Thursday, July 8, 2010

Site Announcements!

Tuesday was a very exciting day for PC Trainees in Moldova; after being here almost a month, we were given our permanent site assignments!

After swearing in as an official volunteer on August 18, I’ll be headed to Stefan Voda Raion.  (A raion, pronounced rayon, is the administrative level above a municipality; it is like a county or state in the U.S.)

Stefan Voda is in the very east part of the country, in the southern part of that “leg,” and is bordered by Ukraine on three sides.  (If you look at the shape of Moldova, it kind of has two legs; Stefan Voda is in the eastern leg).  The region is warm and sunny, renowned for its wine.  And this is a country renowned for its wine, so this is kind of the Bordeaux of Moldova. The region is only separated from the Black Sea by a sliver of Ukraine (that used to belong to Moldova before Stalin rearranged things).

In any case, I am spitting distance from Ukraine; in fact, I could easily hike to Ukraine and back in a day.  My village has about 3,000 people, probably a little smaller given that a lot of Moldovans work abroad.  It’s primary industry is agriculture; a farm coop employs about 500 people producing dried fruits, tobacco, and other products, and a winery employs about 300 people.  These are VERY big business ventures in Moldovan terms.

I’ll be working at the town health center and the one school, which has about 250 students (1st through 12th grade).  I’m preliminarily slated to teach health to 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11 grades.  It is unique to have 11 graders in the Health Program; I am one of only 3 people (out of 15) from my program’s training class who will be teaching that grade.  I am very excited for this happy; I requested older students and my program manager clearly agreed that I would work well with that group.

As for the health center, I don’t know much about it yet, but the health centers vary a lot from town to town.

This weekend, we will have our “Site Team Conference” in Chisinau, which will be the first time I meet my future partners (two teachers and one health care provider from the clinic).  After two days of conferencing, I leave Chisinau to spend two more nights in my village, where I will stay with my future host family and meet more potential partners and community leaders.

There will be five volunteers in my Raion in total, two from the Community Organization and Development program and three of us from the Health Program.  Two volunteers have been there for a year already; the rest of us will be new this fall.

Needless to say, I’m pretty darn excited.  More to come once I’m back to site!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I am so excited for you Zach! That sounds very delightful.