Spring is green. Summer is bright.
Autumn is yellow. Winter is white.
Some of the sixth grade English students had to memorize this little poem. When I first heard it I wondered why yellow was the color they had chosen for Autumn (my experience includes Autumns with red, green, yellow, orange, and mixed-color leaves). Now I’m seeing the reason. Check out Toamnă (“Twahm-nuh”*) — Autumn, in Moldova:
This picture and the next one were taken 5 days apart.
Look how many leaves have fallen in just 5 days!
Girls from my school enjoying the beautiful leaves!
(Note that the top middle two pictures are the same place, only 5 days apart. In the second one looooottttss of leaves are now on the ground!)
Trandafir (“trahn-dah-feer”)* means rose. I’m so impressed with the roses in Moldova. There were roses blooming when we arrived in early June, and there are roses blooming now, in mid-October. The weather has gone from blisteringly hot to wear-your-hat-and-scarf cold; vegetables have matured, been harvested, and the remains plowed under; other varieties of flowers have come and gone, and still the roses bloom on and on. No wonder I see them planted everywhere! The rose in this picture is one of my favorite varieties, with petals that are orangey on the edges and brilliant yellow in the center. Absolutely no filters were used on this photo, honest! The flower is really that color!
If you have a big garden, and you spend the summer growing, picking and putting up vegetables for the winter, where do you keep them? If you live in Moldova, you most likely keep them in the beci (“betch”). This might best be translated as “root cellar”; it’s an underground room, where the cooler temperatures make it ideal for storing canned vegetables and preserves, homemade wine, pickles, etc.
Steps leading up. The ramp is because they’ve just rolled a barrel upstairs to use for the wine being made right now!
Hmmm… probably compot (boiled fruit juice) but possibly stronger alcoholic stuff.
Home grown, home canned goodies!
House wine (made from grapes grown here at my home, also pressed and fermented here!)
(Click for bigger pictures! Or mouse-over to see the captions)
P.S. Those of you snickering about the way the word sounds: Stop it! You know who you are.
Zimbet (zim-bet) means smile. It makes me smile when students greet me in the halls or stairwells, trying out their English. I hear “Hello” from giggling nervous 4th grade girls, and in deep bass voices from 12th grade boys who are taller than me. As I take a shortcut behind some apartment buildings, a girl in a bicycle sings out “Hello, Miss Teacher!” I can’t stop smiling.
Fluture (“floo-tair-ray”)* means butterfly. The weather has been perfect the past couple of days, and I’ve seen lots of butterflies in my host mom’s flower garden. Including this little guy who was kind enough to stay still for a picture.
Școală (“shkwah-luh”*) means school. The first day of the school year in Moldova is next Friday, September 1st, so this week, teachers are busy getting ready. I will be working at a school that includes grades 1-12, helping in the English classes for grades 3,4,6,8,9, and 12 (this sounds like a lot, but most grades only have English two days a week). Here is one of the English classrooms, early last Monday morning, as all the preparations were just beginning.
Trotineta (Tro-teen-et-ah) means scooter, as explained to me by this 5-yr old language informant, who doubled as scooter model. 🙂