Thanksgiving in Moldova 2013. On Thanksgiving Day I traveled from my village to Chisinau and then on to the raion center of Straseni. It takes about 4 hours to do that. I arrived at noon just in time to join several other Peace Corps volunteers doing a program for about 50 senior citizens at the Neo-Humanist Center, an ngo center for the elderly. We even were interviewed by Moldova 1, the public TV station while doing it. A great way to share our American culture with the locals. Yvette, one of the volunteers, lives and works here. After the "show" we retired to Yvette's quarters and cooked our turkey dinner. That's Robyn giving you the high five and Yvette in green is right behind her. Sue is getting down to making a menorah since this is also the first night of hanukkah. Georgie is peeling potatoes and watching 3 mobile phones at the same time?!! Romy is making potato latkes. She looks happy about the way they are turning out. Of course, there's always plenty of time for a nap while the turkey is cooking. The turkey came out golden brown. Time to set the table and light the menorah. Yvette, our host, enjoys a plate of food. And then its time to play a game. Slide the flat chocolate mint from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands.
My second Thanksgiving was on Saturday. Here you see Stephanie and I and Molly (not in the picture) arriving in Balti (say belts) for Thanksgiving with about 30 other PCV's . Balti is about two hours north of Orhei. We find our host, David, digging a hole in the ground ! What for? He's building a fire pit (a propane gas fire pit) to deep fry turkey with. We believe this a first in Moldova. Since we are many, there are two turkeys to be cooked. Dan and Walt wire the birds up so they can be handled in the boiling oil. And the turkey is in the pot, just a short while later, the turkey is done. And it makes its way to the table....up on the 5th floor. Meanwhile the kitchen crew has been busy making potatoes, green bean cassarole, sweet potatoes, curried cauliflower, lasagna, corn bread. Wow! What a feast. Followed by games of course...blowing bubbles with the magic hooka. And the tradition of the Northern Lodge is to also sing some Christmas Carols which I am proud to say is led by me.