Sunday, 26 February 2017

Mud, dirt and new grandkids

Feb 26 2017 We have had a nice warm week, mostly, with a lot of melting and as a result, dirty streets and cars. They are all filthy, except for big black German cars that seem to get washed daily. However, we will not complain with temperatures in the low teens most days now. Is winter done? Hard to say, but we have high hopes and some trees here are even beginning to bud. There was a touch of snow yesterday, but it was just to tease us and make the vehicles even dirtier. It was more of a medical type week, as Sister Ivory was gone to Utah to a daughters wedding, and I was assigned to cover all medical calls of missionaries, actually kind of fun. Who knew one could miss work? But it is nice to use the brain in a different way from time to time. Deb and I went with Doina Stepanenco to a place where the homeless were being fed, as we were looking for some ways to help, I was helping a very kind lady who was a medical assistant, giving advice. Her English was not bad and we managed fine. I think we will try and get there often to help her. It is interesting looking at a medical problem in a crowded parking lot, and asking questions and giving advice, with about 10 others looking on and listening to everything. Several tried to get money , but to no avail. Those who provided the food were some of the nicest kindest people we have met, just good Christian people trying to help others. We were truly amazed at their goodness. Our Sunday dinners are getting more and more fun and may need to be a regular tradition. It is so interesting to never have leftovers. One young man just wanted baklava, so we found some this week for him. We have been apartment inspecting, apartment hunting and trying to deal with the other details of life here in Moldova. It has been very hard for Deb to have a new grandson and be so far away. Yes, Mette had her boy, all went well including a section, but we are happy to welcome # 15 in the family. Deb had to visit 2 ladies here with new babies, but still not the same as a new grandbaby. Mette, bless her heart, messages her mom every day and usually sends a picture. Yes, I agree , he is cute, for the tenth time, but it is hard to say he is cute when he looks like his dad. Sorry Mckay, I have just never thought of you as cute. Anyway, we do feel blessed. Today there will be a weird mix of pics, some are compliments of Nina Scurtu and her endless selfies, but it does show our young adults.
I saw this several months ago, What does it mean? do not stand or squat on top of the toilet lid. Happens in a world of  squatty potties

Some of the patients broke free. Nina in the front, then fromL, Sora Langenstein, Sora, Idiart, and Mariana.

From L, Nina, Zlata, Mariana, Alex-ex Elder -Tita, Elder Loder, Sora Strader

From L, Marina, Nina, Mariana,and Zlata

In our kitchen cleaning after dinner

The bunch with one unfortunate passerby

Our class

Deb made these reverence mice for her Primary class

The Alemans, the new couple in Balti

Alina and Roma in Balti, with Elder Rybyskyy, in motion, as always

Ion Puica, newly baptized , between Elder Kramer and Elder Sargsyan. He is a wonderful young man, who made some immense life changes

A baby quilt Deb made, with material sent kindly by Kim Schussler from Burdett. She finally found a upcoming boy baby to make it for.
So that is it for this time, We do get in a bit of a rut, doing much of the same things, but we are staying busy. And alive, did I mention the drivers are bad again, now there is no snow. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Is it spring yet?

Feb 14 2017  This post is a little late for a number of reasons, but the main one is illness. I had been quite proud of the lack of illness here in Moldova , as I has a mild cold a year ago. Foolishly, I was vocal about this and therefore, 10 days ago , I developed a nice influenza type illness that  is just now leaving, after much noise with coughing wheezing, snorting and other assorted noises designed specifically to keep a spouse from obtaining a lick of rest. Yes a man-cold is a serious illness , and can be life threatening when the noise level rises past the breaking point. I believe it is called justifiable husbandicide. Thankfully all our weapons are home, and the risk appears to be past. We also had a major dump of snow again, on a day we drove to Bălți, and so we stayed overnight for the first time in a year. It was a wise choice, as the roads were awful the next day in the daylight. Despite illness, we had to go up and check on an apartment for a senior couple coming. On Saturday , we returned to Bălți with the Alemans and got them settled into a very nice refurbished place. They thought it like a fancy hotel suite, so we did well. We still had our responsibilities, I taught a medical class on delivery, and was medicated enough to make it through. We also had some missionaries leaving this week, we had Elder Adam Jensen leave to go home on Monday. He was a great elder, hard working and great to get along with. We just got along very well and we will miss him. Even Sister Schow got to leave after thinking she would be transferred for 3  transfers. We had some memory games for FHE, and had about 55 people. Refreshments were just fresh bread and jam and of course, Nutello. There is a serious deficiency of Nutello in Moldovans, by their intake of the substance when available. Funny story this week, although not funny at the time. One of my Sacrament meeting talks slept in, as he was called, he said it was all okay, he would just give his talk in the other branch, the Russian branch, in Romanian , of course. We did tell him that was unlikely to work and we did have some fun of course . We ended up doing musical
Elder Jensen , 2nd from the L, farewell dinner at Andys, Elder Gore on his R, then Elder Hubbard, Sister Idiart covering her face , Elder Welling and Elder Gerber Kai

Sister Schow, 2nd from R, . When she goes home, it will be in the Kalispell area, was originally from Kansas

This is as close as we get to Costco. Metro is a German company, a lot of bulk. We buy a lot of bulk stuff here, especially paper products, which are all plastic.

