I was pleasantly surprised by the small town in which I was placed for the first 2 months of service. My location in one of the high-end villages called Cricova. Cricova is known for its wine and champagne aptly named Cricova.
Cricova winery is known as the second largest wine cellar in Moldova, after the world’s largest Milestii Mici. Cricova uses 75 miles of old limestone quarried tunnels that are said to have existed since the 15th century.
Back in the soviet days, the Cricova region was the designated land for vineyards for all of the USSR due to the rich soil. I’ve been told by Moldovans that when the economy was better, the winery employed over double the workforce it employs today. Despite the changes, the vibrant rolling countryside is quilted with perfectly sowed plots of grapevines.
The first day in Moldova was wrought with emotions heightened by a lack of sleep and extensive traveling. Letting go of how heavily I covet my time with my family, no matter how much I recognize that it’s necessary and required to become a better person for them, was extremely difficult.
With much needed sleep and the first day of Romanian language class under my belt, I still felt anxiety until my host mother’s niece, her two best friends, and their kids came over. Their significant others grilled pork over a live fire, and we sat around a table for 3 hours and shared laughs despite the fact that I had no clue what they were saying with the exception of sporadic explanations from one of the husbands who studied english “when he has time.”
I haven’t met a person here who doesn’t speak Romanian, Russian and at least a little of another language– usually English or Italian. It’s extremely impressive and is reflective of the overwhelming intelligence and education of the people I’ve encountered.
My host mother’s house complete with renovations sits back on her land with the vibrant large garden welcoming visitors in the forefront.
Here are the details on my house.
It is an older house, but according to locals, people tend to put their money into renovations rather than saving money. We do not have a stove or running water in the kitchen, but we do have a small new bathroom with running water. I am expecting a much less luxurious house at my permanent site.