Sunday, February 12, 2012

Moldova: Land of Vineyards and Visas

Due to changing laws in Ukraine, I was sent to Moldova this past week to get a new visa. Luckily, I was occupied by 28 of my friends, a few faces I miss very much. It was wonderful to see so many people, hear their crazy stories, and reflect even more on how I dearly love my village. Unluckily, visiting Moldova was the first step of many steps in this visa process. The next month will be very busy and very interesting!  

Leaving Syhnayivka, my host family, my school, and Ukraine was much more difficult than I excepted. As glamours as a paid vacation and a week of work sounds, I missed my kids. I missed my bed. Wandering around Moldova, I had to actively remind myself not to speak to strangers. Like keep my hands in my pockets so I don't wave at every baba I see. In my village, I am free to speak to anyone because they usually speak to me first. No matter if we totally understand each other or not. Strangers know my name. Strangers and neighbors and students stop to ask about my day and I question them as extensively as my skills allow. When I finally got home this weekend and went to buy water, I was greeted (in almost perfect unison) by everyone in the store. I am amazed daily. 

Moldova did have some amazing sights to see. We drove all night from Kyiv to Chisinau. I am not a good sleeper so I watched twilight turn to dawn across frozen vineyards and rolling villages. The houses were clustered together amidst valleys and single lane roads leading directly to the interstate I drove on. Snow dunes seemed to be pushed with a paint stroke (over a winter wind blast) across the tiny, continuous hills. During the day, touring the city, we came across an little scene with an older women feeding pigeons. None of them noticed when I sat down on the ice to be among them. Big buildings and bazaars and churches were discovered after the birds but I couldn't really care. My mind was still getting lost in the depth of the purple hue on their feathers or how I wished I knew Romanian so I could know what song she was singing to her little ones. I am eager to get all this visa stuff figured out so I can hurry back over to Moldova. I took photos but not nearly enough. I want to go back with more time to wander. To find more pigeons. 

For now, I am back home. Cozy. Well fed. School is in the morning. 

Here are some Ukrainian and Moldavian images! 

On days I have English club, I walk home right at the start of sunset. Last Monday, I found these massive icicles to be mesmerizing. They reach almost to the ground of a small house covered in dried corn stalks. 

Snow on bark.
This frame isn't on the gold light, nonetheless, the bark shined. 

The bottom of the icicles.
Also, it is quite common in my village to cover buildings, mostly barns, with corn stalks. I've been told it's easy, cheap, and accessible. 

Now, Moldova.
My group become complete tourists one afternoon. We snapped on our cameras and layers and found this lady feeding pigeons by the central church. 

It was amazing to watch her.
She and the birds had a mutual obsession with one another. 

Moldavian Bazaar. 

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