|By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 9:08 am: Edit Post|
Melissa Easton's Moldova Peace Corps Web Site
Melissa Easton's Moldova Peace Corps Web Site
Want to email Melissa?
Click on her name OR
What's your choice?
Update - March 29, 2002
Update - May 21/24, 2002
Update - May 29, 2002
Moldova 9 PCV
From: Melissa Easton
Date: Friday, March 29th
Dear Family and Friends,
Happy Easter!!! I hope that you all are enjoying a wonderful Easter weekend with friends and family at home!! I just wanted to take a minute to wish you all a wonderful Easter and a happy Spring!!!
While I am writing, I will update you on life here in Moldova!! I have adjusted from my exended time at home quite well. My health has [stabilized] and I am optimistic that I will be fine.
For those of you who do not know, I was fortunate enough to be able to travel during my spring vacation here. I went by train to Krakow and then on to Budapest with two fellow volunteers. I spent 26 hours on one train...and I am proud of that! We had a great time and I can't wait to share the pictures with all of you! I liked Poland far more than I expected that I would, and I can say that even after having been to Birkinau and Auschwitz. Budapest was also nice and we had the pleasure [of] meeting a variety of other interesting travelers at our hostel. We were luckily blessed with sunny weather that week!
Well, I cannot say that the weather in Moldova is as nice as it was during my vacation! It is actually pretty cold here now.
Everything else here is good. We will be allocating the last of our PC grant money this month. Our GAD (Gender And Development), group is now successfully facilitating informational workshops all over the country about the dangers of trafficking women. We are also beginning to prepare for a variety of summer camps that PC is responsible for during the summer months (yes, I do work during the summer!). As always, my students are full of energy! We now have school on Saturdays (in order to have an entire week off during their Orthodox Easter - in May), and they are lagging a little, but they are still tolerating my silliness! My English Club is still not so widely attended, but I assure you that it is widely talked about!
Oh, baseball is now a part of Soroca!! My two colleagues in Soroca are coaching a city team (in Romanian), and a large number of my students will be playing for them, so I have vowed to become their biggest fan!
That is all for me! I am actually afraid that my e-mail may not be working properly. If you have a chance, please "respond" (use the RESPOND function), to this e-mail and let me know if you have been writing to me and I have not responded to you (I may not ever be receiving your e-mails). For those of you who prefer a "real" letter, here is my address again (it is 5 lines in all):
Soroca - 6 3000
So, again, I wish you all a very HAPPY EASTER!! If you have time, I would love to hear the details of your holiday celebrations! Enjoy the time with your families! I love and miss you all!! Please be safe and be healthy!!
Melissa's Wish List:
To Top Home PC Info Moldova Info Pictures Contact Info Joey Leila Clara/John
Current Residence: (mailing address)
Soroca - 6 3000
Why I chose to become a PCV:
(This portion under construction!)
This page was last updated on: October 20, 2002
Home Peace Corps Info Moldova Info Pictures Contact Info Joey Leila Clara/John
Subject: May Greetings!
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 03:30:22 -0500
Dear Friends and Family,
I am sorry that I have not been in touch sooner....life in Moldova has been busy! [Following] is an update on my most recent activities here. I miss you all and I hope that life at home is being good to you! Oh, by the way, Moldova's "elected" Communist government had a huge celebration last week for Young Pioneers Day (i.e. Your Communists)...are we moving backwards here?! I look forward to hearing from all of you soon!!
* * * * * * *
May 21, 2002
Dear Friends and Family,
Happy May!! I am sorry that I have been out of touch for so long....it has been a busy spring here in Moldova.
The Orothodox Easter was about two weeks ago. I spent the holiday in a neighboring village and was at the church the entire night as the locals blessed their church. At sunrise the entire village encircled the church with blankets that were filled with homemade bread, sausage, blood red eggs, and candles to be blessed by the priest. It was quite beautiful to see this whole community gathered in he breaking daylight to all be drenched by the holy water! Everyone then rushed home to complete the ritual of washing their faces with the blessed eggs (red eggs for success, white for purity), and coins (for wealth in life). The remainder of the day was spent sleeping and eating enormous amounts of carefully prepared Easter food and drinking the last of the homemade wine....Fortunately Moldovans are finally becoming more accepting of my vegetarianism and dislike of eating excessive oil and not wanting to drink myself silly, so I was able to really enjoy this celebration.
