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Joey Kendall's Moldova Peace Corps Web Site
Joey Kendall's Moldova Peace Corps Web Site
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Update - Oct. 4, 2001
Update - Oct. 20, 2001
Update - Dec. 15, 2001
Moldova 9 PCV
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 04:48:09 -0700 (PDT)
To: Kelly Collins
How's it going? I hope all is well. Everything is good here.
As I've already said, I absolutely love my site...I hesitate to get too ahead of myself, but I'm having fun. I'm in Chisinau today. I was going to a seminar with my counterpart, but I turned around and I guess he left without me. Oh, well... As for the "stay warm" advice...thank you. The weather has been funny lately. One day you think you're gonna freeze, the next day you wish you hadn't packed your shorts away 'til next Spring...today is one of those days.
Hey, I have a story for you to post on your site...except I don't have it with me. It happened to me last weekend, just another part of life here in Moldova. As you know, many of the towns here share the same names. I am in the village of Chircaiesti, and I didn't know that there were two Chircaiesti's here. Anyway, the jist of the story is how I got on the bus to go to Chircaiesti and ended up in the wrong one. Anyway, after hitch-hiking and staying at some hospitable stranger's house and a couple of bus connections, I got to my site.
If you'd like to read the rest of it, I'll be glad to share it with you. Other than that, I'm having a great time.
Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 02:43:11 -0700 (PDT)
My dear friends,
How are you? I am doing quite well. I trust the same can be said for all of you. I'm sorry that I haven't been able to write to each of you with more frequency. It would appear that I won't be too connected with the outside world for perhaps a long time and for me to make special trips here to Chisinau is rather time consuming and costly on my limited budget.
Now to the point of this letter. I have a couple of projects that I need your help with. What I need is money for these projects. Also, please feel free to forward this message out to any of your friends or family that might be able to help me out - the more help I can get, the better. (For those of you who don't know what this is all about, my name is Joey Kendall, and I am a Peace Corps Volunteer in the eastern European country of Moldova.)
My first project is for the children. I would like to get this one ready to go in the next couple of months (since securing the equipment will take a while). I would like to start a baseball team. There is a little league of sorts here already - many of the former PCVs have started teams and Moldova itself has a few regional teams - and interest is growing. The need is for equipment - we don't have enough to go around. I do have some, but not enough. I need bats, balls, gloves, helmets, catchers gear, and - if there's enough money - uniforms. I'm also going to need a little bit of money for travel. These kids simply cannot afford that. As an example, to take 15 kids to and from a game would cost roughly $15 dollars, depending on the destination. These kids have literally nothing to do after school, on weekends, or in the summer to keep them out of trouble, so I am hoping this might be one way to fill their time. I believe that $400-$500 will cover this project for 2 years.
My second project is for the older people here in Moldova - the pensionars, as they are known. As I trust you all know, the economic situation here is pretty bad. The average family here makes $30 per month, which is anything but comfortable. It allows for the bare minimum, and that's all. As if this isn't enough, the pensionars' situation is far worse. Their only source of income, in many cases, is the "retirement" paid to them by the state: $10 per month on average, with $6 being the minimum - and these are the "new and improved" nyumbers. These people, like many others, have no medical benefits, and thus no hope of ever receiving medical attention should they need it. Whenever I go to Chisinau or any of the other big cities, it is almost impossible to walk anywhere and not see these people huddled up on the sidewalks begging for money. I really wish I had some way of helping. I know I can't help everyone, and what I can do is only temporary, but at least I/we can do something. For about $1 per day a person can afford to eat. That's where I would like to start. Again, I know it's not much, but I just can't sit around and do nothing. There's not really much of a deadline other than the fact that my assignment will be over in July of 2003, and the sooner I can put the money to use, the better.
So what I am asking from each of you is a small donation - $10, for example, would be excellent. Any help you can give me is super. If you can help me out, please make your checks out to Joseph Kendall and send them to my home at:
Heisson, WA 98622
Thank you for your time. If you have any questions, you can address them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Take care and God Bless!
Subject: Seasons Greetings from Moldova!
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2001 02:27:27 -0800 (PST)
Seasons Greetings from Moldova!
Once again I look to the calendar and I see that it is about that time again. Yep...time to go out and buy one of those really fancy heating systems. Then I remember that those do not exist on my modest salary. Oh well, such is life...(don't worry, Mom, I'm fine).
