Archive | March, 2012

Is EVS just for fun?

28 Mar

To anybody who may be suspicious about my job here in Moldova, I would answer that it’s true that we Evs volunteers enjoy our time abroad, but we also do concretely work and help our host community. But let’s go into detail.

I’m working for a no-profit organization based in Comrat city, Gagauzia; the organization is  called MirasMoldova and it aims to promote Gagauzian identity and selfawareness, especially among youngsters. I’m personally in charge with the thematic area of journalism and social media, together with another volunteer from Italy.

Therefore, our time is devoted to interviews, reportages, videotaping and photo galleries concerning the Gagauzian ethic minority. Every week we meet different interesting people, who are known in the local community for their peculiar skills or experiences, as they are painters, musicians, singers, teachers, or even youngsters that got special awards. Thanks to this task of ours, we have the change to spend a lot of time in contact with the local community and to interact, if not start our integration, with people in Comrat.

After the videotaping time, the next steps are gathering all the materials and making montages or writing articles about the topic selected. The videos are always provided with English subtitles, while the writing pieces are often  followed by photo galleries. Once completed, these reportages are meant to be broadcasted on the local Tv channel, and/or published online. As a matter of fact, we are in charge with the MirasMoldova’s facebook page and two websites, that are both in English: www.miras.md  that is our organization’s official webpage, and www.gagauzia.info.md, the website that collects all Evs volunteers’ activities and projects of the last years.

Besides our duties strictly related with journalistic projects, we’ve been asked to help and cooperate with the volunteers of the care and social-service field. These are two girls that take care of kids in a couple of different orphanages in the area and they also work in a centre for disable children. Regardless specific thematic areas each of us focuses in, our group of volunteers come together for the two meetings we have been organizing for the local youth in Miras Moldova’s office. The Youth Club, on Mondays, is about nowadays socio-cultural issues, like self identification and how this is related with macro-topic such as community and society, while on Fridays the English Club, conducted by my American room-mate, give the youngsters a chance to practice English.

Moreover,a new club is about to start! The italian Club, on Thursday afternoons at 3.30. I’m so proud to be the one who is going to lead what will be a window for Moldovian youth into Italian culture and language.

As you can see, Evs volunteers in Comrat are a team with a high goal-directed schedule. The fact that we put a lot of effort in ‘socialization’ and ‘drinking-cultural workshops’ is just meant to strengthen our collaboration and bond relationship in order to maximize successful  team projects.

 

 

Montages about Gagauzia

24 Mar

Gagauzian artworks made out of seeds

Miss Comrat 2012

-click CC icon on the bottom of the videos for English subtitles

Dmitri Savastin opened up to EVS volunteers of Miras Moldova

24 Mar

Interview with Gagauzian famous painter

-click on CC icon on the bottom for English subtitles

In front of Comrat’s church

22 Mar

In front of this beauty view i’m writing today, sitting on a bench outside, the notebook on my lap. There’s people passing by, but i’m still, just like that yellow church down there, staring at me it listens to my sighs. The sun is tapping gently my shoulders, a slight emotion gets bigger in my chest, and I breathe it out. ffffffff…

Here I am andI’m not. I’m flowing halfway my body, and the beating  life that surround me, far from anything, from myself as well. Separated, and melted at once. As if I’m looking through a fish tank, where mankind are on their way, as if I got crumbled into the street’s dust, get lost into the smoke of one, of those open-fires, into the car’s roar. Stuck in between, captivity and wild freedom.

Don’t know where I’m right now, if the scene down there is real. I might be in my room at Home, reading a book cross-legged in bed, or I’m daydreaming on a sidewalk in my hometown. Ahead in the future.  I might be asleep at the other side of the ocean, not ready yet for another work day. Back in the past. I’m not there, I ‘m not here..?

I guess I got lost, but who cares. I never fall, I’m used to bounce. As a weird kind of basketball.

Spring’s finally in Moldova!

19 Mar

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We were waiting and waiting on spring, hoping to survive long enough to see trees blooming here in Moldova. And today,  something weird happening to pay our patience back: there are 24°c outside. I can’t believe it but it does look like our Evs winter time is finally over.

To me, this was the very coldest winter I’ve ever experience; I had never had the pleasure before to see how living in temperatures of minus 20C degrees is like. Telling the true, the freezing cold weather didn’t last a lot. After those three painful weeks at the beginning of February, when the temperatures plummeted to -25c°, it remained around the safe zone of minus 10 to minus 3 for about two months.

The reason why winter is such a hard season in Moldova is due to the poor condition of houses, pipes and gas sistem. Our heater kept going on and off as well as the running water, while nobody knew why and especially for how long it would have lasted each time. When people told me these ‘little problems’ were yet part of the daily winter life, I thought there was a misunderstanding. ‘This is Modova.’ they said shrugging their shoulders and smiling. Oh, how I would do like to be as easy and positive as Moldovan people.

However, today it’s spring time. Tempeartures has sprinted up by roughly 2o degrees in a week, as at the beginning of last week there were 4-5°c whereas today temperatures touched 24°c at 2pm.

I can’t believe we can walk on the streets in shorts, and leave our heavy winter coat finally resting at the hallstand.

Streets in Comrat

15 Mar

“They look like RAVIOLI!”

5 Mar

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The last night we spent on our on-arrival workshop in Costesti (Chisinau) we EVS volunteers had our second cooking session in the hotel. We made ‘Coltunasi’ from scratch, as we did for ‘Placinta’ the evening before.

‘Cortunasi’ are a typical Moldovian-Romanian stuffed pasta, that is shaped as either the Italian ‘Ravioli’ or the Italian ‘Tortellini’. Even though Cortunasi filled with meat are pretty common, ‘Placinta’ recipe is usually the one to be followed concerning both the dough and toppings’ making processes.Placinta recipe, click here

After rolling out the dough balls in big circles onto a floured surface, cut the dough sheets into squares (about 15×15 cm). Pour brenza, cabbage or mash potato stuffing on top, then bend a corner of one of the dough squares over its opposite.

Then start the shaping procedure.

If you want to give your Cortunasi a ‘ravioli shape’, push gently the tip of a fork all around the double edge in order to close the dough completely, giving it that typical notched pattern.  If you prefer a ‘tortellini shape’, tighten carefully the double edge with your fingers ending up with a smooth stuffed triangle. Then grab the two angles on the bottom of the dough triangle, gather them together and press carefully their melting point to tied the corners up.

Put the Cortunasi in a big pot with boiling salty water and let them cook for about 10 minutes with the lid on top. Remember to keep an eye on them and stir occasionally.

They are usually serve with no souse, but I would saultè them with a bit of butter and fresh sage.

Buon appetito!