Friday, September 19, 2014

Moldovan Women

I've noticed many things about the women here, and while this list by no means is about every single women in Moldova, and won't reflect how everyone is, I think there are some trends.

Moldovan women work really hard. I sleep as late as possible. Let's say it takes 20 minutes to walk to work and I have to be there at 8. I might wake up at 7. Or 7:10. But a Moldovan woman has been awake for hours. The animals are fed, the house and fields tended to, a load of laundry is put in, breakfast is on the table.. All before I've finished dreaming. Then they'll go to work all day, come home, and do more housework, make dinner, take care of all the animals, bring dinner to the neighbors or to relatives who live nearby (which they often do).. It never ends, and they never stop. 

Moldovan women know everything. The number of times I've tried to say, "Hello, I'm.." and I've been cut off with an "I know who you are" is pretty much uncountable. My host sister knew about another PCV going home before I told her. If I've cried on Tuesday, on Wednesday the women in the office are asking if I'm sad. My host mom has told me what a volunteer in another village was wearing that day. Maybe this point really has more to do with Moldova just being a little tiny village, but let's just say I will find it difficult to keep a secret if I ever want to. 

Moldovan women are always right. You're sick? Oh, it's because you went for a run and then took a shower. Oh, it's because you drank cold water. Oh, it's because you didn't wear socks today. They have an answer for everything, and they are 100% convinced with each answer they give. Everything is very matter-of-fact. Yes, I rearranged all your stuff when you weren't here. It looks better this way. Uhhhh... okay, thanks. 

Moldovan women are excellent hostesses. If I brought a friend home during PST, you better believe if they stayed long enough, they'd be eating at least first dinner with us. And probably a snack. Once we were asked if we wanted coffee, so we said sure, and we got coffee.. And croissants.. And fruit.. And shots of cognac. If there is a guest in the house, they are provided for. I truly believe that this is because they want you to feel comfortable, at home, happy, and full! It's important to eat, you know. 

Moldovan women can catch a fly in their fingers. Or a wasp, no big deal! This is SO strange to me, and I've watched it happen multiple times. If there is a fly in the room, it simply cannot stay. So they'll just.. catch it. And get rid of it. So casual. 

Moldovan women always have clean shoes. This seems impossible to me and I will undoubtedly never ever understand how they do it. It can be muddy as ever outside and I will roll up in my disgusting rain boots that I'll switch for dusty heels.. And a women will walk past me in impeccable shoes. No dirt on them at all. We're walking the same roads! I don't get it! If my shoes are clean when I leave the house (cleanish.. I think the dust may never fully come out) they are definitely dusty when I get to work. But no one else's are. Do I walk funny? I don't know. I can't figure this out. 

Moldovan women train their girls to be Moldovan women. If mom's not home, oldest daughter is making sure dinner gets made and the carpets get vacuumed and the kids are fed and taken care of. If oldest daughter isn't there, next oldest daughter does it, etc.. I don't know if this happens organically or if it is made clear within the family, but it's cool to see. As I was walking home from work today, after I'd already written this, I met my 8 year old friend on the way. She asked how my day was and then proceeded to tell me, okay, go home now, have something to eat and take a rest. You can't make this stuff up. 

Moldovan women want the best for you. Even though I get frustrated with some of the things my host mother or coworkers do, I know that they are doing things because they are concerned about me, and they want me to be happy and healthy (and fed - eat, eat!). All their opinions that I might find strange or, dare I say, overbearing.. (You need to find a husband! How about one from here?!) They have them, and they're going to have them, and it's because they are taking the responsibility of having me in their village very seriously. They want to make sure I'm doing okay. Which is pretty cool. 

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