29 August 2010

Weekend recap

This weekend began with Ross venturing to Varatic. It was an interesting series of events (including being overcharged and then told to take a different bus), but 4 hours later he finally made it!
We took a walk to pass some time because, well, there's not much else to do here. On the way to the river passed by one of the 2 cemeteries in the village and I became very curious- so I began to explore. At first I thought it was really small, but boy was I mistaken! It kept going and going. Most of the tombstones from 1996 had pictures of those that had passed on them. Some were just blue crosses with the names and sometimes the dates painted on them, and all were above ground. I couldn't explore as much as I wanted to because, unlike the cemeteries at home, much of it was overgrown. Something else to note about the cemetery is that there are picnic tables all over because Easter is a big celebration that takes place there. Also, all of the flowers that people put on the tombstones are left there (probably because they don't mow like they do at home).
After taking at least 30 minutes on this little excursion, we went to the river, where I met some 4th graders that let me take their pictures as they jumped from the rocks. I bet they slept well that night... they never seemed to stop jumping!
Friday night concluded with a visit with Maria. Friday was the 19th year of Independence for Moldova but nothing exciting happened in Varatic because "it's a new celebration". Regardless, we celebrated with Maria, her husband, 2 daughter-in-laws, and son. The food was great, and the conversation was, once again, humorous. She told us that she would have been born on September 9th (hey- that's a good day!!!) but because of the change of the calendar, her birthday is now September 21st. I'm curious as to what that means- anyone want to fill me in on a little history lesson? She said she didn't know because it happened when she was young...

Yesterday was the day of Saint Maria (Mary). Want to know how it is celebrated? Yes, of course you do! No one works or bathes. Sounds like a heckuva way to celebrate to me! :) So, while we did that, we also went with L and some her family to the Pruit river where we had a bbq of pork and fried tomatoes. I almost felt like I was in America- if only we had some bbq sauce! While it was windy and chilly, it was still a lot of fun and a nice break from, well, the school year that is about to come!

Today it's a cool and rainy day, which is a perfect day for me to watch Pretty Woman and get some work done. Can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. In 1923, the Eastern Orthodox Church kind of switched from the ancient Julian Calendar to the Gregorian calendar. The gregorian calendar is our calendar, with Christmas on 12/25, etc, while the Julian calendar reckons Christmas on January 6 or 7. the Gregorian calendar has been around since 1582 and is generally the international standard. Orthodox churches around the world, including Moldova, still celebrate church holidays according to the Julian calendar though the official dates reflect the Gregorian one. Dates in general were shifted by 10 or 11 days to accommodate the change in the calendars. Check out Wikipedia for a more coherent and complete explanation .. I suspect traditions in Moldova flop back and forth between these two calendars.....