Not knowing how to put the extra Romanian letters (there are five of them) on my English keyboard, I will have to make do with a rough approximation of “How are you?” This literally translates to “What more you do?” – one of those confusing things about trying to capture the idioms of another language. I have been working my way through a series of Romanian lessons during the last week; it has been enormously helpful to just listen to the way native speakers pronounce words. There are a bunch of sounds – schwe, tsi, a very long and deep “ew” that you don’t hear very much or at all in English. It has a lyrical cadence and musicality to it that makes it quite beautiful to listen to. Of course, once I’m in Moldova and people are speaking a mile a minute it probably won’t seem so enjoyable.
It is marvelous having Facebook and blogs and email, I must say, as I already am acquainted with many of the current volunteers in country and have received a ton of information about packing and electronics and communications and traveling and food. I’ve seen YouTube videos of volunteers’ housing and host families and been given a briefing on the Community Development work projects. It feels a bit like cheating, though. Nothing like the experience of a PCV who signed up ten or twenty years ago, I’m sure, when you got on a plane with little to no idea of where you were headed or what your life would be like for the next 27 months.
I’m starting to add some current Peace Corps blogs I’m following under my “links” heading. Many of them are quite funny and very informative about life in Moldova. It doesn’t look all that different from here, actually. Certainly not as depressed or poor as places I visited in Central or South America. I do understand it gets very, very cold though. Anyone have good brands of raingear or winter coats to recommend?