Sunday, March 13, 2011

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!

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