Monday, November 22, 2010

I’ve been here for more than a year now which means in some ways I’ve acculturated without maybe realizing it. One example is learning that the private busses get me to the capital city Chisinau much faster. These are sketchy guys who you walk by and they just say “ChisinAU!” and you just sit in the van until it fills up. It took me awhile to realize that this option is the best as they go straight to Chisinau while others top to pick up others and let others off in villages. This process can get annoying if impatient. Instead, like I mentioned, in private vance you just have to wait until they are full – which is what I’m doing now, writing in a notebook, to pass the time, and hopefully put on my blog (which is what I am doing now I guess). I have not mad any good entries in a long time. I guess this rapidly approaching winter will solve that issue.

So why am I going to Chisinau on a Wednesday? Well, it turns out that we got all the funding necessary for a playground at “Evrica,” the street children organization that requested me as a volunteer. I have to go to the bank and sign forms to get access to the money, and get this playground installed before winter. The grant was through a Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP). This essentially is a project that Peace Corps Volunteers get approved, then gets placed on the PC website. Normally this means that the volunteers get their friends and families to give towards their project. In my case an American NGO lead by Moldovans in Washington DC did all the fundraising necessary for the project. Their name: Casa Mare. They were very hardworking and persistent in doing so.

So I am excited. For many reasons. I am glad to be getting something concrete installed as well as knowing that my efforts are working in some way. The playround will have a sandbox, two slides, a swing for four, monkey bars, and a titter-totter. Also we have funding for balls, games, and a ping pong table.

I feel more settled in Balti now, but currently moved. The apartment is better than the last. I was completely happy in the last one, but my landlord sold my apartment and bought this new one. So here I am. I have two bedrooms, and as of yesterday hot water, which I still have not used yet. After doing this post I will have a hot shower. I have been bucket bathing for about 16 months now. To be honest it gets you clean, and frankly I’m used to it. I have grown to realize that the challenges here are not condition or amenities, they tend to be mental challenges. Challenges with dealing with others that may not appreciate your efforts, challenges with wondering if you are actually making a difference. What you’re doing. These things tend to weigh heavier than having to heat up water in a tea pot and splash yourself from a bucket.