Next year in Moldova
We went to our local German Christmas market for the last time a few weeks ago! It was amazing, as usual, and we spent the bulk of our time fighting crowds while we searched for the perfect family ornament (previous years: 2014, 2013, 2012).
Last year we bought a wooden Michigan ornament to remember how much we have LOVED living here in Michigan (so, so much love!).
This year a different sort of ornament caught our eyes:
As we admired it, the artist selling them (each ornament was individually handpainted!!) mentioned that she was from Romania and the pattern on it was reminiscent of traditional patterns from that region.
Immediately we knew this is the ornament we wanted for our tree. Not only was it beautiful, but we had just found out the week before that Jesse had gotten a fellowship to work with an NGO in Moldova! (In case you don't know where Moldova is, which I didn't when we started this whole process: click here). Moldova is right next to Romania and most people there actually speak Romanian, so we were really glad to buy an ornament for our tree that looked forward to our exciting adventure.
So, by the way, I guess I should formally announce that we're moving to Moldova next August! It's a temporary move (just a year), but it'll be a great chance for Jesse to work with an international legal NGO and to gain some really excellent experience. Many people speak Russian there so he'll get by some on that, but we're both going to spend a lot of time the next 7 months learning Romanian so we can get around.
This whole thing has brought up tons of crazy logistical questions that we still don't have the answers to. What should we do with all our stuff while we're gone? Get rid of most of it and store the rest for when we come back, I guess (seeing as we don't know where we'll be yet when we return in 2017)? How do we pack enough stuff for the 4 of us for a year in just suitcases? Will we have good enough internet in our apartment for me to start my online MLIS (Masters of Library and Information Science) degree while we're there? How will the kids adjust? Can we put Nikolai in preschool while we're there? Will we be completely bored when we can't check out 50 books a month from the library????? How will we watch tv when we won't have netflix or hulu or amazon?!?! How will Nikolai survive without his daily dose of peanut butter?!
As you can see, the questions keep coming and get progressively more ridiculous. Obviously, there is a lot we need to figure out before we go, but we're really glad to have so long to figure it out! And though we're both nervous about various different things (and incredibly sad to leave MI!!), we're really excited for this new adventure!