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You'll find all those old announcements for nuntas, births and the like here.

(From Aug 2005)
Since I'm in Moldova with not a lot to do, I thought I might report on some of the goings-on here. Today I made the rounds of the museums, the Ethnographic and Natural History Museum on Colgilniceanu Street, the Fine Arts Museum on the corner of 31 August and Pushkin and the History Museum on 31 August and Banulescu-Bodoni. Nothing much has changed at the Ethnographic Museum. They're even selling the same insignii they were selling when I left in '99. I did enjoy looking at the 3D scale map of Moldova they have there. It's pretty cool. If you have the chance and 10 lei burning a hole in your pocket (more for foreigners, I think.), then you really should take a look.
At the Fine Arts Museum, they have an exibition on icons, generally large religious-themed paintings on wood (not the kind you pin to the headliner of your car to protect you from the other crazy drivers). They had two rooms full of these icons, many of them were very interesting and very old. The head proctor of the museum made the observation that almost all the visitors to the Fine Arts Museum are foreigners. Very few Moldovans seem interested in the arts, she said. That's too bad, since they have a number of very good works from the 15th to the 19th centuries.
Finally, I went down the street to the History Museum. The she-wolf out in front is under restoration, so don't look for it. Inside, they have a special exhibition on war, mostly on WW2. It's interesting to note that Moldovans are coming to terms with the Soviet occupation of Moldova that began with the Molotov-Ribintrop Pact. Part of the exhibition deals with the mass deportations of Moldovans starting in 1940. History here is under large scale revision and Moldovans are coming to grips with the past. And don't miss the Tezaur room in the basement. Tezaur means hoard, in this case hoards of treasure - old silver and gold coins, jewelry and other valuables.
On a side note, Stefan Cel Mare is also undergoing restoration - the statue, I mean. The whole plaza around Steve is cordoned off while he gets a little TLC, which leaves many people in a conundrum. Where are they going to meet now?

Liked English Summer Camp? Want to see what they're up to now?

Centru de Zi Sperantsa finished their expansion and remodeling. See the results.

An RPCV from Ukraine sent us the URL to a page with over 30 grant examples written by Ukrainian volunteers. Click here to see them.

Kirsten Pihlaja wrote with this great news:

Shelly and Brett Faucett welcomed daughter #2 Sept. 25.
Annapurna  "Anna" Nai Faucett!

And Moriah Hart sent the following:

The amazing Paula Suedkamp is
planning a wedding for July 2004.

We received this sad news about M8 Rob Brown:

Robert Brown, son of Bridget Brown, campus minister at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, died Saturday, February 1, 2003, in a car accident in Maryville. Robert was a young man who had served in the Peace Corps in Moldova in Eastern Europe and had recently returned to the Maryville area. More on Rob Brown

Tired of waiting for the next installment of "From the Desk of Mr. Ocnitsa?" Want to hear what happened in his travels with Mr. Logan? Short of hearing it directly from the botul calului, there are always the old standbys - conjecture and rumor. If you have a good (or bad, risque and/or very amusing) tale of Mr. Ocnitsa's travels after COS, jot it down on the barroom napkin in front of you and send it to us at Just think of it as being cheaper than psychotherapy.

Matt sent in some great wedding pics (plus Lenin).

Like Little League? Take a look at the announcements page. (NEW LINK)


Just For Fun...

Copy the buna dimineatsa phrase below. After you click on the link below, scroll down to start the process.  Select an output format (wav for PCs, aiff for Macs). Select a different sample rate (8000 KHz) only if you use a dial-up connection. Enter the phrase below (or any phrase you like) in the text box, then click on the go button on the bottom right. Then laugh. Repeat as necessary.

Buna dimineatsa, domnul profesor de limba engleza!

Click here to open the site.

(Important: If you're using a dial-up connection, you may need to select the 8000 Hz sample rate in Step 3.)


An RPCV from Ukraine sent us the URL to a page with over 30 grant examples written by Ukrainian volunteers. Click here to see them.

M7 Tom Maxwell wrote in this lastest news on Little League in Moldova:
"There is a web link I'd love to see hooked up to the site.... I was really
involved in Little League in Moldova and I'm now administration after
coaching the Ungheni team for two years.  I have a website set up for Moldova LL baseball through LL's main site, which allows every team/league/district in the world to have a site.  The address is   It would give PCV's that started teams the possibility to read about them.  I'm still working on the site and I've got
a lot to do still, but it's worth visiting."

Tom sent in the following on 4-5-04:

Hello everyone,

I know I send this email out to everyone every year about this time, but I can't help it.  I think you all know how involved I was in Little League Baseball in Moldova over my Peace Corps career and I wanted to ask you once again if you would consider giving a few dollars to the cause. 

