It’s been a while since I posted a blog entry as life has been pretty hectic here in Moldova. Work has been busy over the last few weeks with organising our first Hospice Angelus Pool Tournament and a visit from 1986 European Champions Steaua Bucuresti along with local team FC Dacia Chisinau to the children of our Hospice staff which you can read about here. We also have our biggest fundraising event of the year which is the Hospice Angelus Charity Ball coming up on 6 May. These activities have taken up most of our time in the office and the support of the local community has been awe-inspiring.
On top of that, I have committed myself to running the Bucharest Half Marathon in October for the Hospice. As most of you know, exercise and I have never been bosom buddies so I thought that when I said I would do it I would have time to pull out. Not so. It’s just under six months away so I’ve started my training program and I’ve really surprised myself about how much I can do with just willpower. It was suggested that I do a podcast running program called the Couch to 5k which strengthens you up to run 5k within 12 weeks however a couple of weeks ago I managed to run my first 5k in 41 minutes. The Peace Corps volunteers here organised a fun run and it was a beautiful sunny day here in Chisinau so I went along. Halfway through the course I was lapped by the frontrunner which discouraged me somewhat, however I soldiered on and despite coming last, I managed the whole course. I’ve also found a couple of runners similar to my own pace to practise with and also a gorgeous private park to run around. Chisinau is one of the greenest towns in Europe and has a plethora of parks however they are full of litter and not very bonny. But the Dendrarium Park is private (10p to get in) and reminds me a bit of Central Park as it feels like you are in the middle of the countryside whilst being in the city. I’ll be posting a sponsor page in the summer so I’ll post information about it in the summer. Dig deep please!!!
Life in Chisinau is never dull. I’ve met a great amount of people since I returned in January, both expats and locals. There’s always something on at the weekend and for the last two weekends we’ve been trying to play a bit of golf, but the frustrating April showers have ensured that we’ve not been able to. Golf here is a fairly new activity and I’m keen to pick up a club again at the local course. The season opened a couple of weeks ago but I’ve not managed but I won some lessons at Christmas so I’m keen to go. Here’s the thing, there are only 3 holes at the course and apparently there is no real fairway, just rough. But I can’t wait to give it a shot. You can see a bit more about golf in Moldova here:
As I say, the weather has been pretty hideous over the last couple of weeks and Moldovans are pretty miffed that spring has not yet arrived. I can’t wait for summer. Sun, heat, green all around the city and sitting outside sipping a chilled beer are the main aspects of summer here and we are all longing for those days. So if you fancy a trip over here over the next few months, let me know. I had my first visitor earlier this month in the form of Tess from Denmark and we had a blast. I got my first chance to visit one of the many wineries here when she was here with some friends. Chateau Vartely is one of the closest wineries to the city and we all crammed on a minibus to get there. Amazing surroundings, fantastic company and a brilliant selection of wine and food. Sadly I lost my camera that day so all my photos of the day are gone but I’ll try and post some from another source.
Finally, I’ve been thinking a lot of home lately and it’s definitely healthy for me to keep my finger on the pulse as to what’s going on at home. Facebook helps with this but I’ve also been downloading a lot from the Desert Island Discs archive from BBC Radio 4. I listen to them in the flat, on the bus to work and when I’m running and it’s very therapeutic and specific things that remind me of home raise a smirk. David Tennant talking about going out in Glasgow, Alex Salmond choosing Caledonia as one of his discs and Emma Thompson talking about life in the Highlands helps keep me grounded and reminds me of what I’ve left behind. Have a look at the website and download a few. You won’t regret it.
Rambling over. Have a great weekend!