Tuesday, May 12, 2009


It’s been more than a month after the trip and I’m just finishing writing these memories. A lot of thoughts came through my head since then, as I digested and reflected upon the trip.

A few things I didn’t know where to fit in the text, but worth mentioning, are here:
- Every morning at the hotel breakfast lounge we would meet this very nice Dutch man. As he said, a businessman, trying to make deals in Moldova. As my friend Viorel later told me, “these people are probably not doing anything here, there’s no business to be done”.
- The stray cats in Moldova seemed extremely docile, I’ve never seen street cats being so friendly, and running to you to cuddle, or just staying around in a bar, rolling on the floor. There must be something in the Moldovan air that numbs them, or something.
- Talking about pets, in almost every car we would see these puppy dolls and other kind of animal dolls sitting either in the front shield or in the back. We saw a lot of these in taxi cabs. Funny trend.
- While most young people want to leave Moldova, in lack of better opportunities, we saw a lot of weddings. And it was easy to spot them: cars full of balloons hanging in all sides. It was a pretty sight, and there were lots of these colorful vehicles all over town.
- Roman, my Russian friend, confessed to me the first time he saw the Ocean was a year ago, when he was living in Montenegro. I was very surprised, but then he asked me how many people in Brazil have seen the snow?
- Moldovans are not ashamed to assume their country is the poorest in Europe. I found that people in poor countries tend to be nicer than people in rich countries. Maybe due to the fact that they really have to rely on each other to survive and not on government laws. But on the other hand, people can be very mean in poor countries. So I guess Moldovans are just lucky.


Moldova is a country in transition; its identity is still being constructed, as well as its politics, economy and culture. It can be very exciting to be part of this, to help build a nation, but on the other hand it can be very frustrating. Visiting a country for 10 days is not really experience it in its fullest. At the same time I loved our stay there, I was able to see young people wanting to leave the country for the lack of better opportunities and young people wanting to stay in the country for the lack of competition and for the possibility of future opportunities. Moldova is a divided country, split into many mind sets, ethnicities, economical and social problems, ambiguous and complex.

As for myself, I cannot say I found exactly what I was looking for, but at the same time I wasn’t sure what exactly I was looking for. It was all a feeling, a feeling of completion I was trying to achieve. Information about family and understanding of one’s History is also important, but much more than that, I think me, my father and sister were able to bond like never before. Now the future is for me to continue.

Next: continuing the genealogical research - the discovery of the Tolpolar grave.