Baseball camp is entering its' fourth year.  The All-Star team will also be travelling to Poland to compete in the European Championships for the third straight year.  These events, plus regular season games, will cost close to $5000.  In a country where the average person receives a $20 a month salary, contributions from the US are critical. I don't ask you to contribute much, just $5 to $10.  Peace Corps has made it easy for you to donate.
Go to
Look down the list on the left.  Select DONATE NOW
Scroll down the list to Moldova Little League Baseball Program
You can enter the amount you wish to donate on the right - then scroll down to the bottom of the list and select "continue" 
You will then enter your credit card information
Once again, thank you, and take care,


Want to work in S.F.?
M5 Moriah Hart who used to work at the Center for Citizens Initiatives in San Francisco (CCISF) says that they are still looking for a few good people. If anyone wants to check it out, their website is . It's a non-profit dealing with Russia.

Salut tuturor / Privyet Mudjiki!

I heard this episode of "White Label" a few days ago and nearly fell out of my chair--a bit dangerous as I was driving at the time. 

As I live in a country where downloading is legal, I can--in good faith--forward on a link to the .mp3 file:

Cele bune si aveti grija de voi,
Jesse Sibarium

From the ends of the Earth...
Our very own lovely adventurer, Carrie Block, gives us a taste of life at the bottom of the world. OOOh, I'm getting all goose-pimply!
Click here for adventure!

And on to more inflammatory matters...
Chris Logan, apparently with too much time on his hands and a high pain threshhold, has sent in the following to enliven the pages of this respected web site.
{Cowardly Webmaster's note: These are not my opinions, well, at least not all of them. Anyway, send your comments and incendiary devices to him. Thanks.}
The War Begins Today...

In a much  more contrite mood, Chris Logan has sent us the following dispatch from his post in Chisinau with interesting news for all to read,
so read it!

M5 John Baggaley, aka Mr. MIT, just sent in a note that he has a web site with some info on Gagauzia, so click me baby!

M5 Moriah Hart sent in this:

Have you heard Dawn Lea Barber (MVI) is getting married Saturday, June 12, 2004 to David P. Thompson. Also she told me of the following upcoming MVI weddings Deanna Ryberg (Don't know if I've spelled the last name correctly), Rachael Krantz (redhead) and Eric (who is marrying the Moldovan he was dating)

Whoa! These guys have a lot going on. Take a look at the cool web site put together by an M9 trainee and chronicler of the M9 experience - .

A Report from My Vacation in Moldova (from Aug 2003)

As a few of you know, I'm currently on vacation in our beloved Moldova. It's been about five weeks now (with the exception of a ten-day trip to Greece) and I'm still getting used to it. I have to say that not much has changed, other than just about every other person has a cell phone, even though reception is spotty in the countryside. People still stop and stare at the American in the village and town. However, a big improvement is the lack of power outages, though privatization meant a hike in rates.

Moldovans are still queuing up at embassies to get out of here, a good thing in a way since money from abroad is the only thing keeping this country afloat. While Aurica and I were in Greece, we visited her cousin who had made her way there and ended up marrying a Greek farmer. The farm was two kilometers from the Aegean coast, so we played farmers during the mornings, then cooled off with an afternoon dip in the sea. Her cousin also clued us into "The Bus Ride," a 36-hour bus trip direct from Athens to Chisinau, which we caught within sight of the farm along the main north-south highway. There were 24 other people on the bus, all Moldovans working in Greece. What amazed me most was the ease of transit across Greece, Macedonia and Serbia (Americans no longer need visas for Serbia and Macedonia, and Moldovans just pay small fees for transit visas). None of the first three border crossings took more than 15-20 minutes. The major sticking points were at the Romanian entry and exit points. You'd think those Moldovans were major criminals by the way the Romanian border police treated them. We had to leave one woman at Oancea (across the Prut from Cahul) as we left Romania, since the border police were unhappy that she didn't have previous border crossing stamps in her passport. Cruel, and pointless to me since the only thing keeping Moldova under contol (and less of a problem to the Romanians) is the ability of Moldovans to go work in other countries.

On the positive side, wife Aurica, frustrated by a lack of wedding invitations (zero, in fact) during the last four years in the states, is ecstatic with the impending wedding of her youngest sister, Vica, who lives in France. Of course, we didn't learn about this until after we were over here (in Greece as a matter of fact), so I didn't pack my suit. This means,of course, that I will soon be off to the Talcioc in search of better duds.

Other positive news: After claiming she couldn't remember how to speak Romanian, daughter Ana Maria is once again chattering away in the mother tongue after opting to stay with the grandparents and cousin in Cimislia, while we went to Greece. Nothing like necessity to jar one's memory.


The focus of WDSC in its first installment is M5 Christine Cho. For those of you who forgot, Christine was a TEFL at a Russian school in Cahul (one of the numerous Cahuligans). This past Christmas vacation, I had the chance to visit Christine in Los Angeles, where she teaches second grade at a local school. She said she prefered second graders since the class sizes are smaller for K through 3rd and also because the older kids can be a little intimidating (SCARY perhaps?). Christine seems to have readjusted well to life in the US and has settled into domesticity with new hubby Ray, though she still likes to venture beyond the confines of LA, such as going to Vegas and losing all her money (those of us who ventured to Iasi or Galati on a regular basis can certainly understand). Christine is also our new resident expert on hybrid gas/electric vehicles, having purchased one of the gas savers late last year. If you're interested in hearing about life on the front lines of education in LA, or would like to know how many miles per gallon her car gets, drop us a line at