I overpacked, obviously, but in my defense, well.. I don't have a defense actually. I did not regret the amount of crap I brought, except for when I was trying to carry 14 bags all by myself. I did have help on my way out of Caplani..
|Bringing me to the bus|
After a long morning of travel (made longer by the fact that I had to sit next to a squirming, screaming child for 2+ hours - Moldova continues to be an effective form of birth control), I arrived in Chisinau, where I stayed for a few hours to see people before heading home to Magdacesti and my PST host family!
We all know I love them so freaking much so it was awesome to see them. I walked in the door and a little one popped out of one of the rooms, looked at me, then ran and gave me a tiny person tackle - she didn't let go of me for at least a half hour. It was PRECIOUS.
Sunday was Magdacesti's Hram, aka like Village Day, so there was cooking and eating and drinking for the entire day with all sorts of different friends and relatives. There was a concert and kids' rides in the center of town, but we skipped that to go to the bar with a bunch of my host sisters' friends, which was also fun. I got to help make clatite (shown below), so that made me feel really accomplished even though it was basically nothing requiring much skill at all.
|Mama gazda - isn't she precious??|
|Nina și eu getting ready to go out for Hram|
Then bright and early Monday morning, we were back to Romanian lessons! I cried the first day, of course, but then that was over very quickly and I think we all learned a LOT over those two weeks. So much that right now it only helps me to understand more and I'm still not sure how to say it all. Romanian is hard! I mean, any language is hard. But our teachers are excellent and patient and so freaking helpful. I wish I could bring them back to site so they could just have a class for me every single day.
Similar to summer PST, we had language in the mornings and tech in the afternoons. The first week of tech was combined with another program, SED, also back for these two weeks. Which was great because they are all wonderful, too (well, I don't know if that's completely true, but I am in an "I love everyone" mood at the moment, so).
|We had a gallery walk where we each set up a table about our village work - here's mine!|
At the end of the second week, we moved out of Magdacesti and into apartments in Chisinau for the COD/SED Conference. The past two weeks had been with just M29 CODs and SEDs, but the conference was for every COD/SED in country, so we got to see all the "older" volunteers as well. The conference was great - we had informational presentations (one that I'm excited about because I think it might be something I can work on in my village!) and then a day of "open space" sessions where we created our own content. I enjoyed all the different open space sessions I went to - got to meet new people and hear some great thoughts from other PCVs.
|Open space session about secondary projects - photo by Beni Thelmia|
|Massage circles, always necessary - photo by Beni Thelmia|
The apartments were possibly my favorite thing, as the people usually in another village were all together and we got to hang out without worrying about catching the last bus to our village and such. There were 3 different apartments in the same building that had M29s - the "boys' place" with 6 or 7 guys, the one I stayed in with 3 friends, and a third that I never visited but that had 3 more girls. We would all hang out in the boys' apt and then some of us got to go back up to our own place to sleep and such. It was nice because the people I was already close to, I had a great time with, and then the people I knew but not too well, I like even more. A definite bonding weekend, including attending Wine Fest (which for some reason I have no pictures of, but trust that there was great wine, great food, and great people).
|The view from our apartment balcony - photo by Olivia Kohrs|
We did some other fun stuff that will probably be in a future post (or posts), but this seems sufficient for now!