Okay, I know my tempo is all over the place but here are a few Gagauzian songs I’ve learned on the accordion as filmed by my friend and fellow Fulbrighter Sarah Borton. You can check out her blog here: http://aisforadventureincyprus.wordpress.com/
Several weeks ago I was lucky enough to get invited to a wedding in the village of Cazacliya, Gagauzia. I made a video.
Several weeks ago I was lucky enough to sit down with the well-known Gagauzian artist Dmitri Sevastin. I got his thoughts on his friend Dmitri Kara Choban, what political autonomy means for the Gagauz and what he wants to do in the future. I made this video, you can watch it. As always, stay tuned to the very end for a very special message for America. Also, you may recognize the accordionist from previous videos such as “one hand version of Katiusha with an 8 year old girl.” Enjoy. XOXO, Adam
What’s that? Two posts in one сутки? Yeah, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Every year the Fulbright program runs a mid-term enrichment seminar for all of the student researchers from the various countries of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Last year it was in Sofia, this year? Thessaloniki, Greece. I certainly wasn’t going to turn down an all-expenses paid trip to Greece (can you blame me?). Long story short, I went to Thessaloniki and met my
comrades in arms colleagues and had a great few days living through the hell of captivity courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer a wonderful experience meeting and connecting with lots of wonderful people (see picture below).
Long story short again? I went to Athens, I got tear gassed. I was hosted by the American School of Classical Studies (major dap) and was given a world-class tour of all of the sites of Athens (major respect). I took some photos, here they are:
Stay tuned for the “7 Wonders of Gagauzia.”
I have now officially visited all the three cities of Gagauzia; Comrat, Vulcanesti and Ceadir-Lunga. I went two days ago, I took some pictures. That is all. Don’t tell Comrat but I think I prefer the other two over my beloved Comrat.
– I went to Greece for a Fulbright conference in Thessaloniki. Then I went to Athens. I’d like to thank everyone who pays their taxes. I’ll post some photos later.
– Had a great time celebrating Easter in a local village. At the church at 12 A.M. whisky at 10 A.M. I’ll try to write more about that later.
– I got invited to a wedding. I will do my best to not sully Indiana’s well-deserved reputation as the breeding ground of fine dancers.
– I’m busy.
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the “Love Time Contest.” In short an
strange interesting hybrid beauty and talent show. That’s all you need to know. The best part? Manjul (whom you may remember from previous posts such as Gagauzian Hip Hop) performed. So in honor of his performance I am proud to present some really poor-quality and shaky amateur-video with awful sound. Enjoy.
Okay, I’m off to chop wood for my favorite woman in Moldova. Let’s hope I survive intact. I have a bit of a history with freak accidents.
Okay, so here it is. The I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything in over a month post. Well, I’ve got things going on, I’m busy and that’s good. Busy doing what? Well, for starters I began every day in the month of February by walking down the street and collecting 36 liters of water and bringing it back to my apartment. Can you guess why? That’s right, no running water for yet another entire month of my time in the Casa Mare (P.S. I love that song). Long story short, we had an unseasonably cold winter which included several weeks of sub-zero temperatures, intense wind and over a foot and a half of snow. Pleasant. Charming. Because of this, the antiquated, Soviet-era water pipes froze. I spent several days with my neighbor pouring hot water and using a blow torch on every piece of the pipe we had access to but, alas. I called the water company (a personal favorite of mine that you may remember from previous blog posts such as “A Boy Named Su“) and they told me that the ground was frozen 70 cm’s deep and there was nothing we could do. I resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to wait for the pipes to thaw. One entire month passed (a month in which I finally mastered the art of the bucket bath) and then one morning I heard something coming from the bathroom.
Elsewehere, last week I gave a presentation entitled “Hoosier Hysteria: Basketball, Community and the Development of Gymnasium Architecture in the State of Indiana” to a group of unsuspecting middle-aged Moldovan English-teachers in Chisinau. Taking it to the people!!! Let me explain. The English Teaching Resource Center in Chisinau organized a week-long training session for teachers. For several weeks they repeatedly wrote to me and asked me to make a presentation. I repeatedly told them that I am not an English teacher. In the end they implored me to present on a “cultural topic of my choosing.” Moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for. For most of you the fact that this is what I would choose comes as no surprise. For others, I should explain that I am OBSESSED with Indiana high school gymnasiums and have spent the better part of 7 winters traveling around the state photographing gymnasiums in Indiana. Here’s an example of what I do: Evansville North The rest of them can also be seen here should you find yourself
bored so inclined: Photo Sets
In short, I killed it. I was shocked at how genuinely interested they seemed, well perhaps it’s just the foreign oddity factor but regardless, I’ll take it. After explaining the different types of gymnasiums and the elements that go into designing each gymnasium I had them each design a gymnasium to represent their schools, complete with mascots and color choices. My personal favorite was the purple and gold hedgehog. It was amazing. I also taught them how to play Scattegories with their students.
It’s March Madness. I organized a basketball tournament and picnic for next Sunday to celebrate.
In the last month I have explained what a Hoosier is more times than I care to count.
I fell on the ice in Chisinau and tore up my knee. I’m okay though.
I interviewed a very excentric artist. Video to follow.
I’m going to Greece for a Fulbright conference. I will be presenting on Gagauzian Hip Hop and its role in language revitalization.
I went to Odessa. Holy civilization Batman.
I leave you with two photo sets I made. One is of Comrat in the snow, the other is of the cemetery in the snow. Make of them what you will. As always, I want to hear from you.
How do you celebrate Old New Years Eve/St. Basil’s Day in Gagauzia? Something kind of like this.
I’m back, in every sense of the word. I have big things planned but for now it’s xmas in Gagauzia. I spent the morning working out some carols on the accordion to
amuse impress the locals this evening. Stay tuned for more things to come over the next few months. But for now, it’s xmas and I leave you with this message from Ksenia.
A friend of mine and fellow Fulbrighter is teaching English in the southern Moldovan city of Chaul. She’s been to Comrat at least three times since we both arrived in Moldova at the beginning of September and I had yet to repay the favor. It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested in visiting Cahul, quite the opposite actually, I’ve been looking forward to going since I got here but something just kept coming up. So last week I finally made my way about 1 and a half hours south by bus (only if you go through Svetli I learned the hard way) to the city of Cahul.
Cahul has a completely different feel than Comrat and this became apparent to me about half way through the ride when the landscape changed dramatically. Gone was the treeless barren presence of the Budjak steppe I’ve become so accustomed to in Gagauzia and in its place were big sweeping hills and valleys almost entirely covered by vineyards. These vineyards are primarily owned by Cricova Wine Company who, according to Wikipedia, own the worlds 2nd largest wine cellar complete with 75 miles of underground roads. The city itself has a completely different feel than Comrat. Make no mistake about it, Cahul is a Moldovan city whereas Comrat is a Gagauzian city. In Cahul you hear and see a lot more Moldovan/Romanian, something which is almost nonexistent in Comrat with the exception of official government signage and documents. Cahul also seems to be a bit poorer than Comrat. One local friend from Gagauzia attributes this to the political autonomy in Gagauzia. He argues that this political autonomy allows the government of Gagauzia (aka my drinking buddy the Bashkan and his entourage) to attract foreign investment without the
interference involvement of the government in Chisinau.
I spent a few hours walking around the city and seeing the sites (a tour that included a Soviet-era sanatorium and the view of Romania off in the distance) before heading back to Comrat in the evening.
Here are some pictures I took: