Churches and Fainting Americans

“By the time we get to the monastery, we’re going to smell so bad they won’t want to let us in.”


I glanced back over my cushioned seat at my Language Training Instructor as I joked  – what do the Peace Corps staff remind us at training? All hail the eternal requisite: a good sense of humor! Ten of us were stuck in a rutiera en-route to visit three Moldovan monasteries. It was the first “real” summer day since we’ve arrived (we’re beginning to refer to many things as “real” these days… Is that a “real” dog? A dachshund! Not like one of those scabied Moldovan mutts… And where can I get a “real” hamburger?! That beef/pork mixture at Draft just wasn’t right). Cotton sticking to thighs and moist hands wicking sweat from skin, we were caught in an impromptu sauna as our rutiera driver awaited police inspection. He had been pulled over to show his papers – standard practice in Moldova, we were told. Of course, as soon as the police officer walked away, the rutiera refused to start. It took several of the men hopping off and pushing the vehicle before the driver could jump-start our journey onward. Continue reading “Churches and Fainting Americans”