For the past six months, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a fabulous EVS volunteer from France – Cosma Billiotel-Roinel. He came to Miras Moldova to volunteer as a cultural reporter, and is leaving as a new ambassador of Gagauzia to France! Besides assisting with the occasional translation for his reports, I was asked to collaborate with him to make a “video diary” of his time in Comrat. Continue reading “Comrat Short”
Occasionally, life in Moldova makes just about as much sense as the stories my English Club kids have come up with:
“Once upon a time… lived in small village grandmother and grandfather and grandfather say with grandmother “I love you.” Then grandfather picked potatoes, his dog began to bark, and grandfather said, “silence.” It wants to invade Poland. And then Tom Cruise came, bit the dog and sucked his blood. And Robert Downey Jr., in his Ironman costume, start to eat Tom Cruise. Grandmother said she saw this on the glass ceiling cause she was a witch. Grandfather has a dog, and this dog want to invade Poland, and grandfather put the magnet in the stomach, weapons, and Grandfather invaded Poland. And God destroyed the world”*
I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, conscious of how it may be interpreted – conscious that it’s active frustration with how women are perceived in my host country. Conscious that it’s feminism.
I’m also conscious that it’s a worldwide problem, one that varies in severity and expression per culture, per ethnicity, per socio-economic status, per many other factors – but is still a human problem that must be addressed. Continue reading “Women are Weak”
Fidanjik, a partner organization of Miras-Moldova, organized a small spectacle to celebrate the country’s “Day of Invalids.” I attended with my Peace Corps friend Ray, my two European Voluntary Service (EVS) volunteer friends, and another former French EVS volunteer who had worked with the Center.
Fidanjik is a Rehabilitative Center for disabled youth located in the middle of Comrat. The organization was founded in 2001 with the assistance of the local government and supports children with both physical and mental disabilities through activities designed to develop life skills. Services include interactive play, literacy classes, cultural activities, sports activities, exercises in motor skills, a focus on personal hygiene and meetings with the Center’s psychologist. EVS volunteers from Miras Moldova work with the children three or four times per week, assisting with the above activities. They have also organized field trips outside of Comrat and performed humorous skits for the children. Continue reading “A Different Kind of Day”
In a country renowned for its wine production, a place where nearly every household brags of its home brand (often bottled in recycled soda two-liters), and once-loved for its exports to Russia*, it is only natural that one of the most celebrated days of the year would be one where revelers could saturate themselves in the red-or-white nectar. Continue reading “Culture Express: Gagauz Wine Day”
I’m away from family, dear friends: scents, sounds, even the colors of Gagauz leaves spark snippets of memory. Holidays do the same. I recently recalled that Thanksgiving, that time I experimented for the “perfect” turkey… we bag them in all-American plastic, for succulence! But my bird wept and wilted, and when placed on the table, the meat slid from the bones to the serving platter. There was no room for the traditional carving that night… oh no, wicked marketing scheme, you did us no good. But here, in Comrat, a different story unfolded: a turkey massacre, a gathering of helpers, an opportunity for exchange, and to learn.