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twice is nice

Easter in Eastern Europe is kind of like Christmas, at least in terms of the number of holidays that crop up in the course of a month.

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D had to work last week during Easter Monday. With the events unfolding across the border in neighboring Ukraine, little Moldova has all of a sudden drawn a lot of attention. The previous week the Embassy hosted a four-member Congressional delegation led by Senator John McCain, and on Easter Monday D was again pressed into service in support of the visit of Senator Bob Corker.

No worries — Moldovans celebrate Easter twice. A week after the traditional religious observance, families flock to the cemetery to honor their deceased relatives in a food-filled celebration not unlike Dia de los Muertos. And if this three-day weekend wasn’t enough, there are two more holidays right around the corner: International Workers’ Day on May 1st and Victory Day, marking the end of WWII, on May 9.

All of this means more time to spend with Munchkin, who is now nine weeks old and becoming more alert by the day. This week we noticed that he has begun to recognize us by sight, and not just touch and smell. Rather than gazing around aimlessly, he now looks at us and follows us with his eyes, getting antsy if we step out of sight and leave him to his own devices. What’s more, he has begun smiling and cooing when we talk to him, which is a marked difference from the previous month and a half when he only smiled in his sleep or while contentedly passing gas.

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Of course, these developments don’t make it any easier to leave him to go to work. If only every day were a holiday…

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