Posted in Language, Life & Such, Peace Corps, Photo

Word Wednesday: Toamnă

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:


(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!)

*pronunciation aproximate

Posted in Language, Peace Corps, Photo

Word Wednesday: Trandafir

 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!

*pronunciation approximate 

Posted in Language, Life & Such, Peace Corps

Word Wednesday: Beci

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.

(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.

Posted in Language, Life & Such, Peace Corps, People

Word Wednesday: Zimbet

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.

Posted in Language, Places

Word Wednesday: Școală

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.

img_2156 *pronunciation approximate