We arrived safely in Chisinau, Moldova yesterday at 4:30 pm. We had been traveling for 24 hours! There is an eight-hour difference in time from central standard time. Our trip was good with every plane right on schedule. We had enough time between planes that we could walk around before getting on another plane to sit again for a while! The longest flight was from Wahington Dulles to Vienna which was a little over 8 hours.
We were met at the airport by Oleg and Vitali Turlac. Oleg is our contact at the college where we will be teaching. They brought us to the house where we are staying with the same family we stayed with on our previous visit. It was good to see all of them again. Alex and Lucia are the parents of six children from 20 to 4 years old. It is a very busy house!
We are very comfortable in a private room with a bath. The house is relatively warm (we have on sweaters and sweatshirts) and there is plenty of hot water for showers. We were concerned if they would have enough heat and hot water. Alex says since it has been warmer this winter than usual that there is enough heat in Chisinau. They get their gas from Russia and if the winter is very cold Moldova sometimes doesn't get enough to keep the houses very warm.
We are resting today and will put finishing touches on our lecture for tomorrow. We will begin with a meeting with the dean of social work, Vadym Burlac. This meeting is very crucial to our visit since we will determining exactly what they expect from us. As Vitali says, Moldovans are not use to planning ahead. So as we have tried to plan with them before we came it was hard to know exactly what they want us to do.
When we were here in 2005 the president and academic dean of the College of Theology and Education said the best way to help them was to provide the opportunity of their faculy members to get masters of social work degrees. At the present time none of the social work faculty have any social work degree. Their degrees are primarily in theoloy and psychology. We plan to teach the first courses in the masters program while we are here. If this plan goes well, we would like to plan for other courses to be taught once or twice a year. The long term goal is to provide them with an MSW.
We will keep you posted on the progress of this adventure! We would love to hear from you. You can respond to our blog or send us e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Please remember us in your thoughts and prayers! Genie