For me, the last year has been quite the ride. In many ways, it is hard to believe that it has only been a year. I can give you a week in June that seemingly lasted a year in itself.
My year started out innocently enough. I quit a job as a laboratory technician in Eastern Washington and moved back home to work two part-time jobs (that was not a fun experience).
For the next part of my story, I have to go back to December 8th of the previous year. It was one of those days where everything goes wrong and it looks like it is going to get worse. First of all, my car did not want to run. Then when I got to work, nothing I did went right and I got a nice, long, talking-to from my boss. Finally, to top it all off, there was a letter from the Peace Corps in my mailbox. At that point, I just wanted to cry. I had first applied to the Peace Corps nearly nine months earlier. At first, everything went according to plan. Then, in late September, I got a call from the medical office in Washington, DC. That was the last I heard from them for over two months. So when I saw that letter, I was absolutely certain it was bad news. I took the letter in the house, sat down, took a deep breath, opened it...and nearly fell out of my chair. I had been accepted! Merry Christmas to me!
And now here I am. Barely a year ago I did not know where here was. It was barely a year ago that I found out a country called Moldova existed. Well, it is not Latin America - which is where I originally wanted to go - but I am more than happy to be here. I would not change a thing.
Sometimes I can hardly believe that I have been here six months (today, to be exact). I guess it is true what they say - "Time flies when you're having fun." It does not seem like it was that long ago that I was all snug and warm in the familiarity of home, and before I knew it I was 8,000+ miles from home where I did not know anything and was wondering if I had made the right decision. I think I have.
On the other hand, I can hardly believe that I have only been here for six months. I have seen and done so much (maybe nothing too constructive, but that's beside the point! ). My counterpart and myself are planning to build a youth center. I am also planning to coach a baseball team next summer and help out at a couple of the volunteer-run camps here. It's a tough job, I know, but someone's got to do it! I have learned to speak Romanian - in the loosest sense of the word. I have experienced some of the local traditions and more than a couple of different celebrations (and let me tell you, these people know how to party!). I spent the night in the wrong village (long story). I have survived the dreaded Bank Card ordeal (another long story). I was in Chisinau (Moldova's capital) for Moldova's 10th Anniversity. I have done a bit of travelling - I have visited the home of the typsies, I have travelled to Craiova in Romania for business (that was a lot of fun!), and I intend to spend Christmas in
Athens (and I don't mean Georgia).
But the one thing that sticks out in my mind more than anything are the wonderful people that I have med and the good friends that I have made. Of course, I have my Peace Corps friends, but there are also my Moldovan friends, a Ukranian friend of mine, and a couple that I met in Romania. I am truly thankful that I have crossed paths with each of these wonderful people. I have come to love my extended Moldovan family.
Anyway, I suppose that is a pretty good run-down of the events of my year. I hope yours has been equally as exciting and fulfilling. To each of you I wish that your lives be filled with happiness, that your hopes and dreams may come true, and that the peace and love of the season fill your hearts and be with you always. Finally, I wish you all a very happy holiday season and a Merry Christmas! May God bless you and keep you safe!
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Bio: Joseph Kendall
Hometown: Heisson, Washington
Current Residence: Plop, Moldova
Major/Education level: Attended Eastern Oregon University. Have a BS in Crop and Soil Science with a minor in Athropology and Sociology from Oregon State University.
Why I chose to become a PCV: Oh, the usual...save the world. Seriously, though, I've always enjoyed helping people. I want to make a difference. I wanted to see a different culture and to learn a different way of life.
Hardest part of being a PCV: Being so far away from home. I miss my family and friends very much. I find myself in a place where I don't know the rules, where I don't really even know the language yet...it really is a bit of a thrill and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Sure, there are many frustrations, but you learn to deal with them. Hey, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger...
Best part of being a PCV: My new friends. First I've got my fellow volunteers, and among them are some really cool people. Then of course I've got my Moldovan friends and family. To me these people are the real treasure and perhaps the real reason that I came here.
After PC: I can better answer that in about a year-and-a-half. There are just so many options. Probably whatever I do, I'll have to go back to school at some point. My original plan was to use the PC to get a government job of some sort with the USDA, national parks, or fish and wildlife, or something like that. I might go to work for the PC somewhere. I really like history. I have to say that I've given thought to being a history teacher. I just can't answer this question right now.
This page was last updated on: October 20, 2002
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