Another month gone, speeding rapidly by as I try to catch my breath realizing it’s April and we’ve been here over 300 days now. March literally did what it does best and marched right on by… here’s a glimpse of all the activities that March was filled with…
For one week, a group of students from University of Pennsylvania from the International Human Rights Association (IHRA) came to Moldova to share resources and information about human rights advocacy. Students were paired with Peace Corps Volunteers all throughout Moldova where they were sent out to various communities and shared information about domestic violence, human trafficking, and immigration laws. We hosted professor Chang-Muy from UPenn for a few days and Verna, a 3rd year law student for the week here in Balti. We kept them pretty busy between presentations and meetings at the local University with the law department and also connected Verna with some local NGO’s to share this information. It was a very full week and we all learned a lot!
We celebrated Chinese New Year’s, thanks to some amazing culinary skillz from fellow sitemates Jeff & Barbara!
Technovation Challenge! This has certainly been one of the more challenging projects of my service so far and the most rewarding at the same time. Technovation Challenge is a world-wide competition that gets girls involved in building the confidence to jump into the world of IT and technology. They have to identify a problem in their community and come up with a solution through the process of building a mobile phone app and creating a business plan — all in English! It has been quite a challenge to go through the curriculum with my team of 4 girls trying to navigate creating a business plan, using the AppInventor program, and meeting all the competition requirements – and without a translator too. The deadline for the competition is coming up on April 23!
(PS- special thanks to my friend John H. for helping us out with an android phone that allows them to see their work and for all the amazing people who helped get it to Moldova! – Ana & Mom)
We even had a documentary film crew come to film our team in-action during one of our working sessions one Thursday afternoon. They are making a documentary about #GirlsinTech, as they follow some teams around the world who are preparing for the Technovation Challenge competition. The film crew was in Moldova since the 2014 winning team of Technovation Challenge is from Moldova. It was a really neat to see these girls have the opportunity to be part of this and for them to meet the director, Leslie Chilcott (producer and director, known for An Inconvenient Truth) who came the whole way from San Francisco to film the various teams here. Very cool.
Aside from these big happenings from March… I can’t leave out the simplistic beauty that I find in every day things. From an early morning sunrise, to a care package that contained sweet notes, to the English club I meet with every week and seeing the improvement in their English… to being able to make French toast for my host family one Saturday morning.
March was a certainly full month! I had previously shared some recent adventures from all the celebrations that spring brings, a visit to a friend’s village and of course the photo club that started in March as well. Whew!
Even in the midst of the busy, awkward, and challenging moments, I try to find beauty and joy… and continue to learn how to embrace it all one day at a time.