This is the first part of a short series from a recent trip to Moldova my friends from PA made. Since many friends and family from home would love the opportunity to do the same, I’m sharing our adventures with you so you can experience it as well. So pack your bags, your coming to Moldova (without leaving home)! Drum bun (have a good road)!
Welcome to Moldova! You just landed in Moldova after a long 10+ hour flight and time-warped ahead one day. You’re not sure if it’s time for lunch or dinner nor are you really hungry. You ate some airplane food and are curious to what is in store for you in this mysterious place your friend calls “home” now.
Your friend welcomes you at the airport with a big smile, hugs and a handmade “welcome” sign. It all becomes a blur, you don’t understand the words people are speaking, but the friend you haven’t seen in about 2 years seems to understand everything going on. She speaks with the cab driver who takes your suitcase and strategically places it into a small car. There is so much to take in and catch-up on all at the same time.
You learn a bit about the public transportation by experience and proceed to take a 2-hour rutiera ride to the city where your friend lives. You look for a seat belt in the rutiera, but realize they don’t exist for passengers beyond the driver and front seats. Mid-way through this very long and bumpy ride to Balti, you realize how tired you are and can barely keep your eyes open.
Eventually you arrive to the city, having to drag your luggage along dusty, broken sidewalks to your friends host family apartment. After a little needed break from so much travel, you take a shower (and nap) and eat some leftover Easter food (which was celebrated the day before). Your friend’s host dad arrives to take you all to the village 30-45 min from the city. Surprise!
Your realize now why your friend loves going to the village so much. It’s beautiful. It’s calm and relaxing. Exactly what is needed after a long flight, a 2-hour rutiera ride and no sleep.
You see that village life is hard, but at the same time it’s simple and calming.
Long naps happen. More eating and drinking than you are used to happens — you learn new phrases and words (and songs)… and you can’t stop from smiling.
A walk through the village is a must. People stare and wonder who the strangers are. It is only a small village of around 50 people (maybe).
It’s spring time in the village. The fruit trees are beginning to bloom. It’s a busy time of year to prepare the fields. You learn a bit about the gracious hosts who have taken your friend in as part of their family and you experience one of the greatest parts Moldova — their kind hospitality.
Next stop: Balti! Stay tuned for more adventures in Moldova as you explore the city your friend is most familiar with and works in… part 2 coming soon!
Photos by: Hannah Ingram
(which are so fun to see since they’re through a new set of eyes and new perspective!)