Classroom Notes: On people and friendships

This is part of a series, “Classroom Notes” that I will be sharing as I connect with a classroom in the U.S. through the World Wise Schools program. I recently have the great opportunity to connect with a friend’s classroom back home in State College, PA. She has one class of 6th graders and another class of 7/8th graders and teaches middle school English and History.

The first group of letters that these students have written included many questions, asking about my service in Peace Corps and some questions concerning my well-being and interests. These two questions for this week were quite popular and were asked several times… it makes sense since we, as humans are so relational and friendships are crucial (especially in middle school). 😉

Having some mustache-fun in honor of Amanda J.’s birthday with these lovely ladies. Amanda made these awesome mustaches, aren’t they fancy?

Do you have any friends there?

Yes, I have made some great friends with some fellow Peace Corps volunteers. Currently, there are about 120 of us living and working here in Moldova, so I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many of them through trainings, seminars, and various projects. I’ve also made some local friends through mutual friends and through my workplace. Developing friendships takes time, plus add the language barrier as well as the distance it can take to visit with other volunteers. I look forward to developing those friendships over time in the next ~20 months or so.

How are the people there? Are they nice?

The many people I have met and the things I have learned from them has certainly changed my perspective in so many ways and for that I am grateful. From my experience, people have been kind, generous, and helpful. There are many examples I can share — from the time that I was struggling with carrying my heavy luggage back from a trip and a man didn’t even ask if he could help, just took my bag graciously and carried it to the rutiera (mini-bus) for me (you can also probably imagine how alarmed I was at first too); and then the time I was shopping in a store and a man excitedly came up to me with his two sons and wife in tow to say hello and introduce me to them – I realized he was the taxi driver who took a group of us to Chisinau a few weeks ago. In addition to those examples, I have a wonderful host family who makes sure that I am safe and eat well. They’ve certainly made me feel at home here in Moldova. I have had a positive experience so far and for that I am thankful.

Want to read the other questions the youth in the U.S. wanted to know? Check them out here!

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