Saturday, January 31, 2009
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
School is going great, knock on wood. This week we’re teaching about the heart and the director of the school, who was formerly the biology teacher, wants to ‘assist’ which means she’s sitting in on a few to evaluate us! I don’t really mind, because honestly what are they gonna do?! The director swings by the office once a day to check in with Rodica, who is also the school nurse, and see if I’ve lost any of my belly yet! The second day at school she sat me down and said that I was just a bit to chubby for a health teacher. Initially I was shocked and just a little bit horrified that someone, let alone my director, would have the gall to say that to me. But she prefaced it with how beautiful I was –flatery is always good option with me- and now every time we pass in the hallway she calls me ‘pretty margareta’. Really she’s trying to be friendly and I can laugh with her now. Especially because, despite my belly, the school’s cleaning lady has deemed me good enough to marry her son, yay! She proposed him to me last Friday and I fully expect me to jump at the offer. Unfortunately this little daisy- that’s what Margaret means in Romanian- is still single.
Yesterday I went into my Rayon to get money. However, the bus I take home decided not to go, because it was a little too wet and cold!?!? So me and a few others from Tripoli had to hitch a ride home. And let me tell you as fun as it is, it’s not so pleasant when you have to stand for a bazillion hours (maybe an exaggeration) in the wet and cold. I made friends with a woman at the station and she took me under her wing. Her and her friends are living here, in Tripoli, collection potatoes. So once the harvest is over she’ll move back home. They were really nice and eventually we caught a van back, I’m not sure what I was sitting on, but it resembled concrete toilet paper roles. I got home, ran to my bed and stayed there until this morning.
Sorry for the break, btw did you know that if you write three –‘s it turns into that lovely line you see above?!?! I’ve just come back from my ‘excursie’ with Loriona. I’m not actually sure if that’s her name, but I’m gonna run with it… most times people think that it’s my accent anyways. Her entire family lives in Estonia and is only here to help bring in the crops. Lorina is the only one who speaks Romanian, so when they’re all together it’s a jumble of Estonian, Romanian, Russian, and tonight they threw in some English just for me. It struck me as funny, and I know I shouldn’t have laughed, but as I’m finally feeling a wee bit comfortable with my Romanian, I walked into a household of people speaking Estonian. They did however like my futskalita joke (because Hungarian and Estonian are similar), or more likely they were just being polite. Also, they fed me lamb for the first time! Poor little guy.
Babi called me today and filled me in on what’s going on with the election! I can’t believe how awful the Mcain campaign machine has been run. I’m not supposed to talk politics so I’m going to leave it at that, except to say… Going into the general election Mcain was loved by the liberal press- he was on the Daily Show more than any other guest. Instead of doing what he really believes with Iraq, abortion, the economy and almost every other issue he decided to appease the evangelical right and will ultimately piss everyone off!
Also, in the back of last week’s newsweek was an interview with Butho’s (don’t know how to spell) husband who will become the president of Pakistan. It’s pretty amazing how much faith he has put in the healing powers of democracy. He really believes that Pakistan can change, though it may take awhile. It was a great article to read because instead of selling himself as an instant fix or spouting get rich quick scams, he honestly told voters and the people of Pakistan that it was going to be a long, hard road and that it would be many years until there was any significant difference. But I think that by the time David graduates college, maybe even high school, there will be a different Pakistan. A reasonable, profitable, powerful Pakistan. Meanwhile Iraq will have be cratered by our nuclear arsenal.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I’m starting a one woman smiling revolution, baby! Moldovans are some of the kindest, funniest people I’ve ever met and yet they would rather cut off a finger than flash those pearly whites in front of a camera. Along with a mandatory head nod and the appropriate greeting I’m gonna grin in every direction possible. It doesn’t’ matter if they’re a babalush, grandmother or trendy teen (I’m only going to reserve my special gift from old-married men, because a slap to the back of the head would not be an appropriate association with the cause). Eventually something will wear off, they’ll start to think, ‘maybe this yank has a point, it just feels so good’! My students will become my army of smilers and eventually we will conquer this town. Until that happens though, this is a one woman show and she’s gonna be in town for the next 2 years.
Still no internet, but I’m feeling surprisingly ok without out it… sorry babi. Dad would’ve had a severe brain aneurism by now and been rushed to the hospital. I’ve just gotten done with another ginormous lunch from Doamna Raier (spelling still in question). And my pooch (stomach, for those non-sorority girls) was just starting to go down. I’d rather die fat and happy than skinny and dying for a snickers bar?!?! After reassuring her many many times that I do in fact eat meat, I still can’t bring myself to actually eat it. There was a bowl of dead chickens sitting on the kitchen table yesterday, that sort of killed my carnivorous side for at least a week. Today she asked me if I’m not eating mean because of a religious holiday… I desperately wanted to lie and say “yes, and it’ll last two years” but I couldn’t.
