Ethnocultural Festival

Day 79 – Today was for me one of the most beautiful days in Moldova so far, as well as a very pleasant working day, because we participated with the CCR team in an ethnocultural festival, where we even had our own stand.

Thanks to groups from Gagauzia, Azerbaijan, Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and others, who created a really friendly atmosphere there. I have to say that this event was just another proof for me that, in my opinion, Moldova is a more tolerant country towards other nationalities and cultures than it is in the Czech Republic.

What Is Chisinau Like?

Day 68 – Those daily surprises and paradoxes… Since I arrived to Moldova, we had hot water in our apartment just twice. Today, for a change, the water wasn’t working at all. It started to rain on my way to the city center, so not only was the trolleybus ride for me even more „enjoyable“ than usual, but there was also a nice surprise waiting for me on the way to work. 😀

Day 74 – To the question what I think about Chisinau and how I perceive it, I most often answer the fact, that I feel like I am in the town and in the village at the same time. In Chisinau, I feel like I traveled back in time for decades and overall, I don’t have the feeling that I live in the capital at all. If I had to compare with Brno (which is the second biggest city in the Czech Republic) – Chisinau is almost half smaller, but with about twice the population.

For me, both the whole country and this city as well is full of significant contrasts – for example also in case of buildings (yes, there are McDonald’s too) or social classes of the population. The streets are full of both new modern cars, which often compete with each other (and I feel like there are perhaps more Škoda cars than in Czechia), as well as pensioners who sell everything from fruit, vegetables, clothing to the possibility to use personal weight for 1 lei. The dress, the false eyelashes, and the golden teeth (ok, these mostly in case of the older generation) are fashionable here.

When I read through different opinions on Chisinau, I thought that I could understand why for someone it is not really a city that he would fall in love with at first sight. On the other hand, I have been here for almost three months and I must say that I don’t regret this decision at all, because it’s an extremely interesting experience (even though those trolleybuses are really a struggle for me, no doubt about that 😅 …).

Recycling in Moldova

Day 67 – “If you want to fight for human rights, gender equality, the support of minorities or for example for better education, then come to Moldova, because there is a plenty of room to improve totally everything!”, one of the local girls told me.

Even though the overall situation of the country itself is not easy at all, I am honestly glad that there are some groups (mostly with young people) who are also interested in ecological topics. They are actively trying to do something and inform and spread the awareness to people around them as well. Today, thanks to ABS Recycling Moldova and EcoVisio, I joined a group of young people and went with them to one organized event. We visited the only place in Moldova for recycling, where people sort all waste by hand in the middle of a huge smelly odor.

Because I visited a similar place during volunteer project in the south of Turkey,  I reflected on differences between them. This place was, in my opinion, very dirty and with a huge bad smell. In Turkey, the place was much cleaner, more organized and the bad smell was significantly eliminated by the washing of trash. Women and men of different age categories work in “sorting section” here, while in Turkey it was only women, mostly Syrian refugees. Here, some places were “decorated” with images from Orthodox religion. In Turkey, there were praying rooms near the workplace.

And the Czech brands could be seen in the south of Turkey too, but here I didn’t need to put any big effort to find them…

Possibility of Free Movement and Free Decision-making

Day 65 – I appreciate a lot when someone from locals invites me home. These moments create long talks with any kind of topics over the cup/glass of tea, coffee, liquor, wine or beer and thanks to the huge hospitality I am also able to taste a great homemade food.

I find it interesting to listen to the locals talking about the missing their family members who have traveled abroad, sometimes even forever, for the sake of a better life. At the same time, I am also thinking about the people I work with here, who didn’t plan to travel abroad or didn’t want to, but they found it as their, more or less, last option. And all this is happening at a time when I am in the position of a person who “freely” decided to go abroad and dedicate part of my life to volunteering…

Festival of the Sacrifice at the Charity Center

Day 56 – Thanks to the focus of my project, I am surrounded by people from dozens of countries around the world. These people come from different background, face different life situations and are from different cultures, which are also related to religion.

In these days, one of the main Muslim holidays – „Festival of the Sacrifice“ (Eid Al Adha/Kurban Bayramı), was celebrated. Also the Charity Center for Refugees joined this celebration and thanks to the cooperation with the United Arab Emirates we were able to organize lunch for roughly 200 people (regardless of their religion).

A big part of this lunch was a surprise for women and children from groups of refugees and asylum seekers. As the beginning of the school year is approaching, new backpacks and rich school equipment have made a great joy and caused many smiles. 🙂

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