Thursday, February 5, 2009

February 5, 2009

For some reason I don't seem to have as much "down" time on this trip as I had the last time we were here. So I haven't been as faithful in writing on the blog. It should be easier next week when we won't be in the class room. Preston will be visiting with the Baylor interns, the faculty at the college, and trying to locate agencies for the students in the Moldova college to do their internships.
Every time we come we learn new things about the culture. The Baylor interns have been very adventuresome and traveled all around the city. They told us that they discovered while shopping for clothes that you are not to try on anything unless you are going to buy it. Now what if you try it on and don't like it? Guess you have to buy it anyway! Joy said that they went to one store and she saw a ring that she liked. She picked it up and started to put it on to see if it fit her when the salesperson grabbed it out of her hand and put it away.
The Moldovan people we have talked to have absolutely no sympathy for the economic crisis in the US. They say we are so much better off even in a crisis than they have ever been. So why should they feel sorry for us. Again, as last time we visited, they say they would love to be a poor person in America because they would have more than they have here. I don't think that is true but you can't convince them of that.
I have been surprised that people we meet in different places seem to know all the people we know in other places in the city. It just seems like a small community to me but it is a large city, 1 million people. I mentioned this at dinner last night and they said it is because I am interacting with "believers" and that is a small community--that they do know each other.
The things they like to have from the US are interesting: brown sugar (to make molasses), maple flavoring (to make syrup), barbecue sauce, boxed brownie mix, flower and vegetable seeds, US candy (even though they make very good candy here). Would any of us ever think of making our own molasses or syrup? I certainly wouldn't!
Our interpreter is a young man that is a student in another university in the city and is studying journalism. However, sometimes he gets really excited about what we are teaching. Today Preston was talking about something and the interpreter said "I think we could find that. Let's go to the library and search for it." I think it is interesting that he gets so involved in the material and is not just translating without any interest in the topic.

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