30 August in Chisinau

August 31, 2016 1:18 PM | Anonymous member

30 August was fascinating with scheduled visits to the mayor's office and time at the embassy in hopes of helping Chisinau develop a Friendship Force club.

The mayor was a little late as he was tied up helping his  father with health issues. He explained his vision for the city and country and had time for a few questions. He sees his city as a green city, a city in a forest. The city has expanded in radial fashion with its districts separated not by trees but by forests. His vision is that the city should continue to increase its greenness. He also shared that he thinks Romania had far outpaced Moldova in its development since 1989, when the Soviet Union fell apart, partly because Romania was an independent member of the East Block while Moldova had been part of the USSR. His vision is that these two countries share a common ethnicity, language, etc and would be better off if they could merge somehow. Apparently on the day of Moldovan independence the U.S. Ambassador made a public statement that the countries should remain separate. The mayor said he thought this was a mistake by the Ambassador but that the mayor would not lose his support for the ambassador. 

We walked to the embassy's public affairs section which is not close to the embassy. That was good because apparently there were protests at the embassy by a large group of people who were supportive of a combined Moldova/Romania. (Today's news has been full of the issue ; interestingly there does not seem to be any discussion in the U.S. Press.)

Our host thinks that unification will take time because the younger generations are supportive but the leaders are older( the Chisinau mayor, now in his third term, is probably in his early 40's- he may end up in the Moldova national leadership one day.) He also explains that the transnistria issue is quiet at present; in fact the only way Russia can access Transnistria is by air, through Chisinau. They are not able to go in by land as they are not friendly with Ukraine; they also must fly a circuitous route to Chisinau avoiding Ukraine air space.

A lunch at a local restaurant before heading to the ethnicity museum for a tour. BUT a local TV station had been engaged to interview us and record our recitation of their national anthem. This took enough time that we had to postpone the museum visit til tomorrow. A Peace Corps volunteer from Cincinnati has been involved with the museum and will lead us through the museum in the morning.

The TV crew followed us to the Smoke House, a BBQ restaurant run by ex Peace Corps volunteers where we hosted our new friends at a typical U.S. Style BBQ. Today we saw ourselves on TV being interviewed at the restaurant. 

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