An Update from April & May

Summer has arrived! The change of seasons from spring to summer this year also brings a lot of life changes during my third and final year as a Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova. A lot has happened over these past 2 months as time has been flying by rapidly. If I were to share the highlight reel from these past 2 months, this is what it would include:

Vacationing on an Island

In April, instead of staying in Moldova for the Easter holiday, a few friends and I went away for a week-long vacation to the island of Cyprus. It was an incredible time and an amazing place to explore. I would highly recommend traveling there and would love to return some day.

To note: while we were away, Moldova experienced a crazy unexpected spring snowstorm that dropped many inches of snow on the capital city. It crippled the city for 2 days and shut down public transportation. Over 3,000 trees were destroyed in this storm and when we returned from vacation we were greeted with a number of areas still trying to clean up the debris and downed power lines from the storm.

 

Team Building in the Mountains

Once I returned sun-kissed from vacation in Cyprus, the following weekend I found myself backpacking through the Carpathian mountains with my colleagues from Tekwill. We ventured through the rain, fog, and snow as we got to know one another better and learned what it takes when you take 20+ people together through the mountains with a variety of different hiking skill levels.

 

Technovation Moldova Finishes the 2017 Season

This was my third year to participate as a mentor and part of the organizing team with Technovation Challenge Moldova. Technovation is a global competition that encourages young girls to learn and develop entrepreneurial and technical skills by creating a business plan and mobile app that solves a problem in their community. At the beginning of May, we held the Official National Pitch Event where 9 teams from all over Moldova pitched their projects and one team was selected to go onto the semi-final virtual judging round. I started out mentoring 2 teams this year, one junior team and one senior team. The senior team successfully completed their project by the deadline and was able to compete at the pitch event. My host sister from pre-service training 2 years ago was a part of this team and it was a great honor to be able to mentor her team for this year as we all learned so much together.

 

Rails Girls launches 3rd edition

I was super excited to play a behind the scenes role in seeing the 3rd edition of Rails Girls Chisinau happen in Moldova. It was such a great honor and opportunity to see my friend Alisa as the new coordinator take on this role and see things come together so that more girls could learn basics of the Ruby on Rails framework.

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Nineteen girls successfully completed the 3rd edition of Rails Girls Chișinău! Many of these girls were introduced to the Ruby on Rails framework for the very first time and created websites by the end of the three weekends of workshops.

 

When a Friend Visits Moldova

 

My friend, Anne-Lise from France whom I had met about 7-8 years ago while she was studying/working at Penn State came to visit me for a week here in Moldova. Although I had to work on different projects during this time, we still were able to get in some fun during her stay. I am happy to report that she survived the public transportation, last minute adventures and changes in plans, and experienced the ins and outs of life as a PCV in Moldova.

 

I’ll be sharing more soon especially answering the “what is next?” question that has been coming up a lot over this past year. Details are still getting worked out — more to come soon!

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Traveling the roads of Moldova

Is this a road or a small body of water? What do you think?

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This is a road! I pass by this street almost every day. The first time I realized it was an actual road was when my host dad gave me a ride to work one day when it was raining. As he turned to go down this street, I began to exclaim “No, wait!” and he drove right through the deep muddy water. I was a bit stunned, I didn’t think cars drove down this road. (I wasn’t 100% sure it was even a road!) I’ve now seen many more vehicles trek through the muddy adventurous waters of this street.

That street isn’t the only one that looks like that. Talk about pot holes…

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It certainly puts things into perspective, these streets are located the second largest city of Moldova. When it’s muddy and wet outside I am grateful if I can make it through to the end of the day with warm dry feet.

I share these things as I find them all interesting and different than what I have been used to. As people travel these roads they are a part of daily life here, and can be a challenge day in and day out for all who navigate them – whether it be by car, rutiera, or by foot. I’ve had the opportunity to travel some other roads, especially within the northern part of Moldova. Not all of them look like the above images.

Some roads look like a storybook adventure…

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This road led to a farmers field we visited one day.

While other roads lead to adventures…

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We traveled the back roads one day to Soroca from my host family’s village house.

You never know who you will meet along the way.

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And eventually…

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…wherever that may be. For me, it’s currently through the adventurous roads of Moldova.

 

To note: There are so many more roads that could be shared in this post, but I just gave a little taste of what I experience most days. For example, there is a new road that has been built by the Millennium Project as people like to call it the “American road” – check out this VIDEO to see more (it shares a lot more details in the video and gives the viewer a better overall view of driving the roads in Moldova).

 

This post is part of the latest blog challenge #9 from Blogging Abroad. Check out some of the other latest blog posts from other Peace Corps volunteers and others living and working abroad! 

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