Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Some Fun In The Bleak Mid-Winter

So, after a winter break I am back and at it in Moldova. Over the holidays I went home for a much needed break, and I can say that after more than a year and a half I was very overwhelmed by how much I had missed my family and friends. The two weeks I spent at home were restorative and helped me to refocus my energy for my final six months of service.

I arrived back in Moldova just in time to celebrate Orthodox Christmas with my host family on January 7th. As usual it was celebrated in full Moldovan fashion, days filled with eating lots of food, and drinking many toasts. I was slightly disappointed when I returned home in Moldova to find the house barren of any form of Christmas spirit. Where is the Christmas tree? I asked host mom. She told me that because I hadn't been around she didn't think it was necessary to drag out the tree and all the decorations. She could tell I was very disappointed by this and so she promised me the next day should would bring out the tree for me to decorate. She knows me so well. This year we had two trees. One artificial tree in the living room and one small fresh tree outside on the stoop. I got to decorate both! I am so lucky that my family both in the US and Moldova understand my slightly ridiculous need for a Christmas tree. It just isn't Christmas without a tree!

The days leading up to Christmas are spent preparing and cooking food for the big day of eating. I also know its the holidays when my host mom decides to drink coffee, she usually opts for tea. Host sister arrives, and the party truly starts. She is always dressed to the nines, and her hair and makeup are always perfectly in place...makes me feel like a frumpy old granny.

This year was special, host dad was home from Moscow. He works abroad making a higher income than if he lived in Moldova, this is very common in Moldova and almost all families have at least one member working outside of Moldova. So, it was a great chance to visit with him.

Winter has sunk in here, I can't help but think that this has contributed to my lack of blog posts. Winter here is awfully tough. It's not just the cold and snow, but it's the lack of sunlight, minimal exposure to other volunteers, and absence of fresh fruits and vegetables that begins to disrupt the natural flow of things. Everyone has a bought of the winter blues and could use a little more sunshine in their lives.

On a more positive note, I am keeping busy with my two big projects. A technology/computer project with the mayors offices in my district, and a fire department project (that the next blog post will be dedicated to). Between these two projects they should keep me pretty busy until late May. So, on a day-to-day basis I am taking care of different aspects of these projects, trying to stay connected with friends and family both in Moldova and the US, and drinking lots of tea.

Hope the winter isn't getting you down. If it is, remember Spring is on its way!


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