30 August 2010
29 August 2010
This is what I respect most about my NFG at this point: how they treat Vasile.
28 August 2010
26 August 2010
25 August 2010
Yesterday I was strongly advised against going to a birthday party, of which I was invited, because I did not know the woman. However, she is the mother of my partner teacher, and she had asked that I come. But in Moldova, especially in the villages, one does not go to a birthday party if they are not friends (CLOSE friends) with the birthday person. So, for me to come along would not have been seen respectful, my NTG says, and people will talk and laugh at me for it, and I would then not have a good reputation in the village. Oh boy.
After much discussion with my NTG, NMG, and Peace Corps, I decided it was OK if I went to this party- that ended up being a normal dinner that just so happened to fall on the birthday of L’s mom, and so L just so happened to bring flowers, and I just so happened to bring my camera (go figure).
We met her father in the street who, for some reason, only wants to speak Russian to me. He speaks Moldovaneste to the family, but claims I understand Russian completely, so it is better. That’s very kind of him, but I really don’t understand a thing. LOL. He’d lived in Russia for 10 years so I guess it’s more natural to him, or something. No worries. At least I know who to go to if I want a Russian teacher!
I then met her mother and grandmother at the house. L left me alone with the grandmother while she helped her mother prepare dinner. Although she is 77, I was able to understand almost every word she said (aka we kept the conversation going). She was also funny and the life of the party. She absolutely loved having her picture taken (I see where L’s daughter gets it), and she also likes to go to bed without telling anyone. :P
L’s mom, the birthday girl, was also very sweet. She, contrary to her mother and granddaughter, does not like to have her picture taken. Regardless, she agreed to pose for a few pictures. She works at a magazin toward the entrance to town, and asked me to come over whenever I want. Olga and I are going to make cookies to night to bring to the teachers tomorrow (great way to meet them!), and she said we must bring some to her. No problem. I’d be HAPPY to do so!
Unfortunately these posts are going to come in groups because, like I’ve said before, the Internet (of which Maria had no idea what that is!) doesn’t work well. Supposedly in September that will change and I will finally be able to Skype and post pictures again. I spent all day yesterday working on pictures, so I’ll have a few slideshows ready for ya’ll soon.
I had logged in to blogspot to write a post about how much I’ve been struggling these last few days and how this has been the hardest part about being in Moldova thus far- when I got a knock on my door. It was my NTG telling me a guest had arrived. Her name was Maria (and she introduced herself as Mary) and she must have been an Angel sent from Heaven. Seriously, I am not kidding.
She had her lightly colored red hair in a loose bun on top of her head. She was short. She looked like a grandmother coming out of the movies. Her voice was slightly high pitched, and she spoke English so well- and without an accent- that I would have assumed she was a native speaker. We talked for a couple of minutes before we reached a point where you couldn’t stop us even if you wanted to.
I eventually got to a point where I brought up my host family situation and how I wasn’t feeling like they wanted me here and I wasn’t feeling a bond with them, and how I felt like I was being restricted from integrating into the community. She said my NTG is strict (I figured that one out pretty quick). But she also said to take what he said with a grain of salt because this is my life and I need to enjoy my time here. He says what he does all with good intentions- which wasn’t something I was able to see before. After 3 days in a row of lectures about how I wanted to do something incorrectly, I felt like he didn’t want me to know anyone, when, in fact, he doesn’t want me to make a mistake or to get hurt. Now I can appreciate that (been there, done that). But there also comes a point when I need to make a mistake to learn from it. And, who knows… even if I do what they suggest against, maybe it won’t be a mistake after all.
Maria also told me something no one has admitted to yet- Romanian and Moldovaneste are COMPLETELY different languages. Everyone has tried to tell me that they are basically one in the same, just with some different words here and there. But she said absolutely not. Her granddaughter married a Romanian and they came to stay with them last week. The grandson-in-law could not understand them, and they could not understand him. Maria teaches Romanian, therefore she knows it, but it was still completely different. Moldovaneste, she says, has a lot more Russian influence than most people will admit (due to the Soviet past). Now this all makes complete sense why I could understand every word the Romanian teacher was saying the other day when she was talking to other teachers (not to me, therefore talking in her normal speed)… and why I can’t understand most of what my new host family is saying. So, Daddyo made a good point here- why are we taught perfect Romanian and not Moldovaneste? That is a good question…
The quote that probably made my week, though, was this from Maria:Me: Putin, putin (referring to me only wanting a LITTLE bit of wine in my glass instead of a full one)Maria: A little, a little. A little bit of Monica by my side.
Get it? It’s a song from in the last 90’s or early 2000’s I believe… A little bit of Monica by my side. A little Mary all night long… a little bit of Jessica (I forget the rest…). She said it not in the tune of the song, but as if it was a part of every day conversation. I about died from laughter once I finally realized what she said. It was SO funny.
After this, I had to excuse myself to go to a birthday dinner (the topic of lecture for the day)… and a story of which I will write about for another post.
OH! I almost forgot. Maria is THE reason L wanted to become an English teacher. I think I’ve found my official tutor (and lifeline) here in Varatic. What is also great about her is clearly my family respects her and we also understand each other. So I know if I ever have a misunderstanding with them again, that I can contact her and we can all work it out together. What a relief.
21 August 2010
20 August 2010
19 August 2010
17 August 2010
13 August 2010
12 August 2010
11 August 2010
10 August 2010
05 August 2010
03 August 2010
Regardless, today we wrapped up. We went over the test, played hangman, played musical chairs, UNO, and a snowball game (with the encouragement from my resource teacher who said the games needed to be productive). Overall the week finished up well. I am much more comfortable in the classroom and teaching by myself, I finally understand the 4MAT lesson plan, and I learned more ways to teach to get all of the students active and involved.
After lessons (and lunch!) we also talked about Academic dishonesty in the classrooms. It was fascinating to talk about what exactly happens when a test (or homework) is given. The kids get more and more creative as the teacher gets more observant and strict about copying. In fact, the teachers here even tend to turn a head when cheating is going on because the students (and schools) need to look good in order to receive funding. This goes so far as the kids even cheat on the baccalaureate- which therefore causes Universities in other countries to turn a head when they see a good score on this exam because they don't know if the students got that score in a legit façon, or they cheated their way through it.
I'm not going to write more about this now because I'm not sure if it's ok, so I will find that out and then continue this post if I can...
In the meantime, check out the pics of my kiddos!
01 August 2010
(sorry the photos are so unorganized- I cannot figure out how to get them arranged correctly. And it is late and I am tired. So maybe tomorrow!)
This was an awesome woman who got on the bus. She had 3 kittens in this basket and she just had this smile plastered on her face!
Not sure what this is, but it is in Chișinău!
This is a crosswalk on one of the main streets in Chișinău. Do you see the keyboard? LOVE it!
This is a building in MM- no one really knows what it is. Was it supposed to be a hospital? Or a kindergarten? Good questions. Regardless, they no longer have any money so construction has been stopped.
This is the view from Rosss room! Is it not awesome?