When family meets Moldova

The colors of fall were beginning to pop with bright yellows and deep reds as my mom and brother came to visit me in Moldova for a short visit. This was something we had talked about even before I knew where I was going as a Peace Corps volunteer. Thankfully, it became a reality a few weeks ago.

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All three of us together again — me with my mom and brother.

They met both of my host families, ate a lot of traditional food, took public transportation, tried house wine, learned some Romanian words and phrases, and followed me around as I translated my current life before their eyes.

It was a wonderful time, although it rained most of the days they were here and we weren’t able to make it to my host family’s village house. But we made the best of our short time together in Moldova.

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Another rainy day as we walked through one of the parks in Balti.

Did I mention that this was their first time traveling outside of the US?! I am so proud of them for their willingness and bravery in stepping beyond their comfort zones. I know it was not an easy feat for them and hope that the memories and laughs we shared together were worth it for them.

I was so grateful to both host families and their warm hospitality. My host family from pre-service training (PST) met me at the airport to greet my mom and brother when they arrived.  After we loaded up their car with the luggage, they took us to their home where a warm bowl of zeama (chicken soup) was waiting for all of us.

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My family with my PST host family (except Zina who is not pictured since she is taking the photo)

My mom and brother were overflowing with stories from their travels and their excitement of finally being in Moldova was apparent to all. After we warmed up with zeama, my PST host family whisked us all off to a popular touristic site, Orhei Vechi. All within the first couple of hours of their arrival and going on little to no sleep, they had a traditional Moldovan meal (especially prepared for when traveling) and visited one of the most popular touristic sites in Moldova.

After an evening with my PST host family, we made our way the next day to my permanent site in Balti where we stayed with my host family there. Between traditional Moldovan meals that my host mom prepared each day and the autumn rain that periodically fell each day, my mom and brother followed me around as I gave them a tour of the city and got some work done. They met some of my fellow Peace Corps volunteers, my office-mates at my primary organization, a group of local youth, and some dear local friends. I was so grateful that they got the opportunity to meet so many people here who are part of my life in Moldova.

Although it was a whirlwind and quick stay for them during their visit in Moldova, they now have a better understanding of where I am living and what I have been doing for the past year and a half now.

There was so much more I wish I could have shared with them and more people they could have met, but we had to keep moving as more traveling adventures awaited us… I will share more next time from our travels as we explored mostly Italy and Spain for the remainder of our time together.

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I delightfully fell off the radar for a week

My blog has been a bit quiet lately as I had taken some needed downtime away from the internet and volunteer-life in Moldova. I jumped on a plane about a week ago and made my first visit to Western Europe to visit a friend who lives in France.

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I had my fill of new foods, cheese and crepes along with some beautiful views and historic sites during my visit.

I’m happy to report that I am back in Moldova and already jumped right in to working on various projects and events — ready for year two ahead (or so I think so). 😉

I will share more photos and stories later when I have a bit of time to sort through the 1,000+ photos I had taken and try to understand why I took so many photos of doors and windows (I’m sure I will do something with them someday, right?) All-in-all it was a wonderful time, I finally got to visit Paris – something I only imagined when I was taking French classes in college.

More to come later!