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a well-traveled disc

As most semi-serious ultimate players, D started amassing frisbees when he joined a team in college. At one point, he even had his collection displayed on the walls of his room, but S has put a temporary kibosh on that kind of interior decorating and before leaving Nairobi D gave a bunch of his discs away to the Kenyans with whom we played. For one reason or another, however, he wound up keeping a good portion of his collection. Some of the frisbees had sentimental value and others had such nice designs that they had hardly been used.

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happy birthday, Moldova

Sadly, the skies are gray today for Moldova’s National Day — the twenty-second anniversary of the country’s declaration of independence. This hasn’t stopped us enjoying the day off, of course. Besides, we got a healthy dose of national celebration this weekend.

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never a dull moment

Given its location and the size of the international community here, we expected Chisinau to be a relatively sleepy post. We anticipated that our social life would revolve largely around get-togethers with other Embassy families, and in winter it no doubt will. Even so, we’ve found enough to do our first couple of weeks in Moldova that our belongings, which arrived from Nairobi even before we did, are still largely unpacked.

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the place between there and there

When we first told people we were going to be posted to Chisinau, we would generally receive one of two responses. Half of the people knew somebody from Moldova. The other half had no idea where in the world this country is located and a few even thought we were pulling their leg and making up a fictitious place. As a colleague who is posted here quipped, serving in Chisinau one quickly learns to stem the inevitable tide of further questions by saying in one breath, “Moldova, between Romania and Ukraine,” as if this was the full title of the country.

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back in the U.S.S.R.

One of D’s favorite conversations to have in Russian, which already he has had with dozens of Moldovans who are not associated with the Embassy, goes something like this:

M: Oh, you’re not from Chisinau. Where did you come from?
D: America
M: What? WHY?!?!?! Why would you come back here?

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Old-school and frequently used well right outside our modern apartment building

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the odyssey

With only 7,000 members, the Foreign Service is a tight-knit community. When it became clear that we would have to ship Emmie from Nairobi to Bucharest and then drive her across the border into Moldova, the logistics and language barriers seemed a bit daunting. S found a few dog-friendly hotel options in Bucharest, but still faced the challenge of picking up Emmie from the airport and then getting her to Chisinau. Fortunately, some very nice FS families stepped up and helped us out in a big way.

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jumping through hoops

Although we felt good about our decision to leave Emmie in Nairobi for the summer, the last few days before her travel almost made us regret not taking her with us when we departed Kenya. We had left her in great hands, but could not make shipping arrangements several months in advance. Coordinating all the last-minute logistics of our pet’s international travel from across the Atlantic was incredibly stressful, to say the least.

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summer camp

“Hi mom, I thought I should write and tell you that camp is a-ok,” began an email S received this summer. As if we weren’t already sure that we had left Emmie with the right people for the summer, this first-person message from our pet was extra proof that she was in great hands.

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first order of business

D spent 21+ hours at or between airports and experienced a seven-hour time change before arriving in Chisinau just after 3pm last Friday with just one thought in mind…

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the runaround

“The system is broken. It clearly doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to,” lamented one of D’s instructors in one of the franker discussions during training.

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