The Epic Failure of Your Perceptions, or, When is it Immersion?

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?”

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.

Continue reading “Little Easter, Big Party”