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June 23rd 2011
Published: June 23rd 2011
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As we come to the end of our time here in Moldova, it is difficult to put into words the way we feel about this place we have called home for the past 11 months. Of course we have grown to love this country and it's people, and saying good bye will be bittersweet.

After a loooong winter, we were delighted as the first signs of spring came and the days began to lengthen. It was like a procession of blooming, starting with the apple and cherry trees. Then came the lilacs, tulips, daffodils, peonies, and now that summer is here...the roses! As the days grow hot and long we have been like two bears coming out of hibernation and rediscovering our surroundings all over again. In these last months, we are spending as much time as we can outdoors and making the most of our time that we have left.

Chisinau is fantastic in the summer time! Cafes and restaurants downtown have brought back their outdoor "terasa"s, perfect for lazy lunches, sitting with a cool beverage, and watching the world go by.

The outdoor produce markets...oh, the produce! This is one of my favorite things, that I
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If you can't tell from the picture, that's an old plastic bottle being used as an insulator on this electrical wire.
know I will miss about living here. The fresh, ripe, seasonal, produce that appears at the markets from week to week. Each week, as new fruits come into season, the market is a surprise of new treasures. First, I was thrilled to see the first signs of strawberries. Then came the cherries...wow! And just this week I found tiny peach and apricot-like fruits. It may sound strange to get so excited about fruit, but markets here are not like markets in the U.S. We do not have berries, peaches, etc in the middle of winter that came on a truck from South America. We get them while they are in season, from Ion's field down the street. And they taste so much better!

We have been spending the last few weeks here appreciating Moldova for what it has to offer. Each evening, we take a walk around our neighborhood, feeling a bit nostalgic. We have come to know the people in our neighborhood...the old lady who sold us a painting at the art park, the family who owns the alimentara where we buy our milk and eggs, the people in our building who all know us as "The Americans"
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All this beautiful fruit cost less than $5 at the outdoor market!
and love to practice their English with us. Things that seemed so foreign at first have become a part of our daily lives We have been here just long enough for it to feel like home. Moldova will always have a special place in our hearts. We made a home here, we made friends here, we even made a baby here! And with all the cherries I have been eating, this baby must have some of Moldova in her blood 😊

Additional photos below
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We listened to this swing squeaking many an evening from our apartment.
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These men were arguing over who had the right to sell his cherries on this patch of sidewalk. Serious business 'round here.
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View from our apartment on the summer solstice.
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This one is for you Momma...notice his footwear. What you can't see in this picture is the girl who was passing by just under where he was working.
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Cathedral Park in downtown Chisinau.
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Local hero: Stefan Cel Mare!
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Any guesses?
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This friendly man will give you an apple and tell you he loves you every time you buy something from him. Needless to say we bought the whistle!
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This lovely lady turns 82 this August!

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