Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Tale and Other Stuff

A good story of me using Romanian well was an excursion my host mom sent me on last week. I got home from a long day and my host mom explained by drawing a map that I needed to find a neighbor because there they have a pear tree and she wanted a sack full of pears. The map my mom drew and the landmarks were rediclious. She would explain go past a well, there is a chair, and then there is a house with a blue truck that is huge for industrial purposes. I was pumped and ready to set off. Little did she know that there are two houses with these old industrial trucks. Also she told me that the woman's house had a green gate - everybody in Moldova has a green gate.

When I thought I got to the area my treasure map indicated I went to the door and knocked. The woman I talked to was confused that there was an American with a bag. We struggled through conversation with the Moldovan security system going crazy (two dogs) in the background. This process continued for me, one house to the next until on the third I believed I was in the right place - or what one of the neighbors said was the right place. Sadly this pear woman was not home. I was bummed because I really wanted to succeed in my quest. After I went back home the pear lady called my host mom. I was off again. When I arrived there the woman felt bad, but I was in a great mood. There we picked pears and talked for about a half an hour or more. After this we sat in her kitchen and she poured me some lemonade soda.

In her kitchen we talked for a long time and we actually understood one another. This was a great breakthrough for me because I was pretty bummed early in the week about how difficult the language was. Also after I left I ran into a couple of guys my age on the street and had a conversation with them both and we understood each other. I even think I was conjigating verbs correctly - yipee. After awhile the father of these two guys wanted to get me to go and drink a bottle of wine with them - a very common offering in Moldova. I told them that I couldn't this time, but maybe another time. It is best to avoid these offerings from time to time in Moldova, because as soon as you have one taste of the wine they won't let you go until you have drank too much. You can say no, but it is a battle after they have been drinking, and for them it is likely I am the first American they have seen.

Anyway, this week was a good one. I spoke and carried a legitimate conversation. Yesterday I went to an amazing masa (huge meal with tons of food). There I tried congac for the first time, and hung around with my host mom's daughter (it was her birthday). Also this week I went to the biggest underground wine cellar in the world Milisti Mici. Underground there are barrells the size of houses and thousands and thousands of bottles. The wine was delicious and I bought a couple of bottles. On a different front my host dad is in the hospital right now, but we visited him and he seems to be doing pretty good. It is a bummer though because he has been in the hospital for three weeks (half the time I have been here). I think he will come back before I leave for my new village and be impressed with how much better I can speak Romanian. Anyway, for now I am just trying to stay positive and have as much fun as I can with the other volunteers who are near, because after we get to our real site we will not be so accessable to each other.

Oh and another big thing is the elections are Wednesday this week. I urge you to try to follow the news of what happens with it. Last time there was rioting so keep on eye on the news.