Meet Zina and Maria – My Host-Sisters from Pre-Service Training

When I first moved to Moldova over a year ago I had the privilege of living with an amazing host family and was immediately taken in by 2 younger host sisters. They were incredibly kind and patient with me and for that I am so grateful. We bonded over animated movies like my favorites “Despicable Me” and I got to know about many others that I had never heard before. (For example, if you haven’t watched “Big Hero 6” yet, you should.)  This past year has gone too fast and I haven’t not gotten to visit them enough as I would like. Meet Zina and Maria, two incredibly smart and beautiful young girls from Moldova.


Zina is 20 and is studying at Medical University in the Faculty of Dentistry in Chisinau. Meanwhile, Maria remains at home while she attends school in her village. Zina spends her free time studying so she can be a good doctor (I can definitely say this is true – she is a good student and studies A LOT). Maria likes to learn, when she’s not watching films (documentaries and animated movies) she is reading or studying. She is interested in science, medicine, and history and has hopes to be a surgeon or doctor some day.

What do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?

Maria: I read a lot, I like to embroider, and I have a lot of hobbies that include handmade things.

Zina: Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of free time, but when I am on vacation, I like playing with my sister, helping my mom in the garden, and going to the movies or theatre.

Tell us about the first time you met a Peace Corps volunteer…

Maria: The first time I met a Peace Corp volunteer was the summer of 2014, when we had a Peace Corp volunteer staying with us at home.

Zina: The first time I met a Peace Corps volunteer was a year ago. It was a great pleasure for me to meet an American citizen and to discover that she is a nice, good girl. It was a nice summer, because I improved my English skills, and, in the same time I was happy to discover a new, interesting person.

Has your perspective on Volunteering changed?

Maria: Yes, it changed a lot. Now I know what volunteers do, and now I have an open mind and soul for people  who work without money.

Zina: My perspective on volunteering is good, I think they do a good work in our country and we should help them, even with a place to stay and sleep.

Has your perspective about Americans changed?

Maria: No, I always thought that Americans are good people and I still think this.

Zina: Their perspectives are very good, too, because they have great ideas that can help in development of our country.

How have Peace Corps volunteers impacted your life?

Maria: Peace Corps volunteers changed my life, now I want to be involved in more of American projects, and Peace Corps volunteers helped me in  school and developed my English.

Zina: Peace Corps Volunteers impacted me in a good way my life, because it was a new and interesting experience in my life, which I want to repeat.

If you could say one thing to all Peace Corps volunteers what would it be?

Maria: Good Luck!

Zina: Good Luck, guys!!!

If you could say one thing to all Moldovans about volunteering what would it be?

Maria: Americans help develop Moldova, and they make good things here.

Zina: Don’t be afraid, let’s help them!

What are some of your hopes for Moldova’s future?

Maria: I hope that in Moldova we had the same schools and teachers like in America.

Zina: I want to live in a developed country, where I can develop my personality. I want to work there, and my work to be remembered.

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