I have SO MUCH to tell you all about after our adventures our first night and day in Moldova! I'll try to keep each post short and just post often instead of overwhelming you with all of it all at once. I have pictures, but I'm not sure where the cord to my camera is packed. As Justin mentioned previously, we have about a week until we move into our home here, so I won't be unpacking the trunks until then. So I'm sorry, but you'll have to wait another week or so for pictures! In the meantime, though, I can still tell you about it!
We arrived at the airport on time, and although we had to battle the crowd, we managed to get our luggage and make it through customs without much hassle. For the first time of MANY so far in the last day, we were SO GLAD that Justin speaks Russian! We would never be able to do this without that. Valentina, the secretary at the office where we'll be working, was at the airport to pick us up, and she rode with us in the taxi to our new home. There we met Anatoli and Tanya, the couple who is so kindly opening their home to us. They have five children ranging in age from 23 to 7, all of whom live at home. Two of them are away to summer camp right now, but the other three are here. They are a wonderful and kind family, and they're working very hard to get our home ready for us to move into! I'm sure you'll hear much more about them in the days and weeks to come.
Valentina showed us the nearest grocery store, just a walk around the corner, and we picked up some staples - water, bread, meat, cheese, cereal, milk... Well, we thought it was milk. However, when we got home and I poured it to get a drink, it turned out to be plain unsweetened yogurt! In a carton like milk! Oh well, we learned a lesson about that - Read the carton and make SURE it says milk ("lapte" in Romanian) before buying!
We managed to stay awake until about 9:30 p.m. before we crashed and fell asleep. As Justin said before, our room is up on the third floor. They do have air conditioning in the house, but they don't run it very often. Our room has a balcony with a screen door, so we were just able to keep that door open and a nice breeze kept us cool all night long. The crazy thing about leaving the door open, though, is that we can hear the sounds of the city all night long. What might that sound like? Not traffic or music... No, the night sounds of Chisinau are barking dogs and crowing roosters! We were woken up early in the morning when the roosters started crowing, and we had a pretty rough time getting back to sleep. However, we managed to do it and slept hard til the alarm clock went off at 8:15. So we got a normal night's sleep, and I think that did wonders for our jet lag!
This morning, Alina (our boss's wife - they live just around the corner from us) met us at our house and helped us navigate the public transportation to get to the office. It is about 25 minutes by minibus to get to the office where we'll be working, because it is completely across town. It's actually pretty simple to navigate the public transportation as long as you know which bus to get on and where to get off of it! I'll do another post about the transportation soon, so check back! We think we've already caught on pretty well - we managed a solo ride home this afternoon and we didn't get lost! Once again, we're extremely grateful for Justin's Russian skills!!!
At the office, we met Kelly, who is another American intern working in our office. Her blog is linked in the column on the right. We had lunch with her at Andy's Pizza (I'll blog about that another day, too!), and then went sightseeing around town with her. She's only been here 2 months, so she hasn't done much sightseeing either! It was great, though, to have another American in the office to help us get things figured out. I think she's going to be a good friend.
So altogether, it has been an EXTREMELY successful first day - we love it! Pray for us as we continue to get things figured out and as we go through the ordeal of getting our work permits next week. From what I hear, there are some pretty unpleasant medical tests involved, and we'll be starting those Monday, so please pray for our courage and communication, patience and safety! Check back again soon!!!!