Thoughts on celebrating another birthday in Peace Corps

Earlier this month I celebrated my birthday for a second year in Moldova. Hooray for celebrating 33! Since this recent celebration, I have been doing some reflecting and thinking about life. After such reflections I  thought I’d share some of these thoughts about celebrating another year as a Peace Corps Volunteer… where you find that your age doesn’t really matter.

  1. I am going to miss the reaction I have gotten when I was 32 and someone asked my age. I was often told I was saying it wrong in Romanian and reversing the numbers… “Oh, you mean 23… not 32.” (Why yes, thank you for correcting me.) That won’t be happening at 33.
  2. Sometimes I feel like I’m 3…  especially when I speak in Romanian. I am pretty sure I sound like a 3 year old. “Give me this… please.” I’ve come to embrace that this is my reality, and I am okay with that.
  3. And then there are times I feel like I’m 13… mostly because I still live with a host family (whom I love). They know my whereabouts most/all of the time, plus I also don’t really decide what I eat for dinner anymore (which I’m not really complaining about). Oh, and there was that time when my host dad cut up my food for me…

As I celebrated my birthday earlier this month, I had a full weekend of low-key birthday celebrations. From a small gathering with a few friends to an epic surprise coordinated by a few youth and fellow Peace Corps volunteers and a nice evening at home with my host family. It was a wonderful way to celebrate another year — with new friends and a host family in a place I had never heard of 2 years ago. Plus, I got to chat with a few friends from home thanks to technology! As I reflect, I cannot imagine my life without being surrounded by these people and being here in Moldova… no matter what age I feel or how old I am told I “should” be.

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These lovelies showed up to surprise me on my birthday — complete with cake, flowers, balloons, gifts, and sweet birthday wishes. It was amazing!

 

Cheers to 33!

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