On Sunday afternoon, we packed up our bags and got on our group bus to move to our training village. We will spend 10 weeks in this village.
All of the groups are located in the Ialoveni ([jaloˈvenʲ] district. My village is a small village of around 2,000 people. There are seven of us living in this village, all of us are COD volunteers (Community Organizational Development.) Clayton is from Colorado, Cynthia is from Idaho, Jameson is from Michigan, Laura is from Georgia, and Stacey is from California;. We share a common concern about the environment and enjoy helping to build stronger communities. (and love animals and travel.)
While our bus ride was fairly short, we were very excited and nervous to meet our host families and find out where we would be living. As we drove up to the school, we could see the host mom’s waiting for us. Then we had to sit on the bus and wait for the next step to be figured out, the whole time looking out and wondering who would be matched with who.
The host moms and a few other family members joined us on the bus. My host mom is named Ala and as she got on the bus, she was asking “Unde este Rebecca?” (Where is Rebecca?). It ends up that my host parents have a baby grand daughter named Rebecca that lives in Paris. To travel this far around the world and to find another Rebecca was a wonderful way to start this next phase of Peace Corps. (We skyped with Romina, their daughter, after dinner so I got to see Rebecca then.)
The bus dropped Ala and I off at her home at which time I met her husband Gheorghe (George). He helped me with my bags and they showed me around the house. By this time, it was supper time so I had my first Moldovan home cooked meal. Ala had made a traditional cucumber, tomato and dill salad, some boiled potatoes and hot dogs (her sweet gesture to include some American food). There were also fresh strawberries and apricots form the garden. Poftă bună!