This last Tuesday I had my first birthday in Moldova. The day started with my host mom leaving notes all around the house wishing me many years in Romanian. It reminded me of what my parents did for me when I was little – which was nice.
My walk to school is about 30 minutes each way, for some reason this day I was running late. So I was basically running to school. I show up completely gross from sweating, I open the door for my classroom and all the kids are there to surprise me. They scream “Mulț ani” which means many years and through balloons at me while giving me flowers and chocolate. I was completely overwhelmed in a good way. The director then came in and gave me a vase from Moldova, which has hand carvings of village homes and strings with the Moldovan colors. He presented it to me, then took my hand and kissed it. It was a little weird, but I learned later that it is to shoe deep respect. That night my host mom gave me a large masa, large meal, and had many people come over. The whole day was a surprise, and I was reminded how wonderful the people are here in Moldova!

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