September 17, 2017 - Rîșcani, Moldova - "My Heart Over Rîșcani;" Drone clips I've taken here over the past few months. I hope you enjoy!
January 27, 2017 - Rîșcani, Moldova - The people of North Carolina have been helping Moldovans for about two decades, and they love the country. Many will meet today for an annual meeting that could be called "Friends of Moldova." They work so hard, that I decided to make them a short video about the place and people they help so much, but which they rarely (if ever) get to see. It is also about the Peace Corps. Sorry that my face is blocking so much of the scenery, so I included many photos and video clips!
December 31 2016 & January 1, 2017 - Rîșcani, Moldova -- "Snow-no-Snow" - I took photographs of beautiful scenes around Rîșcani, Moldova in the summer and then I took (nearly) identical photographs during and after a nice snowfall this winter. Put in a slideshow, they show the dramatic and fascinating differences between the seasons here!
December 24, 2016 - Rîșcani, Moldova - I am trying to understand what this dance is all about, as it and variations of it are popular this time of year, to celebrate Christmas and the new year, but I don't know why the "horses," or the villain, or soldiers and the mirrors on their uniforms. Might help, if I understood Russian!
September 23, 2016 - Rîșcani, Moldova - Peter (Petru) Zloi, a high-school student here, interviewed one of (I think) only two remaining WWII veterans in the city. Alexandru fought for the Russian army at the end of the war and then served in the Pacific for years. Zloi edited the interview in iMovie, applied Romanian subtitles, and then English subtitles, which we have below. Great job, Peter! (Click here for Romanian subtitles.)
August 21, 2016 - Rîșcani, Moldova - My friend, Silviu, said his family's public pool was busy, so I walked over with my drone and attracted a LOT of attention. No, it wasn't all about my fly, again -- it was the quadcopter. That thing makes a lot of noise and looks funny, (like me,) but everyone loves it (like?... me?...) What a great way to get incredible images and videos! This thing will be a lot of fun, and helpful around here, if I can just keep it in one piece.
August 10, 2016 - Rîșcani, Moldova - This was a beautiful day. Children of the Phoenix Centre in Rîșcani are confined to wheelchairs, but they had an opportunity to float free, swim, splash and play last week, when the staff took them to the Aquatoria, a family-owned business here. The Dumitras family didn't even charge for the pool time, a nice move from a nice family, for a really nice group of children.
July 30, 2016 - Rîșcani, Moldova - Arm wrestling is popular in Moldova, and men (and a few women!) lined up for a local competition in front of the district offices here. I have learned that the opponents in a match first compete barehanded, and if their hands slip free, the referee straps their hands together for a "strap match." I have learned that there is a fair amount of technique involved, and I have also learned to never arm wrestle these guys.
July 16, 2016 - Rîșcani, Moldova - Privately-owned, public swimming pools are popular here, and most of the districts have one. It's a tough business, open for only 3-4 months each year, and the Dumitras family works hard to keep it up, which is great, because the community loves it.
June 11, 2016 - Soroca, Moldova - Peace Corps volunteer Gabriel Riggle has organized a cool, bicycle club in his city about 40 miles away from me. I went over there a few weeks ago, borrowed a bike from "Gears for Girls" and went for a ride along the Nistru River. Look across the river and you can see Ukraine.
May 31, 2016 - Rîșcani, Moldova - Slow-motion video is so overused, but I love this one -- it's like watching a dream for 3 minutes, 20 seconds.
January 7 & 8, 2016 - Rîșcani, Moldova - I spent a few days in early January, just after the Orthodox Christmas, enthralled by the beauty and serenity of a Moldovan snowy holiday. I loved watching the families pulling their children around town on sleds – which I do not remember about growing up in Maine – and watching children slide down a big ol' hill, which I do remember, fondly. One of the kids even let me go for a ride! Then, I was so glad to find "Under the Christmas Tree" by Moira Waugh. She's from St. Petersburg, which is in Florida, not Russia, and she sings in English, not Romanian, so I hope my Moldovan friends will forgive me!
November 14, 2015 - Rîșcani, Moldova - I was very impressed with the beautiful 75th birthday celebration our district held this weekend. Dancing, singing and some seriously adorable bumblebees! Remember, the "Full-Screen" button works once the video is playing. Photos are below this video.
November 6, 2015 - Rîșcani, Moldova - About a month ago, I was returning home from a two-week trip. I was walking home in the dark, hauling my bags, and recovering from four hours of routiera madness, when I heard music. This is why I say; "I meet the most wonderful people in Moldova." (Click the button at lower, right for full-screen view.)
September 15, 2015 - Rîșcani, Moldova - Came across this man playing with an infant in front of an apartment building here in Riscani. It was so cute, I took a few clips with my cell phone, and made a simple, cute, short video.
August 30, 2015 - The Aquatoria, Rîșcani, Moldova - Our friend, Silviu is a high school student here, and he speaks fairly good English. His family owns a pool business with a snack bar. We love to go there when it's warm, just to have a few beers, talk, and watch the people - I like to bring my laptop, jack their wifi and get some work done. Anyway, I brought my GoPro a few times, and made a few quick and fun videos. (Click the full-screen buttons.)
August 10, 2015 - PreService Training slideshow - Nearly 70 Americans met in a hotel in New Jersey in early June to join the U.S. Peace Corps. We flew to the Eastern European country of Moldova and spent eight weeks in villages around the capital city, Chisinau. There, we learned the basics of the country's language, Romanian, and came to understand better how we would spend the next two years helping the people of Moldova. I lived with a host family in Costesti, Ialoveni, along with a half-dozen other volunteers in the Small Business Development program.