Leaving a place we have called home for several years, there is always a temptation to make a mental list of the things we will miss, and a corresponding list of other local peculiarities we will happily do without.
Posts tagged ‘Chisinau’
Live in a country long enough, and a part of you starts identifying with it. Chisinau may only be a temporary residence for us, but after spending two years here we have developed a soft spot for Moldova. So when friends comes to visit, we endeavor to show off Moldova’s good sides. We haven’t had nearly as many visitors here as we did in Kenya, but that was in line with our expectations. In fact, we have been pleasantly surprised at how many of our friends made arrangements to visit our little corner of Eastern Europe. Last weekend, we hosted the last of our visitors — an Austrian friend from D’s grad school days.
This summer marks fifteen years since D first picked up a disc and started playing ultimate frisbee, a trajectory that has taken him from his New England college team to pick-up games in Spain and Costa Rica, tournaments throughout East Africa, and most recently the role of field captain for Moldova’s Flying Mamaligas.
While D was away in Tbilisi, taking advantage of his work trip to see the Georgian countryside, S did a bit of traveling of her own, albeit closer to home. A good friend from our Kenya days whom S has known since grad school was flying from Nairobi to Chicago and asked if she could visit for a couple of days, instantly doubling the number of friends who have made it out to Chisinau to see us.
Munchkin’s birthday party — last month’s news whose memory has been eclipsed somewhat by more recent events — was as much a celebration for him as it was for us. The birth of one’s first child is a watershed moment: the ultimate of life’s responsibilities suddenly crashes in on one’s complacent, self-centered lifestyle. It’s scary. More than once we caught ourselves doubting whether we were ready, fearing that we might not be.
We had planned to spend last weekend in Ukraine. There was an indoor frisbee tournament at a sports complex outside Odessa, the seaside Ukrainian resort town that is just across Moldova’s south-eastern border. While D played, S intended to do some touristing with Munchkin, with the hopes that D would save a little energy to go out with her in the evenings. Among its attractions, Odessa has an excellent restaurant scene and a well-regarded opera house. Unfortunately, an administrative snafu (emphasis on the last two letters) forced us to cancel the trip just hours before our planned departure.
There is a real art to crafting a good baby book, especially if one hopes not just to tell a story, but also to captivate completely a very young mind. Though the Gigantic Turnip remains one of Munchkin’s favorite stories, it has become clear that his English-language books do a much better job of stirring his imagination than the traditional Russian tales we have in board book form. It is not a matter of language either; when Munchkin hands D his English-language books, D frequently “reads” them in Russian, and Munchkin still prefers them to the stories actually written in Russian.