The Adventures of a Friend’s Visit from Home

I have some pretty amazing friends. Before I moved to Moldova I was able to visit with many of them across the country and then a group of them took me on a surprise weekend getaway for some quality-friend time. Even with the distances separating us I have appreciated the big and small ways so many of them have kept in touch.

This past week, one of these dear friends traveled the whole way to Moldova to personally deliver hugs and goodies from home. She visited for a week and by the time she left we had enough stories, adventures, and memories to fill a few over-sized suitcases.

I had to give a proper welcome wearing a traditional blouse (which was a sweet gift from my host family) complete with a welcome sign. I seemed to get a lot of attention at the airport by doing this. Ha.
I greeted my friend at the airport with a proper welcome, wearing a traditional blouse (which was a sweet gift from my host family) complete with a welcome sign. I seemed to get a lot of attention at the airport by doing this.

My friend Rachel had her fill of adventures that have a sense of normalcy to me now. I appreciated her willingness to just roll with it… from waiting for hours for a rutiera that didn’t come back for us…

We went out to visit Orhei Vechi for the morning/early afternoon where it's known for it's beautiful scenery and monastery. This is where we waited 2+ hours when the rutiera didn't come back when expected and when it finally did it refused to take us until an hour later (when it would supposedly return).
We went out to visit Orhei Vechi for the morning/early afternoon where it’s known for it’s beautiful scenery and monastery. This is where we waited 2+ hours when the rutiera didn’t come back when we expected and when it finally did, it refused to take us until an hour later (when it would supposedly return).

…to the friendly “taxi” driver who finally got us to our destination…. to escaping the path of an angry cow through a sunflower field on a walk through the village…

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….to riding along bumpy nauseating field-roads for a day-trip…

My host dad took us for a quick trip to Soroca through the back roads and fields.
My host dad took us for a quick trip to Soroca through the back roads and fields. This was how the “road” was most of the way on this adventure.

…and endless hours of me translating between English and Romanian for her and my host family.

That time when Rachel helped prepare the pork chop marinade without much translation help -- lots of laughs were shared.
That time when Rachel helped prepare the pork chop marinade without much translation help — lots of laughs were shared.

We approached each day with open hands, unsure of what it would hold with loose plans and were pretty pleased with the outcome. I loved being able to share my life here in Moldova with my friend and the things I continue to learn in the process. It has been and continues to be a grand adventure each day, full of surprises around every corner.

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Natural beauty surrounds us at Orhei Vechi.
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We overheard “I WANT inside this mountain!” (in Romanian) and followed the group who was searching for this door (as we were too) to find the old original Monastery build inside the side of the rocks.
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We went on a tour of Chateau Vartely winery in Orhei – we highly recommend it!
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Rachel and my friend, Amanda enjoying a conversation with my host mom outside.
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Tasting water from a natural spring-well in the middle of a field. These wells are an old style way of drawing water up from the well.
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Visiting Soroca, can you spot the fortress? Soroca is on the left side of the Nistru river and Ukraine is on the right side of the river.
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Me, Amanda, and Rachel along the Nistru river with Ukraine in the background after touring the fortress and meeting Mihai.
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Rachel learned how homemade noodles are made for a traditional Moldova dish, zeama (chicken soup).
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Discovering fun creatures along the way during a walk through the village — after escaping the unhappy cow and angry territorial dogs.

I am so thankful for such a great visit with my friend, being able to do “life” with her while she was here — sharing coffee, stories, and laughter together and getting to meet some of my host family and friends here in Moldova. That’s one thing I can guarantee if you visit me here in Moldova… adventures await. 😉

Rachel and I at the airport before she left to go home.
Rachel and I at the airport before she left to go home.
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