The week following Easter was the "Easter for the Dead." This was unlike anything that I have ever experienced before. I celebrated this day with my loving host family. This time the entire town gathered at the cemetery for what, at first glance, appears to be a big drinking party. But, each family has an elaborate meal at the gravesite of their loved ones - there are even tables and benches built at the cemetery for this occasion. A small offering of candy, homemade bread, eggs and candles is prepared for each gravesite visited. These "offerings" are also prepared to be exchanged with friends and family that you meet on this day. As with any Moldovan gathering of two or more people, the alcohol was flowing freely - a small amount of every cup of homemade vodka was poured on the nearest grave to remember those who are not celebrating with them. Well, this was very interesting and all new for me to be a part of and further, as I have said before, my Moldovan community has the largest Roma population in the country. Their presence was brought to my attention by almost everyone I met that day and this apparently is a holiday that their community takes very seriously. Their graveside displays and meals were by far the most beautiful and I feel privileged to have seen this controversial group at their prime.
These two holidays were a wonderful cultural exchange in many ways. The locals all have a man for me to meet - my host family tells them all about my being otherwise engaged (they are my best advocates here). Everyone had stories of past holidays and people to share and a plethora of food and drink to convince me that I needed to eat! All in all, a wonderful experience, but I look at the extravagant displays of food for these holidays and I know why these people do not have money to heat their homes. I call this the poor mans display of wealth and I am sorry to say that it is not helping to improve their economic future (as a country or as individuals).
Spring is here! Lettuce, cherries, strawberries and radishes have arrived with the warm weather and I am thrilled!! School will be finished in two weeks and I am going to miss my students. Though it has at times been difficult for me at school this year, my students are my reason for being here and I truly love them! Their English is slowly improving and they are still in awe that all Americans do not have chickens, cows and pigs at their homes (they are convinced that you must all be starving over there across the pond)!
For the summer, I am going to be a counselor at our national English Camp and I am developing a camp for my own town that will then be facilitated in other volunteers sites (to continue to build bonds in our local PC communities all summer). When school is finished, I am going to meet a friend from home to travel for two weeks to Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece. We will be taking lots of trains and a lot of pictures to share with everyone when I return home! In July I will be in Washington DC for a short week. All of August, I will be helping to train in some of the new volunteers. I hope to be busy, but if I am not, I will surely be happy to spend some leisure time with my inspiring students outside of a school setting (they all want to know how to make my oatmeal cookies). I am also going to utilize my time to study for the LSAT that I am taking on October 10th somewhere over here in Europe.
It is hard to believe that I am almost a year through my Peace Corps experience. At times I thought I would never make it this far, but now looking back, the time seems to have flown by! I am told that the second year goes by even faster so I will need to relish every experience from here on out.
So, I will try to be better about keeping everyone updated more often. I appreciate hearing from all of you. Again, I am sorry if I have not gotten back to some of you, I have been busy here and I will do my best to be more consistent this summer!
I hope that all is well at home!! How is the weather? How is life at the skating rink? How is Yoga? How was school? What exciting places are you visiting? How is everyone doing?! Is anyone going to come visit me soon?...sorry, I just had to ask!! How is life at the office? How is baseball season? How is my man George Bush doing over there? What is everyone doing for the summer? So, fill me in when you have the time, I love hearing from all of you!
I am finished babbling for the time being! I will be using my digital camera while I travel in June and I [am] going to experiment with sending everyone pictures so that you can remember what I look like! Thank you all for your continued support, it means a great deal to me! I miss and love you all very much! Please be safe and be healthy!
"Life is a marathon, not a sprint."
Previous Melissa updates
Subject: New e-mail address!!
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 09:21:30 -0500
Dearest Friends and Family,
I have not heard from some of you in a while, and it has been brought to my attention that it may not be so much that you have forgotten about me, but that my e-mail account is not so effective! So, I have a new hotmail account...I hope this one will be better than the current one!! My new address is long, but I think you will all be able to remember it: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As soon as I hear from each of you, I will be able to enter you into my new address book and we can resume our correspondence! I hope all is well for everyone at home!! ...Wish me luck as I am going camping for my first time ever this weekend with a student and her mother (...I hope there aren't too many bugs)!!! Thanks for your understanding...I can't wait to hear from all of you!!
(email to Kelly)
|By Amanda on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 9:50 pm: Edit Post|
Hi Melissa! I know you are in town now as we are about to go shopping for bridemaid's dresses! But, I just found this site and thought it would be fun to write to you and see if you ever get it!
Hope all is well at home!