This was a fantastic birthday for me. I got to celebrate it for about a week with a lot of different people. I started the party with a masa at my house for my host family, Valeriu and Angela (Alexandra's nephew and his wife), Naima, and Unchi Nikolai and Tante Elena. We had a great combination of American (OK, Sushi and Spring Rolls aren't exactly American-but they might as well be!) and Frigarui (Moldovan BBQ!). Everything was delicious, and of course there was Unchi Nikolai's famous wine!
Not a bad looking table!
In Cahul, there is an amazing restaurant near the university (The Flamingo!) that mostly caters to weddings. I wanted to do something special for my most beloved group of students (those who have participated in every activity, helped with all of my hare-brained ideas, etc.), so I made a reservation and took them all out to dinner. Since there was no wedding going on, the place was nearly empty, so we were able to yuck it up and have a great time without bothering anyone. I wish I could have taken all of my students, but I am glad I could splurge and take these amazing young people!
All of my beautiful students dressed up and having a good time!
Next, on the weekend, Naima and I headed to Colibasi (my favorite village in Moldova!) to celebrate with the family Ghenciu. They are the sweetest people in the whole world and I love to go and visit them. We spent the day preparing food and the whole evening (and well into the morning!) eating it. Naima wowed ev eryone with her dance skills.
Naima getting down to the hora with Ion and some of his siblings.
The only grandbaby in the family Ghenciu is Ana Margareta (yes that is a baby goose on her head!) and I am absolutely in love with this child! (I think she is crazy about me too! She barely left my side the whole weekend!) If I could get her away from her mother, I would put her in my carry-on and take her home with me. The whole family is amazing and I am so grateful that I have been able to get to know them during my time here in Moldova.