This weekend was our first weekend that we were allowed to leave our village for any reason other than Peace Corps training days in Chișinău. Which means we left both days and did too much gallivanting. Saturday was an optional Peace Corps training event, but most of us went to learn stuff and meet current volunteers and go out to dinner after.. Which was fun, but with that and language class in the morning, we were pretty tired upon return. Some of the trainees that live in other villages get to stay out late in Chișinău and have all sorts of fun, but our buses stop running pretty early so we don't get to do any of that. Maybe a good thing, I suppose, but it can be inconvenient at times (or so we've noticed once or twice).
Sunday one of the COD mentors offered to show us around Chișinău, so we went to do that. We walked through a few parks, saw some of the sights, and then we found the National History Museum. I obviously made instant plans to return one day so I could go in it, BUT THEN it turned out to be the last Sunday of the month so there was no admission! We went in as I told stories about the sculpture out front (thanks Italian art) and revealed to everyone that I am actually just a big nerd about museums and art and such.. So now they know. But there were really cool etchings and woodcuts and artifacts in the museum! So I walked around mostly by myself to avoid being a spaz in front of the people I have to spend the next two years with.
We also went to some stores, and split up for lunch (my group of 3 went to a pizza chain for burgers... Yeah, you read that right.), and then we went to the Peace Corps office and hung out there for a little while. We found a secondhand store and peeked in there, and then we returned to Măgdăcești. One of our friends couldn't come on Sunday's outing, so we made plans to make it up to her the next day.
WHICH WE DID.
Today we had some, uh.. unforeseen free time in the afternoon, so we went and bought coffee and a log (seriously, a log) of ice cream. We took those to Naomi's outdoor kitchen (that's apparently a thing here, though not at my house) and made the coffee and mixed it with the ice cream to make a sort of coffee ice cream milkshake situation. This turned out excellent, and we took our bucket of milkshake over to my house to watch a romcom, which I was way overdue for. The Internet wasn't the fastest, so we had to pause every so often while we talked and/or played with Ionela (actually she played with us, more accurately). She decided again that I needed to have a baby and delighted in shoving her doll up my shirt and helping me give birth. This happened about 5 times in 10 minutes, so I am now the proud mother of one child that I gave birth to five times.
This is a big week for the M29s (my group/class of trainees) because on Wednesday we find out our permanent site placement. I think it's a pretty big to-do and there is a party/mixer afterwards to go to.. We're all pretty nervous/excited.. We are supposed to be flexible and serve in whatever conditions we are placed in, but let's face it - we all have some sort of preference. Some people want a bigger city, some want a village. Some want an NGO, some want a mayor's office. Honestly my only "preference" is that I just want somebody to be near me. Yes, Moldova is quite a small country, but I would love to not be 8 hours from the people I'm currently closest to right now during PST. And I know people do just fine in a tiny village on their own, but I might not be one of those people that does just fine.. I just think I need an American (one from any sector would be fine!) within a half hour from me so we can see each other if we need/want to.
|There's another picture where we all look better, but this one includes the cathedral of Cathedral Park, so..|
So wish us all luck for our placements - on Sunday (and through Tuesday) we will be visiting our future host family and work partner/work site, so let's hope it all goes well for everyone. Until then!