Life is surprisingly boring for being the adventure of my life. Or maybe I’m just not telling the story well, my friend Sarah could make the stupidest story seem like the greatest tale of love and peril. Just going to the gym was a saga. I wake up, eat, read and make a few lesson plans. My crush on Geoff grows bigger everyday… he was the volunteer here before me and has now returned safely to
Rodica, my teaching partner, is amazing. She’s patient and laughs at everything I say. She also loves to recant my little language mishaps to all the other teachers. It’s actually a really good thing, it makes it easier for my to converse with the rest of the school, that way no one is worried about appearance when talking with the silly American! How can you be self-conscious when talking to someone charading a duck?! We have a great time making our plans and she’s pretty good about being efficient, which is one of my biggest pet peeves. I don’t really know how to describe her except to say that she looks just like her dog, a small blond wiener dog. And I love that no matter what culture you’re in, the owner always resembles their dogs or vise versa. It’s sad, but Bella and I really do have the same habits, I almost cried when my mom discovered my longing to be scratched behind my ears.
Tomorrow Rodica is taking me to her mother’s 80th birthday party. They said it’s because the uncle has internet, but really I think they just like having me around. And I lover her family. Her daughters, twins who dress the same everyday, have showed me a little bit of New Dehli and took me to the market. I met most of their family then, at least I hope it was most because I met so many people I lost count! Everyone I did meet was very friendly and soo patient, which isn’t necessarily a given. I’ll fill you in after...
Monday, August 18, 2008
As I opened the door a dash of black scurried across the concrete floor. I held the door open to let some flies out, really they’re not bad in there I just don’t like the idea of them watching me do my business… and there was another dash of black. Sitting right in front of me was a huge, nay, GINORMOUS, spider. And we’re not talking the cute kind, like Charlotte. No this sucker was the kind that bites you and mutates your genes until you’re climbing up walls and shooting white gunk from your hands. Naturally I let out a yelp and started clapping at it to move (because I had some serious business to do- fair enough, I did warn you it was TMI) and yelling, “Merge a casa” or “Go Home” because I don’t know any harsher language yet. After a good 2/3 min of my clapping, yelling and stomping I turned around because Mr. Blood-Sucker wasn’t moving. And grandma Vera was staring at me from the garden and Valentina was barreling towards me, Ion upside down in one hand and a raised broom in the other. Poor Valentina looked like she was going to war with a grizzly bear to defend her duckling and there I was terrified of a stupid spider. That’s when it hit me for this woman spiders in the viseu are nothing, she’s got way bigger fish to fry- like the wolves that come down and actually eat chickens—no that’s not a myth, they actually do that!
I have been so crabby these past couple weeks and yet she stuck by me. She gives me apples to give to my teachers so they like me, helps with my homework, tells me to change my clothes and put on more make-up and forces more food on my plate despite my objections. I thought it was because Peace Corps was paying her a ridiculous amount of money. But that woman didn’t need to come trudging down to me and swat at a spider, she could’ve done what dad always does and tell me to grow up! Valentina already runs the household, has a 1 and 11 year old, a grandmother to take care of and then she gets me- someone who talks and occasionally acts like a 5th grader, but then demands to be treated like an adult. I’m the worst of all ages combined: the languate of a 5 yr old and the appetite to match, I am emotional because I’m getting used to peeing in a hole, constipated- that’s what happens when you eat carbs for every meal and of course I’m trying to look good doing it. So while I won’t be going to the bathroom for a while, I do owe the spider in the viseu gratitude, because he showed me how childish, selfish and American I was being about my life here. Besides, I kinda like macaroni with butter!
On a lighter note… We’re finishing practice school, which is 2 weeks of pretty much hell (if I’m allowed to say that). PST is like taxes, I understand why I’m doing it and in the end it really helps me, however parting with that extra sleep time is killing me. It’s just hard to work with our partner teachers, while doing all the other stuff we need to do, like play soccer with the kids down the street! Clearly my priorities need some fixing, it’s just a little rough. But from everything I hear this is the last painful week, then it’s cake. Or as cakey as the Peace Corps can get.
On Saturday we had a birthday party for James. Actually he had a birthday party for us. In Moldova when it’s your birthday you pay! That totally sucks, right?! It was tons of fun and his host mother was an amazing cook. Zio could eat most of it because during the summer most food is vegitarian since they just have to pick the veggies out of the tree. We watched the new Batman movie and it was super sad, because Heath (that’s right we’re on a first name basis) was so good. I never appreciated him while he was here and now I wanna see everything. But that is why my motto is ‘try everything once’. Ironic, Frank Sinatra’s I did it my way, just came on! It’s getting late and I have to be bright and sunny for practice school!
Suz I downloaded the last episode of Greek and I need to know when it’s coming back on?!?!
Mom, call me the very second you hear about McCain/Obama announcing. Babi and I speculated, but I don’t think we’re going to be right…