Sunday, December 27, 2015

Maratonul de Craciun

Merry Christmas from Moldova!

My Christmas was far from Christmassy, but that doesn't mean I didn't do a bunch of Christmassy things leading up to it! More Hallmark Christmas movies than I can count, a sparkling tree, hot wine with Christmas music, and dressing up like Santa Claus to lead my team of reindeer down the streets of Chisinau. 

It's a good thing I've watched Rudolph 147 times, because it helped me keep my reindeer in line (just kidding, that was impossible - it did help us designate names for everyone though). There was a Christmas fun run in the capital that a bunch of PCVs decided to participate in (I say participate rather than run because our sleigh team didn't do a TON of actual running.. Why run when you can prance?!), and 10 of us dressed up as Santa and his reindeer. 

Don't think we've gone crazy or anything, because it was truly a costume run. While we may not have crossed the finish line even close to first, we definitely won first prize for team spirit, holiday spirit, most creative costumes, loudest caroling, most adorable, most fun, best team ever.. I'm sure I'm forgetting something! 

We got fun little gifts along the way, a covrigi medal, diploma to prove our achievements.. There was a lot of dancing, including the hora with all the other costumed participants, a lot of picture taking, and a lot of prancing! And of course, rewards afterwards in the form of brunch and beer. 

The reindeer were adorable with antlers, red lips, and holiday spirit! Santa rocked an '80s onesie, and Rudolph had her red nose to light the way for us all. Blitzen and Comet kept playing reindeer games, Dasher carried us through the 12 Days of Christmas singalong, and Vixen was the snuggliest of all! Oh, yeah, and we were tied together with twine, like a real sleigh team who loves each other so much they never want to be separated! And apart from a few wardrobe malfunctions, we never were. This added challenge really tested our endurance and friendship, and I'm happy to say that both held up. Because we're amazing. No one can say that we didn't win the day. 

Enjoy a million pictures! And here's a link to a news video with an appearance by our very own Rudolph the Red-Nosed PCV. 

Now dash away, dash away, dash away all! 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Today I'm Thankful For... #4

Oops, it's December, and I haven't posted my last week! In my defense, life happened. Anyway, it's crazy that it's December.. There are less than 30 days left in 2015, Christmas decorations are happening (okay, just kidding, it's not even close to America's crazy, but I do have a tiny tree in my room), I'm wearing my winter coat now (December 1 IS winter here), and I'm drinking all the Christmas tea and watching all the Christmas movies I possibly can. Here's what I was thankful for during the last week of November, and to see the first three, head here, here, and/or here.

November 23: Puppies! We have two at our house that are adorable and come greet me anytime I open the door to go outside now. More adorably, we found EIGHT puppies while walking in the raion center. At least eight. Possibly more. They were just the cutest things. 

November 24: I am thankful for power. I didn't actually have it today, so there was a lot of whining (not me, I swear - my host mom!) and going to bed early. Sunset is before 4:30 p.m. so it was pretty dark pretty early.. Not much to do in the dark besides go to bed. If only I hadn't slept in until noon, that would have been easier.. I keep saying I'll buy some candles and I keep forgetting, but.. It's definitely on my to-do list now! 

November 25: I'm thankful for power today because it came back this afternoon! The mayor asked me how things were going, and I said, oh they're fine! He said, things are good at the house? It's warm, all's well? Yes, sure is! Oh except we haven't had power in a while. Then he made fun of me: yes, everything's fine, except I'm freezing and have no food! Very funny. I don't know if it had anything to do with our conversation, but an hour later, the power was back. I'm also thankful for a relatively quiet English class today. We made hand turkeys and did a word search - if you ever want 5-10 minutes of quiet, sit them down with a word search in English and you'll sure get it. Until they notice that you're doing really well at it and the "cheating" starts. Which, adorably, they were really concerned about. Like, guys, it's just a word search. No big deal.

November 26: Thankful for hours spent on Skype with Mina today. "Is it too early to drink wine?" "No." "Okay I'm gonna run out and get a bottle - I'll call you back and we can share a glass!" Perfect. 

November 27: Even though it was depressing, I'm glad that Amanda sent me terrible pictures of everyone from the family Thanksgiving so I could fully see what I was missing. Also glad that my host mom told me not to go to work today because I got to sleep in WAY too late, which was apparently very necessary. 

November 28: Unexpected FaceTimes from my BFF, a newly organized cupboard, and Hallmark Christmas movies. 

November 29: I can't stop wanting to put Hallmark Christmas movies on the list, as that's currently the best thing in my life.. Also for cake and Christmas tea! 

November 30: Fresh air, the '50s-'60s jazz playlists on 8tracks, and unexpected slumber parties with some great guys. 

And that's the end of this month - on to the next!