I recently celebrated my birthday here in Moldova. This was the first time I was not in the same country and (with 1 exception) the same city as my twin sister. I was also over 5,000 miles away from anyone (family, friends) who I could possibly have celebrated my birthday with just one year ago.

It would have been just another day on the calendar, but my work partner/English club and my host family all threw me parties.

The day started off normal, my host father wished me a happy birthday. I ate some breakfast. Then I headed off to work. My work counterpart wished me happy birthday as well. To my surprise, the head librarian from the raion came to visit the library (where I work). She is a nice, friendly lady, and I had attended some seminars that she put on in the past. So it was great to reconnect. She told me that I could now stop growing up and instead grow out. That made me smile.

Later in the day, the library held our weekly Adult English Club. In attendance was just the core group of regulars. The bought a cake, brought a few things to drink, and we just talked and had discussions. It was a nice change of pace from our normal English Club.

Cutting the cake during the evening dinner.

In the evening, for dinner, we had some guests over to enjoy a masa. My host mom made pizza, my host father cooked some bar-b-que, and we had cake. I knew all the guests, which included the principal (director as they call them here) of the school in the village next to mine, some of her extended family, my host parents, and my librarian partner. I enjoyed the celebration very much and appreciate the gifts I was given. Moldova’s happy birthday song was even sung to me!

Host father (L), Director of the school, me and host mother pause for a photo during the evening festivities.

One thing that made my birthday even more memorable was all my family and friends who wished me a happy birthday. In a unique way, I was able to celebrate my birthday on two continents. I’m not sure I can truly show how grateful I am for all the amazing family (and friends) I have in my life.

Whether you were celebrating with me in person, or sent me a message or gift, thank you very much! Mulțumesc frumos!

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