Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Running for Development in Moldova

Check out my new blog post on Pink Pangea.com

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sniffle. Sniffle. Ahhhhchooo. Allergies got me again.

So as I sit here in the apartment in Chisinau that is the designated "sick bay" for Peace Corps Volunteers.  I am here because the change in seasons has brought on yet another nasal congestion, yellowy green mucous dripping from my nose into my throat (thank goodness for Claritin-D).  As I sit here resting.  The lady who cleans and takes care of the apartment for us sickies comes in and tells me "drink more."  Her English catches me off guard and so I look at her and she says it again, "drink more!"  And so I go make my self a tea and come back.  She enters the room again hearing me sniffle and says "We have an expression in Russian... the cure for your cold is hot tea with lemon and a night with a hot man."  Giggling I respond "Well, the lemon I think I can do but the hot man might be hard to find."  She laughs and then goes about her work.  There may be some truth to her expression.  For now, I think I'll just go to the store to buy some more lemon and tea.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The art of naming animals

Who knew that there were rules to naming animals in Moldova?  I sure didn't.  I figured it worked the same as in the USA... we name our pets with funny names or even human names or adjectives that suit them, like fluffy or yippy.  Well apparently in Moldova there are rules to the naming game when it comes to animals.

Rule #1: You DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT give animals human names.
Rule #2: You name every animal after the day it was born on and based on it's gender.
For example if a baby calf is born on a Thursday and it is a girl it will be Joiana or if it is a boy it is Joionel.

Now you may be asking yourself how I came upon this knowledge?  Well last Thursday I helped birth my first Moldovan calf.  He is a tall red and white bull born from a very narrow-pinned mother.  Helping with this really made me miss my farm at home, the smells and sounds of the baby calves and working with my family (I know I must be going crazy).  The mother's first milk, colostrum is not only used to feed the newborn calf, the cats, dogs and goats but also to make a special sweet bread which was quite tasty!  Okay, okay, I know you want to meet the little guy... so, poftim:

Want to know what I did today? Check out my awesome Youtube video.

January 18, 2011 marked the inception of my local English Club. Building up to my English Club I posted announcements on the bulletin board outside the mayor's office, at the kindergarten, outside my office, at the school and even the discoteca. My announcement advertised a fun way to learn English in a less formal setting. The first class included 13 participants with an age range from 8 - 55 and professions from student and librarian to NGO director and farmer. There was definitely a distinct line between those who have no knowledge of the English language and those that are more advanced and so my English Club now meets twice a week and continues to grow. Tuesdays are for the beginners (a core group of 10 young kids) and Wednesdays for the more advanced group (includes a core group of 8 high school kids and one university student). I try to find creative ways to teach English vocabulary including games like "Red light, green light," "What time is it Mr. Fox?," dominoes, Go Fish! and even Frisbee. Today, we had a bit of a different lesson. They learned the vocabulary necessary for our project to pick up plastic bottle caps and then in Romanian we spoke about what it means to be a volunteer as well as the three goals of Peace Corps. After collecting the caps we counted them and found we had collected 778 bottle caps and doing the math (60 caps = one loaf of bread for the poor) we found that we had helped about 13 people! Click on the video and come along with my English Club and I on our adventure in bottle cap collecting for a cause!

Books for my library: Thank you Darien Book Aid!

This winter I received a shipment of books from Darien Book Aid for my local library.  The shipment included much needed books in English for my local library.  The librarian, Maria was ecstatic as was my partner who enjoyed showing me the penguin dance when she saw the books on penguins.