As I tried desperately to explain to my nephew why Easter is a week later over here, I became exhausted and gave up. Still recovering from said exhaustion, I'll just say, it just is. Orthodox Easter is a week later here. Deal with it.
The past few weeks have been actually busy. My partner (when I say my 'partner' I am referring to my Moldovan counterpart. It is not a gay term. Although still 100% supporting gay rights. NOH8!) is really starting to pump out some project ideas as we have deadlines to meet for funding. So currently we are proposing a project to be done in the summer to educate new graduates about social media in the workforce. It's weird to me that now people have to be educated on the dangers of social media. I guess when you're 20 years old you don't think that a photo of yourself doing a keg stand will harm your chances at getting that dream job. (AGAIN...so happy there was no internet when I was in college...) We submitted the project to the US Embassy to apply for funding. So we'll see how that goes.
I am also involved with fellow volunteer, Dylan, and Fulbright Scholar, Erin, in creating an anti-human trafficking festival here in Cahul at the end of May. There are SO many hoops to jump through to get this done. We have been having weekly meetings with local administrators, church leaders and Moldovans to try and organize this and it is a lot of work. It would involve all the local high schools, the University and the 2 colleges all participating. The organization "La Strada" will be coming and giving seminars to each of the aforementioned schools during the week. On the weekend, there will be musical acts, entertainment and information booths about human trafficking all over the city. There are many factors involved in planning this project between egos and money and timing and scheduling, it's insane. But hopefully the planning will be worth it. Working with Dylan and Erin is great. They've become two of my best friends here and I will be greatly saddened to see them leave in June. Also, there's a possibility that I will get to go to a week long conference with my partner in Estonia. (WTF?) I had to google it. But it is across the Baltic Sea South of Finland, West of Russia. I know, it blows my mind too. We would be going in August so the weather should be perfect. I'm really hoping that happens. I can't think of another time in my life I would get to visit that part of the continent.
This weekend was also Easter weekend which is the BIGGEST holiday in Moldova. Since I do not live with a host family, I knew I wouldn't experience the true Easter, but that's okay. It involves going to church from about midnight to five am (I'm already out) followed by a huge masa (feast) all day. But I experienced none of this because for the first time since I've been here, I got sick. Ugh. My roommate, Holly, went to a village to celebrate with her partner (again, Moldovan counterpart) so I had the place to myself which was good because it was like an infirmary in here. Tissues everywhere, empty tablet wrappers, water, tea cups, blech. But, I'm better now. I'd rather get it over with now. Today my sense of smell returned and so did my friends as we all gathered to have a traditional Moldovan Easter lunch. Well, by traditional, I mean we made Fajitas, but at least I could taste them.
Holly is leaving for vacation on Wednesday to Poland so I'm hoping to get Lyndsey to come visit me so she doesn't go stir crazy in the village up North. I worry about her. The following Monday is Dead People's Easter. I'm not being funny, that's what it literally translates to. It means that everyone goes to the cemetery and sets up a huge masa (feast) at the graves of their loved ones so they can celebrate Easter with them. Yes, it is a National Holiday. My partner was shocked that we have no such thing in the US. It's interesting that we think of a cemetery as such a somber place and they use it as a place where they can still celebrate with loved ones who have passed. All about perspective, I guess.
Two weeks from today, I am flying to London to meet up with my TF girls. Two weeks from this very moment I will be sitting in a pub with my friend, Kathryn. Two week from Thursday night I will be sitting at Ghost, the Musical with my friend Juli. And two weeks from Sunday, I will be toasting champagne in Paris with my friend Jules. What is my life?