A year ago today I was taking in my new surroundings as a Peace Corps Trainee. Fast forward to today as I reflect on all that has happened and changed over this past year. I am amazed at how fast it has gone. In honor of celebrating one year serving with Peace Corps in Moldova I want to share some things I have learned about myself within this past year…
Public transport and miles of walking…
Since we cannot drive cars as Peace Corps Volunteers we are left to either walk or take public transportation when we need to go somewhere. I have come to find I really enjoy the time each day walking to/from work which is about a 15-20 minute walk. Now I find that walking a few miles in a day is normal. As for the public transportation part… I have experienced falling asleep on a rutiera and train — an accomplishment in of itself. But enjoying the rutiera or train, especially in the summer time, that is a different story.
Did I just eat ALL of that?
My host mom is a great cook and she puts a lot of food on my plate. I have noticed that over time my plate size has also increased with the portion size as well. And, well… I usually end up eating all of it. The amount of potatoes, mayonnaise, and sour cream has multiplied in my diet probably 5x’s — and I found that I like them all too, probably a little too much. Try putting mayonnaise on your mashed potatoes next time… 😉
wine juice please…
House wine is an important part of a Moldovan family home. Most families have house wine and serve it with dinner. I have noticed that I now prefer my host family’s house wine over others and I think it kinda tastes like juice.
I speak a new language!?
One year later and I am able to have a conversation and tell a story in Romanian now. I can get around alright with my language, but being correct and able to express myself in greater detail, that’s another story for another year. The fact that I can speak a whole other language in this short amount of time — that’s just crazy.
How old am I?
I still live with a host family and I love that I have become a part of their family. Little did I know I also would feel like I have digressed a few years or a decade or two when it comes to living with them. Like letting them know where I am going and if/when I am going to be home late… and the other day my host dad cut my pork-chop for me. Another thing, it is not inappropriate to ask someone’s age when you first meet them – I have had it happen to me a few times that when I tell people I’m treizeci si doi (32) in Romanian, they tell me I am wrong and that I switched the numbers around as it should be douăzeci și trei (23). Apparently Moldova will make you younger — who knew?! I am so grateful for this past year, for all that I have learned, for the people I have gotten to know, and for the change in perspective. I look forward to the next year ahead and all that it may hold. Here’s to the second half of my Peace Corps service! Noroc!