunteer groups; education, health and community development volunteers.  After making our food we then went back to the Peace Corps office to eat our eclectic assortment of foods.  After saying what we were thankful for we feasted.  It was deliciously American complete with turkey and stuffing.

This year I am most thankful for the support of my friends and family.  I am so blessed to have such understanding and kind people in my life.