(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.

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