All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.

Robert Kennedy

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

Sarah and Pat
The past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster. We got word that yet another 2 people were ET'ing (Early Terminating). This time, it was two of my favorite people and we were greatly saddened. They are a married couple from California that I met in CA before I left. They are truly sweet people and I miss them already. We all got together to give them a good send off. It as a bitter sweet evening as I was surrounded by my favorite people here and we were all together to say goodbye to two friends. It was the first time I've really felt emotional about saying goodbye and realizing that I'm in a unique circumstance here being surrounded by all these people. It's much like college. You just take for granted that these people are always going to be near you or at least a short bus ride away. But it, like everything, will come to an end. I finally realized that in saying goodbye to Pat and Sarah. We had a dinner per Pat and Sarah's request of their closest friends and ate a lot of food, drank a lot of wine and said our goodbyes. Only good thing? I think we looked around and realized the people in that room was a pretty special family and it brought us all closer.
This past weekend we all had to go to the capital AGAIN (I've been there pretty much every weekend in February) for our final language training. It's always nice to see everybody but at this point I was a little tired of not being at home so it was again, bittersweet. I did get to go to the opera again to watch "La Traviata." It wasn't my favorite, but the performance was still great. I'm so glad that I have that option for culture in the capital when I'm there. Afterwards, I stayed at Lindsay and Conrad's again (I should probably start paying them rent) and stayed up all night to watch the Oscars. Here they were on from 3:30am - 6:30am. Needless to say, I'm the only one stupid enough to stay up to watch them. I did enjoy them and kind of enjoyed my own solitude in watching them. 
When I got back here to Cahul, my Russian tutor, Viktor and friend, Alex were screening their first film. I, of course wanted to support them but didn't know what to expect. They were holding it in the culture center here in Cahul in an auditorium that holds 800 people. When I got there I was stunned as it was packed. There were close to 1200 people there. The police were called in to move people off of the balcony as they were afraid it would collapse from the weight. They showed the film which was entirely in! I was so overwhelmed. Here's a bunch of young college students who always joke around about their film club and it's GOOD! The camera work, editing, acting, effects, it was SOLID! I couldn't believe it. I didn't understand the Russian (obviously) but I knew everything that was happening just from the acting. I was so happy. So now, I'm hoping to collaborate with them on doing more projects as well as releasing this film with English subtitles so I can post it here and on FB and get them some more exposure. It really made me excited to work with them.
Besides that, things are still slow here. It's really hard to explain to people the long periods of nothing that we go through as volunteers without sounding like losers. But coming in, we knew it was going to be an issue. So I do a lot of work at home doing translations and working on website and such but going to an actual job? No, not so much. I know it's hard to understand but it's just a different way of living so please don't give me a hard time about it. That's just the way it is right now. 
Please read this blog entry by a fellow volunteer in Africa, he really sums up what I'm trying to say very well.
What I have learned is that it's okay to not be busy. Why does everyone want to be? Why does everyone have to be? I just don't have the desire. I like walking down the street here and watching old men play chess and seeing how pretty the snow looks on the border of Romania and not having to rush into a job. Work is so secondary to everything else here and I really like that. When I tell people back home that it's like I'm committing a crime. Why? Because people are enjoying their lives and their families instead of just trying to make money? I'm not ashamed of what I do and what I don't do. I sat through a 45 minute film Monday night and afterwards sat and talked in broken English and Russian to 3 motivated 22 year olds and I can honestly say I did my job. And loved every second of it. Was it a long day? Was I stressed to my core afterwards? Did I get a huge paycheck? Nope. None of the above. But it was a good day.

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