Tuesday, June 10, 2014

An American In Moldova

Sunday we had the whole day off - woo hoo! Naturally, I slept in. Most of my group decided to walk around town but sleep is crucial to me so I did not join them. 

My host parents went to church, I think, but my host sisters didn't go, and instead they invited me to the pool! I wasn't completely sure that I wanted to go, but sometimes it's better to say yes than no, especially if there isn't any great reason to decline. (Though now I have learned how to politely decline invitations in Romanian, if you were wondering.) Plus, it's freaking hot, so the pool sounded excellent. 

So we got ready, which took them a lot longer than it took me... Probably because all I did was put on a swimsuit and shorts and all they did was get super cute like they're going out somewhere fancy. As if it weren't obvious enough to everyone I meet that I'm a sloppy American; whatever. 

We walked through town to get to the rutiera stop and got on rutiera #1. Then we switched buses for #2, and traveled to Chișinău to the pool! We met some of Nina and Virgilla's friends there and hung out for a long time. I didn't say much or understand much, but every so often (mostly when riding the buses) they would say, "Catherine, go." "Catherine, come." "Catherine, now." So at least I knew when to get on and off! Then we went back into the center (or what I assume is the center) of Chișinău and went to a pizza place for dinner. 

Some of the Moldovan lei
It was a very long but fun day! The sun must not be as bright here or something because surprisingly I am not too burnt for being out in the sun. 

I think it was the first day I've ever not seen an American. Like not any. Any time I've lived in or visited other countries, I've always had friends or family or classmates, so it was kind of strange. 

Ionela with her masterpiece
Last night was also great! I was exhausted after school but Ionela wanted to play, obviously. So we colored and I got her to let me do my homework by letting her fix my hair - I don't think she's ready for cosmetology school, but there's potential. Then they brought me into the kitchen for masă, which is kind of confusing to me because it seems like it's a second dinner, but it's just the whole table filled with food. I guess it's more social than to eat. We had champagne, which I thought meant we were celebrating something, but I don't think they were. They said it was a special Moldovan drink so I think they might have just wanted me to try it. 

Shockingly enough, the night wasn't great because of the champagne, but because we stayed up for hours talking and laughing and having fun and asking questions! I hadn't eaten the fish they'd sent in my lunch (or the fish at dinner) so they asked me if I don't like fish, and then laughed when I said I didn't. "You have to tell us this stuff!" So they know now that I do not like fish or mushrooms. We all translated for each other and they asked me about myself and my life and I asked them about their family and life. 

They said that when I arrived, they didn't know how to talk to me, but now that I know a little bit more and it's been a few days of living with them, they said "You are family!" and we have a much better time! Nina is in a dance group so we went online and watched each other's dance videos and she says she will take me to dance class on Saturday! 
Where I learn Romanian

I definitely stayed up too late, but it was worth it. After that I feel like I have two new sisters, a little niece, and two extra parents! Which obviously I need since mine are thousands of miles away, HOW RUDE.

Tomorrow we go back into Chișinău for classes and shots and probably other tiring stuff. 

So I'll say goodnight for now! Noapte bună!

(I know my pictures don't always go with what I'm saying, but I figure my main audience here could not care less.)

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