Archives for the month of: September, 2010

(Ruseștii Noi continued…)

Health Education in Schools and Community volunteers in Ruseștii Noi.

JK (not just kidding): She would have thrived in the 60’s. Spacey but brilliant scientist. (Credit to LT)

MM: totally a bro but not too cool for school

LT: She’s so well-spoken that there’s no point in arguing with her.

MT: Homegirl doesn’t hold back; she’s always down for a good time

AT: A true gentleman

JL (not pictured): She has a beautiful smile.

We had two language training instructors, Cristina and Corina. They were absolutely wonderful.



Flour, milk at room temperature, eggs, oil

Add milk to flour, a little at a time, stirring and mashing all clumps with a fork. Beat eggs for at least 2 minutes (by hand) and add to flour bowl. Add a little bit of oil. Grease and heat pan. Pour just enough batter to thinly coat bottom of pan. Turn when you notice crepes cooking through to the top. Set on plate when done. Fill with fruit, jam, cheese, etc.

Pofta Bună.

(Ruseștii Noi continued…)

I have discovered that bread is very important in Moldovan culture. It is rarely missing from a dinner table and is used as an offering of sorts in religious ceremonies and celebrations. Maria made fresh bread every week.

(Ruseștii Noi continued…)

Frisbees are not common in Moldova, so it was fun teaching the neighborhood kids how to play.

(Ruseștii Noi continued…)

Living with Tudor and Maria Panfil. So wonderful.

Thoughts about Maria: “Regardless of my inability to speak Romanian I felt like I could talk to her about anything. She’s assertive but warm. Very progressive, especially considering her generation. We would talk for hours and just laugh and laugh.”

Thoughts about Tudor: “If he wasn’t joking then he was sleeping, and he really didn’t sleep very much. He’s genuine, like salt of the earth genuine.”

Tudor and Maria are school teachers. A principal for 6 years, Maria is a history teacher with 38 years of experience. Tudor has taught physical education for 40 years. They have three children, all grown and married. Lilica is married with two boys, lives in Uzbekistan, and makes honey for a living. Igor is married to Lilia and works in Moscow, returning home every few months. And Lilia, her husband, Livul, and their two little boys, Flavius and Lucian, live in Chișinau. Lilia speaks English very well and usually visited the village on the weekend with her boys.

Just in case you’re wondering, I have changed my name. My name is now S.K.A. Panfil. Tudor declared me his fourth child, which I was completely fine with because it made me the youngest in his family. It is Moldovan tradition to give your home to your youngest child. I think this is definitely a tradition we Americans need to adopt.

Some of my favorite memories with the Panfil Family:

Eating watermelon and peaches for dinner; Going on walks at dusk with Maria; Doing “manual labor” and being scolded because I need to protect my uterus so I can have kids; Learning how to make placinte (like pie); Making breakfast burritos with Maria; Watching the World Cup with Tudor; Eating ice cream with Lilia and our dictionaries; Playing frisbee with Flavius; Picking cherries after language lessons; Doing homework with Maria.

Mulțumesc pentru m-ați făcut să mă simt ca acasă.


June 13 through August 18: Ruseștii Noi

Ruseștii Noi is a village of 5,000 people located 15 kilometers southwest of Chișinau.

Very green, beautiful sunsets, simple living, and wonderful people.