This all started a couple of weeks ago when I went to Chisinau with one of my 12th grade students, who won 2nd place in the (Regional) International Peace Corps Creative Writing Olympics.
As we were walking around the city, I was telling her I couldn’t make up my mind if I wanted to stick around Chisinau for the night or go back to Varatic. Whenever someone asks her to do something, it doesn’t matter if she’s been working all day helping her mom with parties at their event venue and hardly had any sleep from the night before: she always says yes. She does this, she says, because chances are she is going to have a good time. Our life on this world is short and we must take advantage of opportunities when they are presented to us. So, she suggested I say yes and stick around, and I’m glad I did because I ended up staying not only one night but two, and I had a really good time.
Then it became time to practice my “yes” saying again. This is quite unlike my behavior when I’m in the States, but in Moldova I enjoy being home… and in my room. Like my student said, however, when I do actually get out and go do something I do have a good time…. it’s just a matter of getting there. So, when another student asked me to celebrate her birthday with her, I couldn’t say no. She’s been a great friend and it meant a lot to her for me to go. Even though I was comfortable at home, I went anyways, and I’m so glad I said yes.
We started out in the forest, where I brought my hammock, Jungle Speed game, and we had a barbeque.
Then we went to the river, where the kids went swimming to enjoy the warm evening.
When we were mostly dried off, it became time to pull out a “disk” (which I found out today is actually a part for a tractor!) and we made the best homemade french fries I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Now a couple of weeks have passed and I was invited to visit three monasteries in Moldova. You see, Moldova has over 50 monasteries and I’ve only ever been to one (last year, which this same group of kids). I thought if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all… but boy was I wrong! There wasn’t anything else on my calendar so I said yes to the full-day excursion. When I fell asleep Friday night, the forecast for the next day said 85 degrees and sunny, but when I woke up at 5am it was pouring and quite possibly the biggest thunderstorm I’ve ever witnessed in Moldova was brewing. It would have been so easy to call my student up and tell her I wasn’t going because of the weather and I’d much rather take advantage of the rainy Saturday afternoon and stay in bed all day and read… but no, I said yes.
I have to be honest, though. I was kind of grouchy for the first two monasteries because I didn’t sleep well (you know when you’re anticipating something super early in the morning that you don’t want to miss so you wake up every hour to check the time, and freak out thinking you’ve missed it even though the clock says 2am? Yea… that happened), I was hungry, and I was wearing the wrong shoes (like usual) and so my feet were wet and freezing. With that being said, though, there was such a calm that came over me as I was walking through the monasteries (check out this post to read more!). By the third monastery, I wanted to see more and I could not believe how different they were.
So, I said yes. And “yes” is a word that will be heard more often in the village as I prepare to say my goodbyes. Two years already. Seriously? Yes.