Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Site Visit

I'm typing this on my phone from my new/future desk in an office I will share with my partner and another woman, who may or may not be on vacation.. All I know is that she's not aici (here). 

Yesterday I had to find my minibus in a part of the bus station I had never been in (so of course I went the wrong way at first), which I eventually did. I asked if it went to my town (even though it was the right platform and the bus SAID Căplani, I wanted to be 110% sure) and the driver said to get on, so I saved a seat and went back outside to wait since it was hot and would be awhile. The bus station has wifi so I chatted with some other people while they waited on their buses, which kept me occupied til I figured it was time to get on. Then I saw one of the guys that got placed near me (he and his wife will be in the raion center about 30-40 minutes away) and he got on! So I didn't have to ride alone or sit next to a stranger. Which was good. He got off about 2 hours into the drive and I had the rest of the trip to worry about where I was headed. 

The drive was filled with sunflowers. So pretty and they aren't even fully blooming yet. You can tell that there are fields and fields that will be sunflowers, so the trip next month to come here to stay will at least be really lovely to look at, if nothing else. 

The last 8 kilometers to Căplani are literally not a road. I mean, they are kind of, but barely. I think it was paved at one point but  it must have been forever ago. The mayor told me later that they are working on a road project that will either be starting or finishing in September. 

My information said to get off at the last stop, which I just had to guess at, but luckily I was right and my partner was waiting for me. She took me to the Primaria and showed me our office and there was another woman there, the English teacher! So she was there to help translate for me, thankfully. I would have been completely lost if she hadn't been. They talked about their children in America and my parents' child being here and how confusing that is to them (yeah, sometimes it's confusing to me to so don't ask me to explain it).. They wanted to know if I was married/have a boyfriend.. I said no but now I'm pretty sure they want me to get married here, possibly to my host brother, who thankfully lives in America so I don't think we'll be getting acquainted anytime soon. 

I met the mayor and he seems adorable and very kind. He took our picture for some reason I couldn't translate and then he drove us to the house. Which is so. Nice. I'm pretty sure parts of it were built yesterday, but it's also got this great tinwork above the front door that I've been obsessed with ever since I saw it where I currently live. This morning I went outside and saw that the backyard has the greatest view of fields and landscape and would be a great place to watch the sunrise if I ever got up that early. 

My host dad works in Chișinău during the week and is only home on weekends, and they just have the one son who lives in Texas, so most of the time it will just be me and host mom. 

My room is cute but my bed is a couch, so that's weird. It pulls out and was comfortable to sleep on, but still strange. There are indoor and outdoor toilets and indoor and outdoor showers. She made me use the outdoor shower this morning even though I didn't plan to use either one.. And there was no soap so I basically just poured water on myself for no apparent reason. 

Yesterday we all ate lunch together (with wine and champagne) and the women talked FOREVER and I was exhausted and understood nothing so it wasn't the greatest hour I've ever spent. They said, you're probably so tired and you don't know what's going on, I bet you'd like to go rest. But they never let me. 

Okay, eventually they did. Which was great but it was like a nap that lasted hours. I was woken up for dinner and shown the bathroom and the outside. Host mom kept trying to teach me words I already know so she must think I'm a fast learner. She wants to learn English words so she kept asking for those, none of which she says correctly (but maybe she's thinking that about me, too). 

She wanted me to Skype with her son but I went to bed before he got online so I guess our switching-continents-love-story will just have to wait. Too bad. 

This morning she walked me to the Primaria (unnecessary, as it's on the same street as the house and I'm not a moron) and we went straight into what seemed like a meeting but how would I know, really, since I understood like none of it. The mayor introduced me so that was great because then I didn't have to. After that we went to the office and people have been in and out ever since getting things signed and printed and copied and stamped.. I of course don't know what's going on at all. She tries to explain stuff but she thinks I'm deaf, obviously, because she just slows down and literally shouts words at me. If I don't know them, shouting will 100% not help. 

A few minutes ago she put on the kettle and locked the door and we had tea and sweets, which she said if she doesn't have, her head will hurt... Sure. And we were able to have a short (and quiet) discussion in Romanian with my understanding almost all of it, so that might help with her thinking I'm incompetent. She has changed my name to Katya because she likes that better, so... Cool. How many names can I have in one country? We will see, but the number continues to increase.

Tomorrow we go back to Chișinău for a site team conference, which is technically supposed to be my partner and me, but the mayor is going instead since she has other business in Ștefan Vodă. This poses another set of problems because he is planning to drive us by car instead of taking the rutiera, which might be preferable, but we've had all sorts of trainings with conflicting information about riding in cars with boys so I'm literally not sure where in the car I should sit. It seems really weird to me to sit in the back when the front seat is open, but we were told that women only sit in the front if they are romantically involved or want to be with the driver (or related, I think), and clearly neither of those things are true, so.. I have no clue. 

The day is only half over, so I guess since this is long enough (though I can't post it til tomorrow so I still may add to it) I will sit here at my desk doing/understanding nothing. Great times in the village! 

Edit since I have internet: I rode in the front and we picked up a friend and her partner on the way. I've also met my host brother on Skype and I want him to be my real brother, he's so great. More on that later. 

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