Painting the Roses Red

IMG_6767Groans and clacks now ricochet by the lake in the name of progress. Comrat, a town of many ethnicities and varied allegiances, has recently begun constructing a hotel with the financial aid of bosom-friend Turkey. The first Turkish-sponsored project, which halted and stuttered under resistance from pro-Russian factions, was a water purification scheme.1 Comrat’s metal-heavy waters were a late-Soviet era catalyst for health problems, and it wasn’t until 1999 that the program finally got off the ground.2 But the area has since managed support from many donors, and is leveraging well. This April, the town began preparing for the Turkish delegation and the Moldovan diplomats who met to sweep in the future.

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Little Easter, Big Party

IMG_6589I stepped into a hive, minus the keeper’s jacket, and the chirping female hum vibrating low in the high-vaulted space was momentarily overwhelming. I was surrounded by long-skirted blossoms, the falling petals of their scarfed crowns speaking respect to God. The scent of honey would come later, when the women lit their spindly candles; and the calming smoke, cloying smoke, when the pope pendulated his thurible.

It was Little Easter, or the Day of Remembrance. I first learned about the holiday after I attended a church service with my first host mother in my first Moldovan village (you can read about the service in my post Churches and Fainting Americans). I followed her to tour the cemetery afterwards, where she mentioned some holiday where families would gather at small tables next to headstones and share candy.

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