Thursday, March 31, 2011

Volleyball Equipment for Moldova

April 1, 2011 until May 15, 2011 I have begun efforts to help a very active women's volleyball team in the raion (municipality center) of Orhei, Moldova. This awesome group of competitive athletes lacks the proper equipment to practice as a whole team. I implore all of you to donate or ask your local school to donate either unwanted (yet still usable) equipment or a send a small sum of money to support my efforts (for shipping).  Want to get involved?  Join my Facebook Event!
Equipment Needed: Knee pads, volleyballs, practice jerseys, and anything else you are willing to donate!
To help with shipping costs make checks payable to Emily Getty and write the following in the memo: Volleyball equipment for Moldova.

USA shipping address:
Volleyball Equipment for Moldova
Attn: Emily Getty
3691 State Rte. 4
Hudson Falls, NY 12839-3707 USA

International shipping address:
Emily Getty PCV M25
Corpul Pacii
12 Girgore Ureche Str.
2001 Chisinau
Republic of Moldova

Thank you for your contribution!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Biden visits Moldova

For an excellent narrative on Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Moldova check out my colleague, Zachariah's blog post:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elderly in Moldova

The elderly in Moldova is a very interesting topic.  Although the elderly are respected (younger people should always greet the elderly with respect even when just walking past each other on the street) they are also often forgotten.  I have found that the majority of elderly citizens in my village speak poor Romanian (the most widely used language in my village) and use Russian on a daily basis.  This is probably mostly because of the hard effect of soviet times on these individuals.  Their lives have been hard and many long for the days of communist control when bread was received after waiting with crowds of other people in line for provisions and bus rides were free for university students.  These are the people that remind me how much it "costs" to become a democracy.  They remind me what my relatives and ancestors fought to achieve.  These are the pensioners (British term for retirees) who have to literally pinch pennies just to survive. 

I was at the town market with my host mother one morning and we bumped into her history teacher from high school.  After exchanging our greetings and thoughts on the beautiful weather our conversation (or rather their conversation) moved on to the pains of life.  As the old baba (derogatory word for grandmother in Russian) walked away she said something to the effect of "I hope to die soon so I won't have to experience another winter." 

Needless to say life for the elderly is tough and there is some support but it is limited as it is for any marginalized population.  For those that have family working abroad or have the privilege to live with their families they are well taken care of.  Those that are left here without anyone have to depend on social assistance and neighbors which can sometimes be lacking.  In such a destitute situation it is no wonder that the elderly population in Moldova has poor health, hygiene and tends to drink copious amounts of alcohol (whatever they can get their hands on really).  It's sad.  The government and the local communities need to take responsibility for their elderly. 

Some resources I have found:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

10 Women Scientists who should be FAMOUS!

In honor of International Women's Day I would like to share this Britannica Blog post with all of my readers out there about the top 10 women scientists:

March 8, 2011: International Women's Day 100th Anniversary!

Annually on March 8, women around the world celebrate and are honored on International Women's Day.  This holiday was originally organized by socialists and was declared "International Working Women's Day."  This is a day for women around the world to raise awareness about women's rights issues and appreciating the accomplishments of the women who came before us as well as looking forward to our future successes.

This holiday is more ingrained in many of the former communist countries like Moldova.  I received gifts from my host mom and my partner for International Women's Day (a tulip, some chocolates, and a flowery mug) as well as gifted potted flowers to the women in my life; my tutors, host mom and work partner.  In American culture I suppose you could compare it to Mother's day but on this day it is customary to give gifts to all the important females in your life.   

A helping hand for migrant mums

"Almost 90% of abandoned babies in Moscow are born to migrant workers from Central Asia, Ukraine and Moldova, as well as from Africa, the Republic of the Congo in particular."  To read the full article click here.

Moldova on the MAP!

I am sure that you have all heard "the news," but if you haven't let me fill you in... Moldova received a visit from United States Vice President Biden.  Not only was I able to stand on the stage behind the Vice President the entire time, waving flags and smiling but the entire Embassy staff and their families as well as the entire Peace Corps family were all invited for a "meet and greet" following the public speech.  It was very nice being able to hear Biden speak so frankly with us about the importance of improvement on the issues of human trafficking, institutional corruption and free press.  He indicated that if Moldova's ranking on these issues continues to deteriorate rather than improve then any and all aide (fiscal or otherwise) from the United States of America can and will be stopped.

This visit was a great honor for not only the Peace Corps volunteers but the entire country of Moldova.  With the recent negative coverage on Moldova regarding their unhealthy drinking habits, this visit has put Moldova on the map in a more positive light; not only regarding politics and foreign relations but also in relation to their wine industry!

Moldovan TV coverage (with video of me in the background)
Radio Free Europe coverage (video and article)
Wall Street Journal coverage
More Wall Street Journal coverage
Reuter's article
AFP article
Yahoo! article

"Meanwhile Biden's wife Jill and granddaughter Finnegan visited the famous Cricova wine cellars just outside Chisinau, in an apparent effort to highlight the country's ambition to raise its profile as a wine-exporting nation." - AFP article (sited above)

Drinking Culture
Moldova wines in the United Kingdom
Exclusiv vodka made in Moldova makes a damn good dirty martini

I am so proud to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in the tiny landlocked nation, the REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Based on her work with UNICEF...

I recently finished reading the book "Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope" - Jenna Bush.  If you are a health educator or interested in reading personal stories about the affects of HIV/AIDS in the developing world, then this is the book for you.  It is written at a reading level for children in Middle School and highlights the importance of being open about your disease, practicing safe sex and the trials of growing up in a poor neighborhoods in developing nations.  At the end of the book there are several sections available for book club questions, more information on HIV/AIDS and tips on how to get involved. 

This book got me thinking about HIV/AIDS in Moldova.  Anytime, I speak with one of my English Club students they deny the existence of the disease.  And once I show them news and information acknowledging its existence they then continue to explain that if HIV/AIDS is here in Moldova it must have come from the USA.  Americans certainly brought it here.  This week I am going to bring this book to my English Club and hopefully one of my students will want to read it.

In my search for more information about HIV/AIDS in Moldova I found a website with some resources:
Another with information:
And finally an interesting article from the Economist:  

The article from the Economist was most eye-opening.  Apparently the HIV/AIDS situation in Moldova is "stable" (according to their map) but many of the other old soviet republics and neighboring nations have no data available.  Interesting.  I suppose it is just something to think about.  How many people do you think are living in this country with an HIV/AIDS secret?  I also wonder how many people do not even know that they have the disease...