Tag Archives: Champa Jarmul

Getting Into Costume

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Cowboys, Indians, pirates and other characters have begun arriving at Champa’s school. Her grant project to create a costume and prop wardrobe for its drama program is progressing nicely, with many of the costumes now completed.

 

The school, LT “Andrei Vartic” in Ialoveni, Moldova, recently received its first batch of stage props, including some great hats. As you can see in these photos, Champa and I had fun trying them on with her project partner Ana Doschinescu, in the white and blue dress, and another teacher, Tamara Vîrlan.

Ana, Tamara and Champa can’t wait until the project is completed and students start using the props and costumes on stage. We’ll keep you posted.

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Story Time at the Library

Readers, I seek your assistance — the first and only time Champa or I will make such a request while we are serving in Moldova as Peace Corps Volunteers.

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The library where I work in Ialoveni has launched a project to create a “Story Time at the Library” program for toddlers along with educational programs for adults. They’ve already raised nearly $1,000 locally — a lot of money here — but need $2,303.94 more to create a kid-friendly room with small chairs, educational toys, art materials and the like.

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I’ve worked with the library and Peace Corps to launch a fundraiser through the Let Girls Learn program championed by Michelle Obama.

As you can see in the infographic, the librarians did a survey showing overwhelming community support for the idea, which is similar to the story times held at many public libraries in the States. Their target audience is kids a bit younger than those you see in the photo above of a school group recently visiting the library.

The project is just the latest example of how Ialoveni’s library is trying to redefine itself for the modern world and become a vital community resource. During the past year alone it has expanded beyond books to create programs for video animation, advocacy, computer coding and robotics, together with new services for special-needs users.

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You can learn more about the project and donate here. Your contribution is tax-deductible in the United States. You can donate in honor or memory of someone and, if you choose, share your contact information with me. You can also send words of encouragement to the project team. I will be administering the funds.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog, support what the Peace Corps is doing or just want to support a great cause for the holidays, I hope you will make a donation. On behalf of the mothers, children, families and librarians of Ialoveni: Mulțumesc (Thank you)!

 

 

Champa’s Projects

Composting. Arts and crafts. Helping kids with special needs.

These are just some of the things Champa has been doing here when she isn’t teaching English at her school. Recently Peace Corps Moldova asked her and several other eduction volunteers to highlight their out-of-class activities for a conference. Her presentation reminded me of how busy she’s been. These photos tell the story:

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Champa hosts a weekly English conversation class at our local library.

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She participates sometimes in a weekly club at the library where local women create hats and other objects from recycled materials.

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She’s helping a local NGO compost its food scraps and start a vegetable garden and has also started a compost pile with our host family, shown above.

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For International Children’s Day, Champa organized a project in which local residents described in a few words what the day meant to them. (That’s our city’s mayor in the blue shirt and tie, helping her.)

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She is managing a Peace Corps small grants project at her school to create a costume and prop wardrobe for its drama program. She’s posing above with her school partner Ana and in the bottom photo with Ana and Ina, the project’s designer.

Champa also volunteers weekly at a local center for special-needs kids and, of course, does all of her regular work at the school, as well as participating in community cultural events, hanging out with our host family and sharing all of the shopping and cooking with me. She doesn’t like calling attention to herself but today I’m making an exception.

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Sharing Our Story

Earlier this year, Champa’s school received a wonderful gift of English-language books from Darien Book Aid, a nonprofit organization in Connecticut that sends free books to organizations in the United States and abroad. img_1420Champa requested the books, which ranged from easy readers to story anthologies. They’ve found a happy audience at her school ever since then.

More recently, the organization contacted us to ask whether they might profile us for a story in their newsletter about older Peace Corps Volunteers. Especially since they’d been so generous, we agreed. The article was just published.

Please consider donating to Darien Book Aid! Their latest newsletter is here, including the article about us, which follows below.

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Two Talks in Durham

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Champa and I are coming home for a short vacation with our family. While we’re in Durham, we will be giving two presentations about our Peace Corps experience:

  • A private talk for Duke University friends at 4 p.m., July 10, Office of News and Communications. RSVP (required) to Sakiya Lockett.
  • A public talk  at 4 p.m. July 11 at the East Durham Regional Library, together with Chris Cardona, a returned volunteer (China) who is the local Peace Corps recruiter. See the poster below for details.

Earlier during our visit we will be joining returned volunteers from the Philadelphia area in marching in that city’s Fourth of July parade. If you’re watching in front of Independence Hall, check out who’s carrying the flags for Moldova and Nepal.

Please come join us if you are in the area!

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Children’s Day

Love. Happiness. Fun. Health.

Those are some of the things people wrote on Thursday when Champa asked them to describe in one word the meaning of International Children’s Day, which people celebrated in Ialoveni and across Moldova. The mayor, Sergiu Armașu, in the shirt and tie, helped her gather responses in front of the Casa de Cultură.

Click on the photo of the chart to see all of the responses. American readers may especially enjoy two in the top-right of the photo: “Best Friend Forever” and “iPhone 7.”