That's Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I can't believe how fast the end of the year has gone. November and December have flown by in the blink of an eye.
Christmas season around here is just plain delightful. There are few Christmas decorations and only within the past few days have Christmas carols been creeping up. It has made me not only like Christmas, but look forward to it. Isn't it amazing what non-saturation can do for your spirit?
Work wise, it's been a slow month. Towards the holidays everything rapidly slows down. (Rapidly slow?) My work partner, Victoria and I have become good friends as she, her husband, Oleg and I share the office together so we are in very close quarters daily. I helped out in a few training on human trafficking and the facts are very upsetting. But much like the US, when we are telling the facts to teenagers, it doesn't really scare them or upset them, they just take the information and go. It's like watching it on TV and 'it will never happen to me' which is frightening. But I understand the importance of the education of it now. In the new year, we will be tackling a project to create a sports center for youth here in my town. There is no real place where the kids can go after school. She was trying to explain to me what they were trying to build and I referenced the YMCA and she had never heard of it. I proceeded to show her the website for the YMCA and performed a little of the song. They think I'm pretty weird.
I have mostly stayed in Cahul lately and avoided Chisinau. There is an element of the American population who like to travel to Chisinau on the weekends and just go nuts. I am not one of those people and avoid it as much as I can. I'm past that stage in my life where 'partying' is the best way to spend a Friday night. Conversely, my friend Lyndsey's birthday was last weekend so we all traveled to our friends apartment and spent the weekend cooking homemade meals for her. Friday we had Mexican, Saturday I busted out all the family Italian recipes and made homemade gnocchi, sauce, meatballs, bruschetta and cheesecake. And Sunday we had good old fashioned cheeseburgers and fries. It was a great, relaxing weekend with friends. We barely left the house, barely anyone knew we were there. We just enjoyed each other's company, ate and relaxed before the holidays. Lyndsey had made it explicitly clear that she didn't want anything big for her birthday so I think we succeeded.
Wednesday was my last day of work and I've pretty much been sleeping since then. I've justified it in the fact that it has been one hell of a long year and I've been sleeping it off for 3 days. I should be preparing for vacation but the rest was obviously well needed.
So, Tuesday I leave for Christmas vacation to Prague and Vienna. I have been to neither city but have always wanted to go. It feels weird not going to a Too Faced Christmas party. Christmas as never really my thing but they sure love to celebrate it there. Even though I would probably be rolling my eyes and hating it, I'm actually a little sad that I won't be there. I guess now I'm just another face that got crossed off on that boat. ;) But thankfully, there's a handful of people there that still keep in touch so well. Didn't realize how I had made actual friends instead of colleagues and bosses. I sure do miss you guys...even you, Andrea. (I'm gonna regret putting that in writing...)
It will be the first time I have ever spent Christmas somewhere other than Honesdale, PA. Quite a change. But I'm pretty excited. I will greatly be missing those cinnamon rolls and Polish Borscht and especially the laughs around the table during dinner. Last Christmas was incredibly hard but I think with a year's time, we've all grown stronger and happier so I'm sad to miss the happy times. But thinking of my family laughing and having fun will have to suffice.
So, off to Vienna, city of Mozart, where I'll see classical concerts, opera, graves and great coffee. Off to Prague, where I'll see beautiful scenery, great food and beer and meet new people and spend Christmas with strangers in a foreign land. Lots of pics to take.