Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bostaniada Festival

Another part of PST III I didn't mention in my recap was Bostaniada, affectionately called (aka, in English) Pumpkin Fest. This was a festival in Lozova, about an hour or so out of Chișinău, with crafts, music, performances, food, games, and of course, pumpkins. 

Some of the organizations that some of the PCVs in Moldova work with had booths, so a bunch of us volunteered at said booths. There was a food booth with American pumpkin pie and other delicious treats, all baked in various kitchens around Chișinău, and a booth for Salut, Moldova in the children's area, which was where I worked. The food booth's proceeds went towards Speranta Terrei, which is an NGO that raises awareness of and supports people with TB. Salut, Moldova is an initiative that promotes volunteering, especially among youth, as volunteering can be kind of an interesting topic in Moldova. 

The week before Bostaniada I helped a few different friends with preparations - from cutting 60 squares of orange fabric for mason jars to be sold at the food booth to making props for the photo booth at Salut, Moldova. 

On the day of, I was in the children's area for most of the day (I did manage a short break to wander and see all the sights, which is where most of these photos came from - the others were taken by people at the Salut booth. It was a lot of fun hanging out with PCVs while getting to practice Romanian - normally those things are somewhat separate. I say "practice Romanian" like I don't use it in real life.. Which, I do. But having been in language class all week, it felt like I was being sent out into the field for real world experience or something. And I think it turned out pretty well! Although I guess you'd have to ask the Moldovans I spoke with. 

At the booth, we had information about Salut, a dream tree where kids (and some adults!) would write down wishes or dreams they have for Moldova, and a photo booth. So I had to explain the dream tree and ask people if they wanted to get their pictures taken in the photo booth, and then give them a handout and tell them where they could see the photos. In Romanian! I mean, relatively simple stuff, and I did mostly say the same thing over and over, but I still reserve the right to be proud of my conversation skills. 

It was a long day, but I had fun talking to people, dancing, looking at everything, and hanging out with friends! Plus, I feel like every day is long here. I am honestly quite confused about how over a week of October is gone already.. Every day feels so long, but then suddenly a week has passed, and I've been here over four months now. I can't figure out if it feels like I've been here a decade or if it feels like I just stepped off the plane (thankfully, it rarely feels exactly like THAT day, because that one wasn't the easiest). My host mom was talking to me today and she suddenly said, you've only got a year and ten months left. I had to double take, like, sorry what? Then she said, it's practically your last day here! ("Will you stay in Moldova or go back to America?" Ummm.. Let me make it through that year and 10 months and I'll let you know, but I can pretty much confirm the latter.) I'm glad she feels the same way I do about the passage of time. 

Enjoy the pictures of Bostaniada, and have something pumpkin-flavored for me! (Sadly, I'm not a fan.)

Also, Ionela REALLY enjoyed the props later. Hours of play from those. She is too sweet.

That's probably the last post about my time during PST III, so now we're all caught up and Wining & Whining can move on to the next adventure! Whatever that may be...

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