A Day in My Life: Old New Year

No day is ever the same. So it’s hard to explain what a typical day looks like here as a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Moldova. To start things off, I picked a random day to share with you, and hope to share more “A Day in My Life” series as my short time in Moldova continues.

Last week many people in Moldova celebrated “old” New Year on January 14. Although we didn’t celebrate quite like many volunteers did in the village, like this:

Thanks to Rosemary Mitchell for letting me share her video. On this day people throw corn, rice, or grain while they yell well wishes at you, then in return you give them candy or money. Fun, huh?

…but my host family and I did celebrate later in the evening with a very different cultural tradition, something I had learned later is actually not a Moldovan tradition.

8:30 AM – I woke up, got ready for the day, ate breakfast.

10:00 AM – I walked to work. (It snowed awhile ago, this was the icy slush that remained)

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10:20 AM – I got to the office of my primary partner organization. On this day, I prepared for the Tech Club later in the day, sent emails, and worked on the final report for a grant project.

work

1:45 PM – I left the office to walk across the city to get to the Tech Club at a local high school.

2:15-3:30 PM – 2 students show up and we continue with the agenda for the day anyway.

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Steve, one of my Peace Corps site mates in Balti explaining something about web site design/format to the girls during our weekly Tech Club.

3:33 PM – We take a selfie with our Tech Club students.

selfie

3:35 PM – I walk home.

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Ice for days…

4:00ish PM – I arrive home. Then go back outside with my host sister and her son to go for a quick walk to the store to pick up some food items for dinner.

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My host sister and I go for a walk with her son. You’ve got to bundle up in this cold weather.

5:00ish PM – We return and I help prep food in the kitchen.

5:30ish PM – We eat! We had a special meal in honor of the “old” New Year holiday as well as it being St. Vasile Day.

After asking a few other volunteers if they had experienced the “frozen fish pieces” and no one had any idea what I was asking about I had to inquire my host family to find out more. Turns out, this is a tradition that they added special to their family from when they lived in Siberia (in a part really close to Alaska). I did some research and discovered it’s called Stronganina, a traditional cold dish in Yakutia. You dip it in salt and pepper and eat it before it thaws. It wasn’t bad and was a fun tradition to learn from my host family.

7:30 PM – We finish, wash dishes, and clean up the kitchen.

8:00 PM – Family time with my host nephew.

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This little guy loves his grandfather.

8:30 PM – I head to my room and work on some work-things.

12:00-1:00 AM – Somewhere in this time range I finally go to sleep. I’ve turned into a night owl here.

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