First three month
I have finally settled in to my home in Bălţi (pronounced Belts) and it has been about 3 month since my arrival in Moldova. There is much to write about and I will start by summarizing my Pre Service Training（PST) experiences
Thinking back, the landing and the first 2 days felt like 2 years. When it came to realizing what I’m doing with my life, my mind took its time to catch up to my body. The first week was tiring, as my body tries to catch up with the local schedules. During PST my mind constantly attempt to realize that I was actually in Moldova and not at home anymore. This happened quite often in the mornings when I woke up and realized my feet were hanging off the small bed ; walking and dodging huge potholes in my dress shoes; and when I took the sauna bus towards Chisinau for Hub days (window opening is sometimes forbidden).
In Ciorescu I, along with 7 other volunteers, were placed throughout the village and I stayed with a family of 4. My bed room was in a casa mica on the 2nd floor, which acted also as a library/office for the working lawyers (dad and old brother) of the family. My host dad Ion worked as a Vice Principal in the National Science Academy and also taught law at the Police Academy in Chisinau. My host brother worked as a consultant (drafted laws) in the ministry of agriculture. My host mother is a teacher at the local school and my 2nd host brother is studying law at university, this is his last year. The town is small in population (7,000~), but they have land that stretches out into the limestone quarry, which makes a great day hike to see the sunflowers during the summer.
Free time were usually plentiful. I sometimes occupied myself during PST by reading, watching a lot of movies by myself, having 2-3 hours of conversation (in English) with my host brother about life and random things from dinner to night time, and workouts (morning) and running (before dinner). I was also able to help the family with some gardening (moving dirt and rocks) during my free time. On certain mornings, I would get up and try to skype some people back home or catch a call with my mom once in a week in the afternoons. Every weekend, my host brother and I go to the local “clay” court and play tennis for an hour. It costs 50 lei and was rather relaxing. Every so often I would go over to Andre’s or Adam’s to go hangout or attempt to study. The book type of studying did not go well so we just did spurts of speaking all Romanian to each other (30 minutes at a time). The exercise was fun and we understood one another, but who knows if we were using the proper grammar or vocabulary at the time 😛.
Studying the local language was interesting and intense at the same time. It went from 4 hours a day (M-S) for about two month to brush up my non existing Romanian skills. We also had tech training in some afternoons, but that is for another time. I could hardly understand every other words during the first month of training. I Specifically remember the amount of nervousness I built up to ask the simple question: “where are the banana(s).” [in case you were curious the broken Romanian translated to : avti banana? unde?] The experience was interesting and I kept thinking back on how difficult it was for my parents immigrated into the US . Andre and I kept saying to ourselves：Just let the waves of information splash over you, absorb as much as you can, and let the rest come to you another time. By the end of 2 month I passed with an intermediate low (average PCV required rate) and was shuttled off to the city of Balti with Sara and Daniel, my site mates.
Until next time-