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
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.
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
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
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
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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