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Meeting a Pen Pal in Chisinau

October 2nd 2002:
I am sitting on the plane from Moldova airlines strapped into my seat with a great anxiety. Not a fear of flying but a fear of what Cezara will think of me. Will she find me handsome? Ugly? Too short? Too tall? Will she regret inviting me? All these thoughts fill my head while I look out the window as the clouds roll by.
As the plane begins to descend and the countryside comes into view I marvel at the beauty of it. My anxiety increases as the ground approaches. When the plane rolls to a stop and we exit I look around at the tiny airport. It is very clean and they usher us to a waiting bus. The bus transports us to the terminal where I signed my already filled out visa application. I think the person behind the counter is amazed that I have the form all typed out and a passport size photo is paper clipped to it. They took my 60.00 without ceremony, plastered my visa into my passport and it's on my way to passport control. Again without much effort I get my passport stamped, collect my luggage, and walk through customs where I barely get a look from the agents. Now it's time to meet the girl I have been writing to for fifteen months...
As I walk through the exit I scan the crowd. It only takes a second and I spot her, more lovely then she has looked in any photo I have seen of her. Our eyes meet and our smiles engage, I think it's going to be okay. She has a wonderful smile and her eyes are lit up. For a moment in time the airport seems empty and all I see is her. I don't even feel the people pushing and bumping into me. She is like a shining light in total darkness and I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame. When I walk towards her I wonder what should I do? Should I give her the passionate kiss I have dreamed of, or do I take it slow? I decided to take it slow, not embarrass her in front of her son and friends. Now that I am before her I give her a soft kiss on the cheek and a hug. My heart is pounding.
The friends that have taken the time to come collect me at the airport are: Cezara (of course), her son Alexander(Sandu), Julia (Alan's pen pal), Julia's Father Sergiu, Tamara (Cezara's translator), and waiting at the car, Vitali. We drove into the city to our first mission which was to drop off Sergiu so he could coach football practice. On our way they point out some of the sights. The one I remember most are the buildings they call the "gates to the city". They are large buildings constructed on angles and from far away they really do look like gates. We made it to Cezara's apartment without incident and made our way up the elevator. Cezara's apartment is clean, cozy, and quite functional. The apartments were probably built in the fifties and they are in need of some repair, but they feel very comfortable.
In a very short time I have noticed something about the Moldavian people. They are a very proud society and they all seem to carry themselves with a great dignity. All whom I have met so far have a feeling of honor that surrounds them. That is something that I don't feel so often in the U.S. yet seems to be integrated into an entire culture here. Now I will write a little something about all the people I have met so far and then I will continue with the days events.

A wonderful and fine person, beautiful but simple, elegant but strong. I am not at all disappointed that I have traveled half way around the world to meet her.She possesses all the qualities that I think are important in a persons character. Her smile and laughter brings a warmth that fills up my soul with happiness. Currently we speak through a variety of mediums and it makes for interesting conversations. I feel as though I have always known her and going forward I can not imagine my life without her in it.
Another fine woman of Moldova. If I knew a man worthy of her I would want to introduce them. We owe much to Tamara for her work at translating. Someday I hope to repay her for her patience and kindness.
Alexander (Sandu):
A very smart boy! He will grow up strong and fine. He loves the things that I brought him and tomorrow evening we will work on the computer. He has his mother's sense of humor and laughter is something that comes easy to him.
A perfect example of a Moldavian gentleman. He appears to be a good father and husband to Julia and Lilea respectively. Honor and pride are in his eyes and he is an excellent host when invited to his home.
Will there never be an end to the wonderful people here? Lilea is a good friend to Cezara, Mother of Julia and wife of Sergiu. She is a great host like her husband and her sense of humor is in line with Cezara's.
A beautiful and polite girl who is very smart. She is learning English and tries very hard to talk with me. I am glad that Alan did not travel with me for I am afraid that he would become very infatuated with her.
I only met him for the ride to Cezara's apartment, but he has smiling eye's. That is the sign of of a good person. I would like to get to know him better.
Iriska the cat:
A very nice cat that seemed to like me from the start.
Now on with my story...
After all the introductions were made and the gifts that I had brought passed out, we went to dinner at Sergiu and Lilea's. Dinner was great! There was chicken, potatoes, several vegetables, wine, coffee, tea, cakes... I ate very much and will put on a lot of weight here if I am not careful.
Cezara, Sandu, and I came home at ten. I took a bath (Moldavian shower), talked with Cezara for a while and went to bed. It was easy to fall asleep and I woke up at four in the morning. I wrote in my journal and fell back asleep until seven...
Click here to read further. Second day >>>

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