Sunday, 30 October 2016

Election day

Oct 30 2016  It is election day in Moldova today, they are trying to elect a new president, for which there has been no election for 20 years. Generally this has been an appointed position by parliament. so it is an interesting day. If no one candidate gets over 50% of the vote, there will be a second election in 2 weeks with the top 2 candidates. One, is pro Russian , the other top candidate is pro Western and very openly anti corruption. So far it had been peaceful and we hope that continues. This country is truly at a crossroads. It is truly difficult to see such poverty in many and the few elite drive in very expensive cars, seemingly openly flaunting their wealth. We had a chance to see poverty this week, visiting a member in Bălți with a medical problem, who lived in a shanty in abject poverty. In a small room, she had an open brick fireplace that was both heating and cooking. The outhouse had only a sheet and was shared by several in the same yard. This was in the middle of the second largest city in Moldova. It often breaks our hearts to see this. When we see the aged out sweeping to get enough to eat, it is just heart-wrenching. On a brighter note, we had a great Halloween party at the Church this Friday, great attendance of over 90, many were people we had never seen. Deb and I did a station of cupcake decorating- we were to do pumpkin carving, but could find none, most are squash like quite thick. Pumpkins are not a tradition here, nor is trick or treating. We also made popcorn balls, we found marshmallows and made a real treat. We try lots of new cooking here, but always an Ameri-Canada theme. Hey, we had a linger longer after Church today, we had warned that more food needed to be brought. So we brought a large pasta salad, and cake-lemon zucchini. So what was the meal? A well balanced meal of pasta salad, cake and ice cream left over in the fridge from Halloween. Does it get any better? Multiple pics today.
The first 3 pics are from a hill on the south of Chișinău. Fall colors are out, but mostly yellow and brown. It is still very pretty

A little too much like a moose hunting trail

The woods behind our apartment, all oaks and maples. Maples here are mostly yellow, very little red.

These 2 pictures are just maple leaves, kind of Canadian, but yellow. Still pretty to see.

Sister Edwards refused to jump in a pile of leaves for a picture, imagine.

Our cake decorating table. Some of those young kids ate 5 cupcakes each.

Apple bobbing, with Elder Tita and Gore in the back supervising.

Sister Nicol and Jerez were supervising the donut game. We did not even know one could find donuts here. From left, Vitally, Elder Griffith, Chiril.

Elder Sanchez mummy wrapped, the girl to his left had honey cookies, she was buzzing all night as she gave them away.

from left, Elder Brodskyy, Diana Raețchi and Chris, a mystery man on the right

From L, Sister Lee and Schow with a Gorgos girl mummy

The large room, packed

The pink hair is Inesa, we taught her at our place an important lesson, how to make apple crisp. Diana again

In the middle, Nicole Bright and her friend on L, Nina. They are here from America, living with host families and learning Russian. Sam is blurred on the R.
Another good week, busy and fun. I even had a popcorn ball or 2 left over, rather I snatched them away from the jaws of eat. And finally, we drove in snow this week, hope that is not a habit we develop.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Finally cool

Oct 23. Fall is finally here with some nice cool weather, rain at times, even a frost one day. After a long hot summer, it has been a very pleasant change for those of us cold blooded. The Moldovans are dressed as if winter has hit, with winter coats and hats, but we are fine. It was cool for a week until our hot water in the heat radiators was turned on, but all in all was just fine. There are a few yellow trees here, but most leaves have just been brown. We continue to have fruit in the fruit markets, plums, grapes, and apples by the bushel. Every type imaginable is here and they are sweet and delicious- no pun. We have been as busy as ever in the last 2-3 weeks with much to do. There was some self Reliance training with a Brother Mathias from France coming in, and since then , we have done a lot of job training and resume preparation. The program is called My Path, and it leads into other programs. All inspired programs. The medical lectures are definitely getting busier, we continue to teach and help in a lot of Institute classes. We have done a lot of apartment inspections, and have been searching for a new apartment for a new set of missionaries. Inspecting apartments is always interesting, some mothers would be proud and some- well, let us just say it is good their child is an ocean away. We have had 3 apartments lose power because they forget to get us the power bills, there is no leeway or forgiveness here. Patience is so interesting. Deb is now in charge of Primary or the young children. She is an expert in the area and does so very well in teaching kids. We have been finding many ways to help, medical, counsel, temporal, and it is all gratifying. We are about a week away from a presidential election here. There are multiple candidates here- hard to tell who is honest or not. The country seems split, half long for old Soviet days with a bit more stability and half lean to EU and prosperity. Trouble is many EU government supporters in the past have seen a lot of years of corruption. That is such a serious problem here and so difficult to root out. It is hard to make progress with dishonest leaders and a dishonest justice system. Our FHEs have been fun, mainly thanks to Deb. Trouble is , we get so busy it is hard to take pictures. We have had a YSA activity for all of Moldova, with a lot of personal history done. We did a STARE game which was a hoot. We have had human horse races, human tic tac toe, and last week had the old stand by, spoons. We used some old face cards, our Rook cards were too valuable to use. We have made a lot of zucchini or bostan bread and cake, as long as there is chocolate, it will be eaten. Pics this post are very random, sorry.
What would an Edwards blog be without a horse and wagon? This one was loaded with corn stalks.

