First adventure in Bălți

Sharing some reflections from my first day of site visit…

First of all, I love my site placement! I am so excited about working with ProCoRe and learning from the staff and excited to dig into community projects with them in the Northern part of Moldova. During my site visit, I got some more details about the organization I’ll be working with for 2 years and met my partner and her sister who I will also be working with as well. They are full of energy and are passionate about what they are doing and I am looking forward to working with them.

Me with my work site partner, Cristina and her sister, Catia
Me with my work site partner and her sister (as well as site mate/co-worker)
The first day was a morning full of travels as we navigated our way north. I started out with travels from the village I am currently live in then went to Stauceni to first meet up with the rest of the guys who are also going to work in Bălți. We caught a bus heading to the north bus station that morning and made our way to Chisinau. Then at another bus stop we caught a ruteria to the north bus station where we then jumped on another ruteria but this one heading to Bălți on our first ruteria ride to our future home. Bălți is about 2 hours from Chisinau (the capital of Moldova) by Ruteria.
It can get a little crowded at times... a glimpse from the back
It can get a little crowded at times… a glimpse from the back
It was an uneventful and yet fun ride to my future home with these guys. My fellow M29 site mates are quite fun… one may have been a bit tired and another studied a bit along the way.
Jeff studying his limba romănă
Jeff studying his limba romănă
IMG_8455
Daniel was a bit tired…
...and of course I made them take a photo/selfie to document the big day.
…and of course I made them take a photo/selfie to document the big day. Look at all this excitement!
…and the sunflower views are amazingly stunning and these photos don’t even do them any justice. I hope to be able to take more photos of these flowers in the future…
So many sunflowers  - blurs of golden color flashed by along the way...
So many sunflowers – blurs of golden color flashed by along the way…
Once we arrived, I met my partner and her sister (who speaks English very well) and we hit the ground running immediately. They showed me the office…
The office where I will be working with ProCoRe for the next ~2 years...
The office where I will be working with ProCoRe for the next ~2 years…
And we enjoyed some chai and snacks while they shared information about the organization. I am thrilled to work with ProCoRe and am looking forward to learning lots once I get to site and start working with my partner and the organization and community.
I got a great tour of Bălți, had some lunch at Andy’s pizza (and here I thought I wouldn’t have been able to get pizza here, silly me) and we did a lot of walking. I think my site placement is a perfect match.
The indoor piața located in the central part of the city
The indoor piața located in the central part of the city
Beautiful landscaping that is new (as I was told)...
Beautiful landscaping that is new (as I was told)…
Known as the water fountain
Known as the water fountain “that never works”…
An Orthodox church in Bălți
An Orthodox church in Bălți
Randomness we found along the way - a photo shoot of some sort...
Randomness we found along the way – a photo shoot of some sort…?
Ferris wheel in a park - so fun!
Ferris wheel in a park – so fun!
There is a lake (not best to go swimming here though)
There is a lake (not best to go swimming here though)
After lunch and more touring of the city, my site mate walked me to my future home which is about a 15 min walk to/from the office. I have learned since then that I have some great neighbors – one of my coworkers lives close as well as a current PCV too.
I'll be living in an apartment building with my host family...
I’ll be living in an apartment building with my host family…
Meet my host dad (tata gazda); he used to fly helicopters in Alaska & Russia (from what I think I understood)
Meet my host dad (tata gazda); he used to fly helicopters in Alaska & Russia (from what I think I understood)

I don’t really have many photos from my site host family home… yet. They are quite a lovely family, I’ll be living with a host mama and tata and one sister who is about my age. They are very hospitable and my host tata is quite the character and makes me laugh a lot. His personality reminded me very much of my Pap Lucas. I ate really well, more food than I can handle and was able to communicate with my host family better than I thought — and able to carry conversations in Romanian! Hoorah!

Welcome to Bălți… my new home come August after swearing in on July 30th!

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