This weekend has been very COLD!!! This morning it was 1 degree with snow flurries. The sun is shining now so it should warm up but the predicted high is 19. This is the kind of weather we thought we would have the whole time we are here so we are thankful for the warm (40’s) days we had. It is hard to think about 40 degrees being warm!
Saturday morning we met the parents of one of the guys that stays here. They came from the U.S. for a couple of weeks. Genie had on a Baylor sweatshirt when we met his dad so he immediately started talking about colleges in the U.S. He asked if all students and faculty signed a statement of faith at Baylor. When we said no he said, ”Oh, so it isn’t a Christian university.” That was a statement not a question! Preston said that he disagreed with him and the father’s comment was “It depends on your definition of Christian.” To him a university is only Christian if everyone there is Christian. We also had a conversation with Alex in which he said that treating women as equal to men was against the Bible. The funny thing is that he certainly treats Lucia well. They are a very loving couple. In fact the whole family is very affectionate with each other especially the children with Lucia. Often when we are watching a movie, Irina and Maria will both be cuddled up with her in a big chair.
Saturday morning Alex left to meet some friends from Ukraine. A while later he called to say that he was at a Moldova wine expo and wanted Lucia and us to come. Wine is Moldova’s top export and supposedly the Queen of England drinks only Moldovan wine. We took a taxi and drove through parts of Chisinau we have not previously seen. We first noticed that it was more upscale than we had seen before and then we saw what looked to us like university buildings. Sure enough we were in the university district. We learned that there are 7 universities in Moldova. It reminded us of the areas around Rice and SMU. The city looked really beautiful with the yards and buildings covered in snow.
When we got to the exposition it was in something like a fair grounds area only the buildings were better than the HOT buildings. The place was set up like little restaurants with tables for each wine distributor and there were lots of distributors and lots of people drinking Moldovan wine. It was really very interesting and a strong indicator of Moldova’s entry into capitalism.
In addition to wine, there were several booths that had Moldovan crafts for sale--mostly pottery. Genie had a wonderful time with that and the pottery may make up in weight going home for the books we brought over.
When we left we walked about a mile in the snow to meet our taxi. It was really cold—probably close to 0 degrees. Our faces, ears and feet got awful cold but it was exciting and felt good to walk. Moldavians like to walk and this was our first opportunity to do much walking. We have both noticed something strange. Neither of us has been bothered by our usual joint pains, nor with indigestion. That seems very strange to us since we have not been following our usually diets and maybe that is what it is. However, we are eating things here we usually avoid at home like carbs. They use a lot of bread, potatoes, rice and pasta as fillers. Preston tries to go light on them, but cannot avoid them as well as he does at home. Neither of us however think we have gained much weight. Of course we may be fooling ourselves since we do not have a scale. We are only judging by the fit of our cloths.
Genie is not feeling well this morning (Sunday) so we are skipping church. She either has a cold or allergies. We hope she can get over it before the long flight home on Friday. Preston is already dreading the long hours in the little cramped seats. Debbie and Susan will be picking us up at the DFW airport so at least we will not have to drive home.
The Moldovan adventure is getting close to being over! We both have mixed feelings about that. It has been a great experience and we will greatly miss our Moldovan friends and family. It is hard to think we may never see them again. On the other hand we have truly missed family and friends in Waco and can hardly wait to see you all again.