Sunday, July 20, 2014

Community Project & Sunflowers

For the COD sector, we split into three groups and got to choose whether we would do a community survey or a community action project. Since three of the people in our group live in another village and study Russian rather than Romanian, it was decided that they would be a group and the other two groups would be in our village, so we were to choose between survey and project.

But sometimes you have to go rogue and join the Russians. 

The group of us after finally finishing!

So that's what I did, along with Olivia and Naomi. We talked about some possible projects (didn't want to do a survey) and then since the other three actually live in the place where we were going to do the project, they took the reins on nailing down what it actually would be. We had a field trip a while ago that a third of our whole group went on to an NGO there, and they met the priest of the Catholic church. The Catholic church has a playground attached to it, and another one across the street attached to the kindergarten, and they needed some work. Our plan was to paint/make them look beautiful, which obviously we did! 
Olivia, Naomi and I ready to work!

Talking with the woman who lives next door
The week before our project we all attended the Catholic church (they must have known I hadn't been to church in a while because I definitely got holy water right in my eyeball when they shook it on us) to meet the community members and introduce ourselves. Some of the younger people even said they would stop by when we were there doing it! Which they didn't. But that was fine! 

Before (I'm working so hard!)

We put an announcement in the M29 Facebook page in case anyone in other sectors wanted to come help us. A bunch of people said they would! Which they didn't. Just kidding, some of our friends did come and help! So that was nice of them. 


Yesterday we got there around 1:30. The woman that lives at the house connected to the playground had supplies for us - paint, wood treatment, paintbrushes, etc. Since half of us speak Russian and half speak Romanian, I thought it might be slightly difficult to communicate, but once she figured out who was who, she seamlessly transitioned to whatever language we knew. It was so cool. Also, our language teachers would be really proud of us because first of all, I understood most of what she said to me, and second of all, I said, "I speak Romanian" instead of "I'm studying Romanian." Last week the teacher I was with said, "You have to stop saying you don't know anything, and you have to stop saying you don't speak Romanian. You do." So that was fun.

It's a good thing we had people come to help because we didn't finish until about 6:30. It was kind of exhausting working for five hours! We repainted a lot of the playground equipment and then did wood treatment on the other half of it. I think everything turned out really well, and I think we even managed to have a little bit of fun doing it. Although I did have to take the longest shower of my life to get all the paint and wood stuff off of me. Which I didn't. But I did get most of it off. 
Us with our helpers!
Also, this week a few friends and I went for a long walk to and through the sunflower fields! They are lovely, so here are some pictures of that, too. 

Tomorrow we go get our pictures taken for our Moldova residency cards, woo hoo! We're almost official. This week we have our final check-in with the Country Director and our final Hub site day in Chișinău. Next Tuesday is our language exam and then Wednesday we will be sworn in as official Peace Corps Volunteers (Assuming the CD doesn't kick me out after I cry forever during our check-in and she decides I'm mentally unstable or something - but that probably won't happen)!

So it's going to be a crazy week and a half. 

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