Student Ilie was itching for a challenge during a recent training program to raise awareness about the problems facing people with disabilities. His task was to cross a cluttered room to retrieve an empty bottle – blindfolded. Goaded by fellow participants, he pulled himself along the office table, stumbling a few times and bumping into chairs. The experience lasted less than five minutes, long enough for Ilie to discover what it could be like to be blind for a lifetime.
The Sunday activity, held at the Miras-Moldova office on October 22, was one of several designed to give Comrat students a sense of what it means to live with a disability. The Miras-Moldova Public Association has been working with students from Comrat’s Moldovan Lyceum to combat discrimination against people with disabilities in Gagauzia. In April, the students received a grant for 800 Euros from the Academy of Central European Schools to implement their project.
Continue reading Students Walk Against Discrimination: Raising Awareness of Disabilities in Comrat, Moldova
On Sunday November 5, 2017, the Comrat municipality hosted Gagauzia’s largest Wine Day to date. While last year was a square affair, this year’s festival stretched past the town’s center and onto the newly-paved Pobeda Street just south of the town’s old bazaar.
The festivities included samplings of wine produced in Gagauzia and other regions of Moldova, a craft fair, dancers celebrating outside of stalls constructed to look like traditional Gagauz homes, a concert, a few pig roasts and a “food court.”
Continue reading Comrat Wine Day 2017: A Photo Gallery
When you come to know how little you will know is vital. Part of it is developing the skill to change your vantage point. Part of it is learning to give yourself the side-eye. Humble advice: employ “the snort” for emphasis.
Recently, I’ve been reflecting on my integration into Comrat. It’s uncomfortable to know that I’m often still interpreting interactions and observations based on my own cultural framework and personal values. I’m perfecting the “you’re an idiot but I love you” internal monologue. I practice on the cat to make sure it’s affectionate.
Continue reading The Epic Failure of Your Perceptions, or, When is it Immersion?
Saturday Morning Lunch
I was sitting on concrete with lunch and a black cat when a man sauntered up to our front door. He called my host mother’s name, and I leaned out of the shadow of the summer house to summon his attention: “Anna Nikolaevna’s not home right now.”
The first thing that struck me was his smile, replete with silver grills. The second thing was his warmth.
Continue reading The Gagauz Artist Fate Made
Every summer, former EVS volunteers make their way back to visit Comrat and the Miras Moldova gang.
This summer, returned volunteer Cosma Billiotel-Roinel came determined to continue his mission! We collaborated on a video to celebrate volunteers and Miras staff, past and present – and to show off the New Face of Comrat.
Continue reading The New Face of Comrat