14 July 2008

Moldova and over and over

Hope nobody minds me going on and on about my trip to Moldova, it was just a jam-packed experience that I apparently have a lot to say about.
Well, that and I have over 500 pictures.

Here are the greatest bunch of folks you'd ever want to meet. Each one brought something special to the party. It was an honor and a privilege getting to know them all. Wanna meet them?
Let's start with Liz and Mercy, shall we? These two earthy angels volunteer the whole of every summer acting as coordinators for Outreach Moldova volunteers. They made each one of us feel welcome and comfortable. They gave us newbies a chance to get acclimated, gently guiding and suggesting; instead of telling us how to interact with the girls, they led by example. They're also no bull-shit, you-get-what-you-see straight talking ladies. Oh - and they're funny as hell.

I think they are both about the coolest, warmest, nicest and most down to earth people I have ever met and any minute in their company was a treat. Hell - I'd go back to Moldova just to hang out with them.

Me and some of my bunk-mates:
Maria, Eunice, Superstar Sharon, Martha's twin Mary
Mary's twin Martha, myself, Theresa

Q: How many Irish volunteers does it take to blow up a kiddie pool?

A: Uh, yeeeaah, that's gonna take One Moldovan fella with an airpump.
Nice try though folks.
Maria, the always smiling Donna and Elena.

At a restaurant, on one of our two afternoons off.
Maria, and the Dublin blond bombshells: Linda and Ailish (call her Eyelash she won't mind ;-)
Maria was one of our interpreters. We had about 5 to 7 at any given time, mostly high school girls with sweet personalities and great English. They made the experience a lot easier with their mad language skillz - plus we all shared a lot of laughs.

A couple of group shots above and below.

Anne (beautiful singing voice) Liz (Moldova's Dolly Parton) and Mary (or as I like to call her - Trouble)

Suzanne, Mary, Martha, Theresa, Sharon, Me, Peter (Moldova's Kenny Rogers)
Our first afternoon off, at the lake, knocking back a few jars.

Olga, Tina (holy crap is she funny!), Suzanne (yeah, she's kinda funny too, I guess) and Victoria.
Those of keen eye may notice Suzanne's is sporting a hot super glam look. Not sure by whom - but she got her makeup done that day.
So did Peter.
And here he is paying it forward and doing someone's nails. Gotta love a guy who ain't afraid of a little makeup.
Chilling out in the afternoon: Mariana, Irina, Luda and Mary.

Maria and Maria.
Volunteer Maria is a wonder, I swear that woman never sits still. During any of the daily downtime we volunteers had, while the rest of us were eating, smoking, napping, watching movies, reading or chatting she was busy baking scones and apple tarts for us or knitting up sweaters for the babies - thus she became my knitting guru....
That's right y'all, I knitted a sweater while I was there!! A tiny little sweater, but a sweater none-the-less. With lots of help and instruction, Maria and Eunice inducted me into the knitting mafia.
Vera and Eunice, the sweetest person on the planet and the third member of the holy knitting triad.
Theresa - one of my new favorite people, as cool as they come and cuter than a goddamn button. I adore you Paulie!!

Martha's twin Mary, Sharon, Theresa
Mary's twin Martha and Suzie.

Oh boy! I love this group. Let's start with the twins - the dynamic duo from County Clare. These two were the bunk mothers - always looking after us, feeding us, cleaning up, keeping peace and just generally being good mommies to anyone needing one.
Sharon - only twenty years old and this was her second trip to Moldova, with a third planned this September! But don't think she's some boring goody-two-shoes, this girl is hysterically funny, that is when she talks slow enough for anyone to understand her.
And Suzie - our patron saint. Suzie is the reason we all were there, the reason many of the girls have a good life, or even a life at all. Suzie started the charity, Outreach Moldova, and is living there full time to oversee it. Although officially the orphanage is a state owned and run operation, as far as I am concerned anything good happening there is a direct result of this woman's actions. She blows me away. And she's my friggin age! Talk about getting a complex from not having achieved anything in my life!

I could go on and on and post a ton more pictures but I'll bring it to a close here, great trip, great new friends, great experience. Our group of volunteers are planning a reunion in September and I can't wait to see them all again.

Peace out.

p.s. Have I mentioned how much I love Liz & Mercy?


Becky said...

Kel looks like you were in great company! God bless these people for caring so much and knowing the true meaning of compassion. They are little earth angels, and so are you.

P.S. So do you! Who was straighting your hair over there? The dude who likes makeup? (kidding!!)

Eileen said...

Thank you for your sharing. And I don't just mean your pictures. It does a heart good to hear of the giving folk of this world,the ones who want nothing in return, instead of the crap and all the bad stuff that is always talked and written about. Thank you Kelly, for being one of those people.

Anonymous said...

Thanks kelsa for taking the time to make your experience in Moldava come to life for us.
Why do you think the Irish do so much "helping " work ?
Love, Helen

beckajane said...

yet again you leave with breathless with need to actually do something worthwhile with my life. miss you kell bell

Megaken said...

Very nice, looks like a very rewarding good time.