I apologize in advance because I know this will be a long blog post…but with good reason, I received my permanent site placement today. The announcement came after nearly four weeks of waiting and tantalizing clues from our program director. To make it even worse when we came to Chisinau today we had to go through four, maybe five, hour long sessions, an hour long lunch break and sit through a 2 hour long tech class. After having gotten up at 6:30 in the morning and being super anxious made the time pass by really slow until 4:00.
When it was finally time they directed us outside to the front of the school which has a very large pavement yard on which they had drew an approximate map of Moldova and had labeled the towns that we would be going to. One by one the country director called our names randomly from a hat and directed us to our new town and our program director handed us an awesome packet with a map and lots of information about our site. If you scroll down to the map from a couple blog post ago, I will be living at number 11, a village called Scumpia.
As for the amazing information in the packet, the village has a population of 2,700, and is about 150 km from the capital (it also gave me the names and phone numbers to the mayor, the doctor, and the chief police, but those mean little to me right now). The school I will be working at holds all grades and has 500 students, 238 of which are learning English. An interesting figure provided by the packet is that out of the 500 students 135 have a parent living abroad, and 66 of them have both parents living abroad. Lastly, to top it all off the town lies on a railroad and I will have access to Chisinau and the Raion center (like county seat) by train. From what I have heard trains are a cheap, slow, safe way to travel, while the minibuses on the other hand are slightly more expensive, a lot more dangerous and fast (especially when measured by the speedometer). I'll withhold judgement about which form of transportation is the better choice until I actually get a chance to try out the train but I really like the idea of a train being so accessible.
Lastly, the most fun part is the housing. In Peace Corps they call the family you live with a host family, so on the paper listed as my host mother is a 64 year old woman who list her occupation as teacher (retired or active it doesn't say). At 64 she would not qualify as host mother she much more fit the description of a Baba or Bunica. A person in Moldovan society that almost all the volunteers will say is their favorite. Although it doesn't say whether or not she was married or if she is a widow, it merely mentions her children who are both adults and live abroad.
More information gleaned from the packet include: the baba speaks no English, doesn't smoke, and listed her reason for housing a volunteer as wanting to communicate. The house is listed as 4 rooms, five minutes walking distance from the school, with indoor bathroom with tub and running water, no indoor pets, outdoor animals include a goat, a pig, a dog and hens (however it doesn't list the quantity of animals)
Overall the site was not what I was expected but I don't think it could be any better and I am super excited about it. The real test will come Saturday, however, because we are going to visit our permanent sites for the weekend. I thought today was going to satisfy my curiosity but it only made me even more anxious for the site visit.