It’s all in the details… at HOME.

Since the last post, The price is… what? was so popular I decided to introduce this one as a game as well. I missed the “Home” blog challenge deadline a few weeks ago, so I’m going to combine this one into two challenges… The details of my “home” in Moldova.

Below are zoomed-in images of some aspect of a room in my host family home. See if you can figure out which photo belongs to which room listed:

A) Apartment Stairwell; B) Kitchen; C) Bathroom;  D) My host sister and nephew’s room; E) The living room/host parents room; and F) My room

I have lived with the same host family since I moved to my permanent site in Balti a year and a half ago. Before I left for Moldova I had learned volunteers lived with host family’s for at least their first 6 months in country. At that time, I thought for sure I would move out if/when I had the chance. Now looking back, I cannot imagine my service without my host family. I feel as though I have become a part of the family and enjoy my time with them. I am so glad I have been placed in their home and am grateful for the experience to learn about life in Moldova through them.

Welcome to my host family home in Balti, Moldova! We live in a soviet-style block apartment not far from the center of the city. It’s a 3 bedroom apartment, complete with a kitchen, bathroom (with a washing machine), and toilet. Let’s see how well you did at figuring out which photo above goes to which room in the apartment…

A) The Apartment stairwell

Oftentimes as I get home I am greeted by a dark stairwell leading up to the apartment door. I have gotten better at not needing a light as I climb the concrete stairs. I count it a success when I can make it without pulling out my phone for a light — integration points, absolutely. It’s all the little things…

Something to make note of as you enter a home in Moldova. You must take off your shoes at the doorway. Why? Well, those shoes are dirty, muddy, and maybe wet… see my heavy-duty winter boots below in the first photo (the all-black ones next to the pumpkin)? They’re not so nice looking (and dirty)… BUT they do keep my feet warm and dry and that’s all that matters to me in the winter when having to walk all over the city in the wintery-slush.

The second photo above is what you see once you enter the apartment and take off your shoes. Lots of doors!

B) The Kitchen

This is the room where we all mostly spend our time with one another. We gather around the table in the kitchen and eat dinner together most evenings. I enjoy this time with my host family as this is when we get to catch up and talk about life and all that’s going on… all in Romanian of course. If I don’t have Skype meetings or work to do after dinner often times we’ll sit at the table and continue to talk, sometimes for hours.

C) The Bathroom

Yes, we have a shower curtain (it even has dolphins on it). From what I have gathered from other volunteers in Moldova, having a shower curtain is rare. As you can see, the bathroom is a tight space, as I am standing in the doorway. It’s simple — a sink, tub, and washing machine. The toilet is located in a closet-sized room next to the bathroom.

D) Host sister and nephew’s room

Toys, toys, toys. What 1 year old wouldn’t have toys all throughout their room? My host sister and her son share a room which is next to mine. Usually after a full day of play he has a lot of his toys scattered throughout the room which are all cleaned up by evening then to be repeated the next day.

E) The living room/host parents room

This is the room where guests would be entertained. Sometimes for special occasions, we bring in the kitchen table and eat in this room, especially when there are not enough of us to fit around the table in the kitchen. This room is also where my host parents watch TV, sleep, and spend their time when they’re not in the kitchen or with my host sister and nephew in their room. The sofa pulls out into a bed, which they do each evening and then push it back into a sofa in the morning.

F) My room

And lastly, my room — where I spend most of my time when I’m at “home”. The balloons which are left from my birthday over a month ago, have added some cheerful color to this dreary winter. The purple blanket has become one of my favorite purchases I had done early-on in my service at the local market as it’s super soft and a fun color. What you can’t see from this angle though is the dresser where I have taped up a number of photos of friends from home and fun quotes/notes friends and family have sent during my time here (one of my favorite aspects of my room).

There you have it — a quick, zoomed-in detailed tour of where I have lived and called home for the past year and a half. Poftim!

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