I’ve made it to Moldova! You may be asking.. where in the hell is Moldova? Here it is:
As we can see it is right between Ukraine and Romania, very close to the Black Sea, Turkey, the northern parts of Africa and Russia. The country is poor and still developing but has a lot of potential for business development and agriculture.
Strengths: fertile land, close proximity to trade partners, access to water (Byk River, Raut River, and the Nistru River), information technology (high speed internet countrywide), and a reformed political system. Weaknesses: poor infrastructure, dependence on Russia for utilities and industry, and brain drain of the nation’s scholars and workforce.
My position with the Peace Corps will be in Agriculture and Rural Business Development. My manager Vitalie is in charge of assigning me to an organization somewhere in the country that fits my skills in marketing and with NGOs. In 2 weeks, I will be told where I will live and work for the next 2 years, so I am clearly excited.
For now I am in Pre-Service Training for the next 7 weeks. I will be learning the Romanian language intensively as well as receiving technical training for my position in business. I am living with the Bolfosu family: Slavic, Svetlana, Igor, and Maxim in their posh house in the vineyards of Cricova, Moldova. Cricova is a 10 minute drive outside the capital of Chisinau. The family produces their own food: pork, chicken, duck, rabbit, and nutria for meat, cherries (sweet and sour), apples, strawberries, plenty of vegetables and eggs. It has been a pleasure living on a farm this week. It is definitely a change of pace from Guadalajara, Mexico, Columbia, South Carolina, and Chicago, Illinois but I am enjoying it so far.
The journey will not be easy, but like they say .. this will be “the hardest job I’ll ever love”.