I gave my first English lesson to 9 year old “V” tonight. I met her during my very first photo walk when I heard her counting from 1-10 in English with one of her friends, then our paths crossed again the day I joined the neighbohood kids. Yesterday she asked me if I could give her lessons in English, and I said yes. As a Peace Corps Volunteer I am not allowed to receive any pay outside that which I receive through the Peace Corps. Moldovans tend to have a hard time not giving you something for your time, so we’ll see where this leads. After a bit of English we switched to Romanian for a few reasons. One, so she could see that I make mistakess (TONS!) so it’s totally ok if she makes mistakes, too, and two, so I could get some practice. To me, that is payment because she’s helping me and I’m helping her! It’s an equal exchange. What some PCV’s do, though, is they accept “gifts” (ie, if one of the parents travel, they received items from abroad, or something as simple as a meal). That totally works for me, although I honestly do not expect anything in return.
I can’t wait to continue our lessons! I told her tonight that I have a little exam on Friday, so I need her to help me pretend we are at a store and buying items. I think she’ll have fun with it! I may get all of the other kids involved, too! We’ll see where it goes… This is fun!