Which, speaking of the streets, I love how many people are out walking around during the day. I was told it is a lot less "congested" in the villages, but I'm curious as to what exactly that means. I could be wrong, but I think it is partly due to the climate here. Yesterday was really nice, especially in the morning. It was not overwhelmingly hot, and felt incredible in the shade. I'm no meteorologist, but I would venture to guess it was about 75 degrees. People say there isn't air conditioning in most places around here, but it doesn't seem too necessary. We did have AC in the school yesterday (in most rooms) and also in the lobby at the hotel. Feels great!
When we arrived at the Russian school to begin our training, there were students outside (I'd venture to guess they were in high school). They were dressed in all black and white and I felt like we were in a game of Red Rover. They were looking at us, we were looking at them, but we were throwing a frisbee back and forth between the "groups". However, they seemed really nice and I wish I knew Russian so I could have talked tot hem, but at that point I didn't even know a word of Romanian, so attempting a conversation would have been impossible.
Something I've began to love is not having a cell phone. It's quite a liberating feeling! I like not being able to be contacted by email, texting, phone calls, or Facebook at every second of every day. It has also made me aware of just how much I do rely on my phone daily, whether I am looking something up on the Internet, texting friends, checking email, or just messing with it when I am bored. So it will be nice to no longer have my iPhone and to break away from the habit!
Yesterday we had a welcome ceremony which included a visit from the US Embassy, lectures on health, personal safety, and we also had a traditional greeting of bread and "wine" (in our case it was "Peace Corps Wine" which was grape and orange juice). Safety informed us that we are on a fault line and that earthquakes happen a dozen times a year. The last big one was in 1986. While this is something we should be aware of, it is not something we should be afraid of because every structure in Moldova has been built to the toughest standards in all of Europe. That's encouraging!
He also told us that crime basically does not exist here. There are not guns, and abductions just don't happen. Nor do murders. Moldova is a very safe country and we should not have to worry, but of course that doesn't mean we shouldn't be aware of our surroundings while here. The best part about the Embassy coming to visit was when he said he has an indoor pool where he lives in Moldova, so we should not compare our living standards to his. WOW!
Last thought.. ROSES! They are absolutely everywhere! I've been told that I will give and receive more flowers during my stay here than ever before! I can't wait, because I feel like every boyfriend I've had forgets how much I love to receive flowers, and not just when he messes up. If I had fresh flowers in my room every day life would be great! They are very refreshing and so full of life. There are also little steps everywhere! They are not more than a couple of inches high at most and they come out of nowhere, so we are always catching ourselves falling... I'm sure we're a site to see!
... off to a full day of language classes...