Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The idea of owning a motorcycle seems awesome, I've got a walnut tree at my house, and other things...

I've had this conversation with other volunteers, but never have I wanted to ride a motorcycle, or even in a sidecar as bad as right now. When you're in the PC it is against the rules to ride motorcycles - you'll get kicked out. But dang, everybody has a motorcycle here and motorcycles just seem way cooler here. Not to mention more often than not motorcycles have some sort of sidecar that begs me to hop in. I don't plan on riding in a motorcycle in Moldova because it will get me kicked out, but when I get home I may just have to buy a motorcycle and convince fellow volunteers to do the same. We could start a ex-PC biker gang or something (one that spreads world peace and friendship of course).

I know it's been a hot summer because in the mornings I'm cold, and my 10 dollar battery operated Radio Shack digital clock with temperature read-out says 68 degrees and I feel like I'm freezing to death. Not a good sign. The winter could kill me. I think that I wish that I had brought that sleeping bag for winter. Dang, live and learn.

The jump rope I bought, sadly, was of terrible quality. The second time I used it it ripped four times by the handle and I kept having to re-tie it. I'll have to keep my eyes out for a new one of higher quality, but I don't know where I can find it. I bought this one in Chisinau in a store called SPORT, I don't know how I will find a store there with wider selection than that.

Yesterday I got 100 surveys back that we sent out to the high school. It asked 9th-12th graders to rank problems in the community, and rank what kinds of extracurricular activities (if available in their community) they like most. It also asked them if they would be willing to volunteer in their community and so on. The results leaned towards too much trash on the street and quite a spread on extracurricular activities. Yesterday and today my coworkers are busy finishing up accounting papers so I've prepared the results in excel to discuss with them tomorrow. Hopefully we can throw around some ideas brainstorming what our next steps may be!

I've been trying to talk to anybody I can in my community. It is both good practice and helps as far as connections for later. Kids are the easiest and funniest to talk to. They are also the most curious. A lot of boys have scooters (again, God I wish I had one) and they cruise around back and fourth yelling "Naroc!!" which means pretty much "what up?!" I stop them every once and awhile to see what they are up to.

Yesterday was a cool day because I got to help out four high schoolers with English. My tutor for Romanian is also the English teacher in the HS. She happens to tutor kids in English twice a week where I work so I hopped in there. We have a white board so I wrote the words down and helped with pronunciation. We then went on to translate a song my coworker had picked out - James Blunt "You're Beautiful." First of all I'll just be honest, this guy's voice is ridiculous. I was laughing half the time because the passionate lyrics mixed with his high pitched voice I could barely understand in English what was going on. Not to mention the last time I've heard the song I was probably a freshman in college. And again, these lyrics, my goodness. It was awesome though because the kids had to say what the lyrics were in English, and then write them down. Then my tutor would tell me to translate the lyrics from English to Romanian. I was a regular Moldovan speaking Romeo.

Another thing I'm really pumped about is at my house we have a huge walnut tree. I eat them all the time. You have to peel away a green layer and then you got a walnut. Crunch it on the ground and sha-bang-boom-bah. I never knew that they had this crazy green outside. Also I found out that in Romanian there isn't different names for nuts - it's nuts (terrible joke). They only have a name for peanuts, and the rest are just called nuts. Kinda crazy. I think it is similar with legs. Legs and everything on them is pretty much the same name. Legs and feet I think have the same name. Or I'm way off, I'm not quite sure.

Last weekend I headed into Chisinau for tutoring. While there there were a lot of other volunteers because there was a blues concert. There were Health volunteers there for In Service Training, and others for the concert so there were a lot of Americans. I got to hang out with a bunch of people who were also M24's and also got to see a blues which was really awesome. A good long weekend. When I got home on Sunday I think I slept for 12 hours. Which actually is something that is concerning me. I sleep so hard and so much more here than in the states. It almost freaks me out. I like staying up late by myself reading or whatever, but for some reason here I go to bed so early exhausted and I wake up like I've taken some Tylenol PM. It is crazy, I just always sleep like a rock for 10 hours every night. Yes I know I am complaining about sleeping, but still, it is concerning.