My new home for the next two years. I now live with 2 cows, 1 pig, 3 dogs, 2 cats and “yet to be known by me” quantities of rabbits, chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys. My host mom/sister (we are calling each other “sister” as she is just a few years older than me.) makes cheese, sour cream, and yogurt every day. I also walk out my door into a covering of grapes, the Isabella variety currently has the most wonderful aroma during the evening. And the best yet, the cows walk themselves home from the fields, so we just open the side gate to let them in.
Some fun facts to know:
- While the internet and wifi are fast and inexpensive, many Moldovan homes are just getting running water and few villages have sewage systems. There are typically still outhouses and outside showers. We have running water in the house due to pumps from the wells. The main well is at the front of the house and the water is cold, clear and does not have an odor.
- Moldovans give names to their cows based on the days of week. Our two cows are names Lulica (luni- Monday) and Marțiana (marți – Tuesday). They are milked two times a day most times of the year and usually three times during the spring.
- I live in the “Casa Mica”, which is typically a separate small house that contains the “Casa Mare” and maybe the summer kitchen. My rooms share a wall with the other house but the only entrance is at the front. Our summer kitchen is connected to the garage and cellar. A “Casa Mare” is the salon for the house and is used for large gatherings. It usually holds the more valuable and honored items of the household.
- Rafters of turkeys and gaggles of geese can be seen wandering around the village streets; usually not too far from home. One of our rafters of turkeys goes out in the morning and returns early evening. The other hangs out in the “backyard”. The chickens and geese are let out in the yards at different times depending on what work is being done.
- My backyard faces small farming fields, a marsh, and a forest that lines the Nistru river. On the other side of the river is the Ukraine.