Loads of firewood in the middle of Chișinău, ready to go to villages

FHE, with a gospel matching game, then a real matching memory game.

numbers  and it was very spiritual. Deb and I are trying to make a new vow to not get upset by the constant honking at us by rude drivers, it usually lasts for me about one to two honks. Oh, the need of constant repentance. I may need no car to fully repent of my thoughts. People are so nice, then they get in the cars and turn into something ugly. Today a guy stopped to yell at me, they truly do not know what to do when you speak to them only in English. Hard to yell at someone who smiles and speaks a language you do not understand. One day I am going to use horse Latin, a nonsense language only my children understand, it should be fun, if I live through it. Anyway, most of the illness is past. We were unable to get flu shots here, that was not a good thing. Okay, I mixed the pictures in the middle, which may be confusing. So we are mostly well and  back in the swing of things.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Mud and Bingo

Feb 5 2017 We had a few days of melting this week, making realize how dirty a city gets with snow and ice. Saturday morning I had just about enough of a dirty car, so I did go get a car wash. Funny thing, I was alone there, besides the guy washing my car. Because most other people were not foolish enough to wash their car when it is melting. We could not touch the car without mud on our hands. By the time I got home, the careful wash job was , well, a little dirty. Today, it is just a mess. Like every other car in the city. We are expecting more snow as well as cold, so winter is not done. There are no groundhogs here, so we could not even get a prediction of spring. Feb 2 was sunny so we will see about 6 more weeks of winter. We did do our apartment hunts, and found 2 nice central places. One we looked at was nice, but each room had a large mural of a nude, not quite what we were looking for  with missionaries. The University of Utah had some more people arrive this week, I picked some up at 1 am on Wednesday morning. Much past my bedtime. Oh, we did get our visas, which went to the last day before renewal. We now have Canadian health insurance, insurance thru the Church and Moldovan health insurance, for what it is worth, 11,000 lei or so. I did an interview with a media outlet, about my classes. It was fun, as I had no advance warning on what they would ask. It was edited to about 3 minutes and then translated. Here is the link:   So if any are truly bored, look and see. The Romanian is certainly not mine, they were not about to trust a Canuck to try to speak and frankly, it would have taken too much preparation. The surprise for me was how much I talk with my hands. I had no idea. The address of the place was Strada Columna 170. As I got there, in an industrial park area, I found there were at least 40 old buildings all with the exact same address. Yes, that was also fun. Did I mention no signage? So our FHE this week was Bingo, our lesson was topics picked at random starting with B, I, etc. Each group then did a presentation on that topic in whatever language they wanted. Then we played Bingo, no gambling, just chocolate bar prizes. No one had ever played, and all numbers were called in 3 languages. Once I called Z 78, and confused them all, It was enjoyed by all, about 54. Okay, now a bit of explanation of some of the pictures. I have a few of license plates, Here triple numbers are very lucky and # 7 is especially lucky. We see 777 multiple times a day, all are personalized. If you can get triple letters, that is a bonus. the lucky numbers seem to be 7, then 5, then 1, then any triple. From the luck this country has, my theory is that it does not work. Then one picture is  of girls crossing their legs. Most young women at a bus stop will cross their legs, it ends at about age 40, and is never seen in men. When I ask why, they say for stability. Somehow I doubt it , it seems very cultural. Most do not notice they do it.
Nina, Mariana, and Iulia, posed for me on the balcony, It does not do justice to the leg crossing

The couple on the right are the Strattons, they had served a mission in Romania and came back to help the U of U

All are quite intent except Elder Sargsyan at the end, who is very relaxed about the Bingo stuff

Thunbs up at the end, Jake Carter, ex missionary out of Bolivia, here for U of U

The callers, we used cards, not balls

the first of the 777s, often on a BMW or Mercedes

Bonus, triple letters and numbers

All of these cars were on one block, this one is unusual, a mere Opel with a triple number. A 2 is at the low end of the lucky spectrum.
That is it for the week, lots of running around,including Balti, We expect more of the same this week and then transfers happen again.