February 2, 2003 - Huntington Herald Dispatch: PCV finds that in Moldova, you have your good ice and your bad ice

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: 02 February 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: February 2, 2003 - Huntington Herald Dispatch: PCV finds that in Moldova, you have your good ice and your bad ice

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 5:21 pm: Edit Post

PCV finds that in Moldova, you have your good ice and your bad ice

Read and comment on this story from the Huntington Herald Dispatch by Moldova PCV Nicole Sheets on good ice and bad ice in Moldova at:

Feared season turns out to be filled with strange beauty*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Feared season turns out to be filled with strange beauty

By NICOLE SHEETS - Moldova column

In Moldova, you have your good ice and your bad ice.

Bad ice is a glaze, transparent or milky. Good ice is slightly slushy, gritty in its thaw, with some traction.

After a snow packs down on the sidewalks and smaller roads, the bad ice digs in its teeth. Kids slide and skate. Old women baby step. Peace Corps volunteers trudge bravely on in Yaktrax, rubber grips stretched on the bottoms of our boots.

The other day, as I looked out the window in the foreign language teachersí room, one of my colleagues said, "You really canít wait for spring, can you?" implying that I had perhaps made one too many comments about the glaciers receding outside.

OK, I do get my sandals out of the closet from time to time and wear them around my room, just to remember what they feel like. I do wait for spring. But lately, when the temperature has tipped above freezing, itís not hard to find delights in the winter I wasted so much time being afraid of.

On the bus, for example, the windows may steam from all the people inside, but they donít ice up; you wonít see little portals etched in the ice where folks were watching for their stops.

I can steal a moment outside now and then with my head unhatted.

The daylight stretches by "rooster steps" (another idiom I liked and stole while in Finland for the holidays). Five oíclock still has light.

And then there are the sounds. In extreme cold, itís as though sound has frozen, crystallized. But I recently heard the next-door-neighborís goat singing a riff from his goat song, and it heartened me. Same with the birds whistling somewhere in their leafless trees. Or shouts from kindergarten kids suited up in their bright coats and scarves and elf-looking hats on the playground.

Even as, in some way, the growls of the dogs on my street do as I go for a run by the lake at Valea Morilor. Iíve been living in this neighborhood since the end of the summer, and I wear the same sweatshirt, the faded purple hooded one, every time I run in the cold. But the dogs bark anyway, maybe from their boredom of living behind a fence, maybe to remind me, in case Iíd forgotten, that weíre all a little warmer, and alive.

Nicole Sheets is a Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova. Her e-mail address is moldovanicole@yahoo.com. Her column appears on the Life page the first Sunday of each month.
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