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!


Maren said…
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, that is so cool! Congratulations! Can you pack me in your suitcase? I was fascinated by Moldova in college but BYU didn't offer Moldovan language classes for some reason... Will you be in Chisinau? You better update your blog constantly or I will be quite put out with you. ;) Here's some unsolicited advice based on living in China for a year (super applicable to Eastern Europe, right?)... 1. Think of everything you can that will be expensive, difficult to find, or that you'll want a familiar US version of and pack it, space permitting: vitamins, deodorant, hand sanitizer, favorite candies, cocoa powder, peanut butter ;), boxes of mac n cheese, herbs/spices, measuring spoons/cups, medicine, and so on. 2. I don't know what public restrooms are like there, but I strongly suggest bringing a travel size bottle of hand soap just in case. 3. If you don't have an oven, it's amazing how much you can cook and even bake in a rice cooker. 4. You can get plenty of free domain books for you on Kindle and Google books, but yeah kids are harder. If Niko isn't a stickler for exactness, just use local kids books and tell your own story. I do this with R every week at the Chinese library and he loves it. Maybe you can get some video content on YouTube. 5. I can attest that it's totally possible to bring one week's worth of simple shirts and be completely sick of them by the end, but it makes for light packing! Packing kids though, oy. That should be fun. 6. There's an Ikea in Bucharest if you visit there haha. Having kids has quieted my wanderlust quite a bit but then I read things like this and flares right up. Man I am so excited to follow your adventure.
Heidi Munion said…
Congratulations!! I can't believe your husband is graduating and you're moving! Out of the country! You guys rock. I hope you'll be able to keep blogging from Moldova!
Kylie said…
Wow!!!!!! A) I am so jealous that you are finishing school before us, and that you actually know where you'll be afterwards! B) This sounds like an incredible opportunity!! Please post lots of pictures. You guys have totally got this. C) I will mail you peanut butter anytime you want. Love you guys! Congrats!
melissa said…
I am sad I haven't gotten out to Michigan yet; it seems like it's been awesome.

But wait, Moldova doesn't have Netflix??????????????????? Maybe you shouldn't go....

I'll send you some peanut butter.
Anonymous said…
I will be scheduling a visit I know I haven't seen you in years but I think it's only appropriate to hand-deliver peanut butter

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