A YSA activity, Maria Gorea in the foreground

Vitally Argint and Nic on the left, doing a puzzle. Each had several pieces missing with another team, they had to problem solve it.

In the foreground, Chiril and Nikki Thompson

In front , Maria and sister Nicol

Evening meal was Sloppy Joes, wow, they were a big hit and devoured. Mihai Zgarbor is supervising.

Nina, Elder Green and Chiril enjoying

Deb had a RS project tying fleece qhilts. From left, Hannah Gibson, Sister Nicol and Sister Gorgos.
Picture from missionary conference in Romania
It has been good to be much busier. We hope that keeps up. We realized last week we are half finished our missions, it seems very fast and in some ways seems much longer.  Someone misses grandkids.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Seniors conference in Romania -2

This post will be a few more pictures and explanations. These are from our recent trip into Romania, a beautiful country.
This was a place where we ate lunch one day. The entire place was heated by wood, this was how it was piled, rather unique.

The table setting

I had to take a picture of this. The food in the middle is called slanină, and is nothing more than pork fat with paprika. One is to eat it with onion. I tried, unsuccessfully.

The outdoor cooking area. The fire and pot in front is where the goulash was cooked.

A very interesting hotel in Sighisoara. Beautiful and unique

Very interesting decoration at the door of the hotel

A Romanian street sweeper. Note the broom, made from tree branches.

The Bran castle. An odd picture, but the best I could get. It was built into the rock.

One of the original staircases

View of the village Bran, out a castle window

Forgive the glare. Vlad the impaler, or Dracula

Deb and company

The Teleferic hotel in Poiana Brașov. Gorgeous setting

Finally, of course, some more carts. Here are 2 filled with hay, just waiting for the owners.

Cows have many uses, milk and pulling the family around.
So we really enjoy Romania, very beautiful. It is a country still with areas of poverty, but becoming slowly more prosperous.

Seniors conference in Romania

Oct 6 2016. I have a few minutes waiting for Lunch to cook. We are having a Moldovan elder return home today, Elder Lungu, and we will feed and get him settled. Last week I had some extensive training from Brother Mathias in Self Reliance. He came from France and helped me learn some one on one Self Reliance and taught me with a couple of members who needed help. So that will occur more often now. So Thursday We did rent a van, from guy who spoke no English and had Russian as their first language. We did alright. So we left Moldova, driving to Brașov across country. It was a beautiful day and we must have seen over 60 horse and carts that day. One road was quite bad, but most were very good. We met up with the other seniors from Romania there, staying at the Kronwell hotel overnight. What we did was to have presentations while travelling on the bus or early in the morning, then enjoyed some tourist sites. We ate at an Italian place that evening, I had salmon and asparagus pizza- I recommend it. Deb was still under the weather with her bug and ended up having it for more than 12 days. Friday we took our van to the Church in Brașov, and then travelled to Sighisoara to visit some sites there. We visited an old church fortress in Biertan, then had an unusual lunch in a small village (Hungarian goulash) , then visited the Citadel in Sighisoara. We stayed at the Binderbubi hotel, a hotel filled with wood decor. Breakfast each morning was a vast buffet, then we travelled to the Bran castle, home of Dracula or Vlad the Impaler. A very old castle and very interesting, and quite the tourist trap. As we left, there was a line of cars 3 km long waiting to come in. We then travelled to Poiana Brașov, a ski resort place and stayed at the Teleferic hotel, the fanciest yet. We watched a session of General conference in the evening. The Sunday morning we went into Brașov to the Church and watched another session. The Romanian missionaries went home, we stayed one more night so we could get some cooking supplies not present in Moldova. We travelled home on Monday, having a nice drive with a 90 minute wait at the border. Here you get checked on both sides. so we are back home,preparing for a YSA conference on Saturday. This is a busy week.Romania is a beautiful country and very inexpensive, it would be a great place for a vacation.
What the border at Vama Albița is like for trucks- talk about a wait.

Deb thought the donkey was cute, who knew?

An old fortress on a hill near Sighisoara

Deb said you can never have enough cart pictures

the Church at Biertan

A nice rocky tunnel, a few hundred years old.

Mural in the front of the church

Village of Biertan

Deb, Sister Winder and Sister Ivory

What a cute couple.

the Church
So I will continue with pictures next post.