Monday, March 19, 2012

Change of Heart. I love you Spring!

So today, yesterday and well basically everyday since I wrote my last blog post have been absolutely beautiful. I guess Spring heard how unimpressed I was with its coming and how I was courting the other seasons for a new favorite so it decided to pull out all the stops and really show me how amazing Spring can be. Sunny all day (even past 6 o'clock) no rain, no mud, and the temperature today hit a high of 70. So in case there was ever any doubt, me and spring are now on good terms again.

Although the coming of Spring and warmer weather has also brought out every pollen, grass, and dust in the air and my sinuses hate me. I felt like a zombie all through school today with the pressure in my head making hard to pay attention. Im pretty sure that Moldova must have an entire allergy ecosystem different from what we have in America because my allergies never really bothered me in America but during the summer and fall I felt it a lot and it looks like they are back again. Nothing a little medicine wont fix. And definitely not enough to ruin my good mood brought on by the amazing weather...

On top of my good mood from the weather I am also quite cheerful today because we went to the next step of the process of getting my new site mate. Today the program managers for the health education program came to the school and talked to the future partners and host families about the coming volunteer. It was fun for me because I was able to help by sitting in on the meetings and answering questions and the best part was actually visiting the host families houses. So if and when we get our new volunteer I now know who they will be working with and where they will be living. Now all I have to do is wait anxiously for the next 4 months until site announcements. I think this might be just as bad as waiting for my own site announcement.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The World is Mud.

I never thought I would say it but I think I prefer winter over spring. One key reason:  MUD. It's everywhere. Sure winter was cold, there was snow and there was ice. But spring so far is also cold, there is still snow on the ground, and mud is every bit as slippery as ice can be with the added fun of covering yourself entirely in it. (I havent fallen in it yet *fingers crossed* *knock on wood*)

Ice I have learned to get used to. When I know it is icy outside I can just put on my YakTraks and have a little added traction and walk confidently over the slipperiest surfaces...except mud. My YakTraks do nothing to help with mud. Another fun consideration is that my village has mostly dirt roads...and though it hasn't rained yet just the melting of the snow has been enough to turn the street into nothing but mud. on the sides and mud in the middle. I was actually sad to see the ice melting because all this week I have been walking over the ice as the lesser of two evils when it comes to my commute to school. But no matter how hard I try it is always inevitable that at some point or another I have to tramp my way through at least a couple feet of mud along the way. Just enough to get all over my shoes.

To keep all that mud outside and not in the school the cleaning ladies conveniently place buckets of water by the door so that you can wash off your shoes before you go inside. There are very few things I can compare to hand washing my shoes with ice cold water in near freezing temperatures every morning before going inside but you do what you have to.

Also it hasn't really rained or snowed in a while and already the world is mud. So it makes me wonder what I will be up against after a good spring shower. Or God forbid a deluge.

In other news my host mother has embarked on a total renovation of the inside of her bigger house, except for my room. As I think I mentioned before she already replaced the windows and the front door a couple months ago and now they are working on tearing down a wall and rebuilding another one, straightening the walls by with new drywall, and replacing the sockets and switches. It has been interesting to watch their work because when the house was built instead of using dry wall with wood as the structure they used something the reminds me of wood mulch and concrete. And even now as they are putting up the dry wall they are using metal beams instead of wood 2x4s. According my host mother wood is very expensive in Moldova so instead they use metal and concrete as much as possible (almost all the light poles are made from concrete). I'm not really up to date on home construction in America but I am pretty sure that you couldn't build a more expensive house in America then one made with metal and concrete. But anyway, stay tuned for pictures and the next stage of the renovation.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Holidays, Spring, and Trainings! Oh my!

Although the title might lead you to believe otherwise I dont actually much to talk about for this blog post. Simply to say that on Monday I will have another training regarding secondary projects and writing grants. Last week I had a language training that I really enjoyed and hopefully this next training will be just as good.

We had two holidays recently, the first being Men day, or more accurately Ziuă Barbaților. I, however prefer to call it Man day. This holiday falls on February 23rd and started from a holiday that honored Soviet soldiers. Not much to say other than the students gave the male teachers presents and after school was another meal.

Lastly, a cool little holiday I have been waiting anxiously for is Mărțișor which is on March 1st and celebrates the first day of Spring. There is a lot of stories related to the story and I haven't been able to settle on which one I prefer but they all relate to the coming of spring and wearing the colors red and white on March 1st. Throughout the day people go around handing out little trinkets with threads or ribbons of red and white and people wear them on their shirt. Although we have acknowledged the arrival of Spring the weather has yet to do likewise. Presently it is snowing and quite windy. But at least most of the ice is gone.