This was the 1st year of my life that i celebrated my birthday on Valentine's Day! Mama-G and fam surprised me with a masa and gifts! :oD I definitely don't plan on making it a habit to celebrate them both together, but it was unique circumstances, and i'm very grateful for such a loving host family!
Here's the loot:
My host brother and sister-in-law had this puzzle made for me! That was the last photo taken of me before i shaved my head last July. The top left pic is of Mama-G and her granddaughters. The top right is my host niece, Rada. The bottom left is Rada and her newborn baby brother, Radu. And the bottom right is Ilona (host sister-in-law), Sergiu (host brother), Grigore (host dad), and Nina (Mama-G). This was my fave gift!
My other fave gift is this note from Mama-G and Grigore.
With much love we wish you
"To Many Years!" (aka Happy Birthday!)
Health always be with you, happiness to accompany you at every step, love to be with you permanently, and fortune awaiting you everywhere. We love you and thank you for coming into our life that brought us much joy. We will always expect your return to Moldova.
With much love,
Host-Mom Nina, Grigore
Here's what the box of candy looks opened...foarte frumos! (very beautiful!)
And this is a close second to my faves...my very 1st (and probly only ever) pair of hose... ;op Ilona's mom gave a pair to all the women for Valentine's Day. :o] When i wear them, i'll be sure to take a photo posing like the woman in the pic...it's only appropriate...i gotta find that outfit though 1st...
The left cake is the Valentine's cake that Ilona's mom brought over and the right cake is my birthday cake from Mama-G. They were both super yummy!
Then, on my actual birfday, Natalia (one of my partner teachers) and 4 of my students brought all of this to my house!
This is my fave...i LOVE potted plants! :oD Hopefully i can keep it alive...
And my other fave: a photo album, including about 10 photos in it!
This is the 1st photo. It's the village marker for my village. It was a cloudy day apparently, cuz you can't really see the actual village down below.
And then, the next day when i went to school, i brought the staff my award-winning No-Bake Cookies (Moldovan tradition is that when it's your birthday, you bring sweets and coffee/tea to share), and they gave me this framed cross-stitch and woven bell. :o]
When i went to school this week, my other partner teacher (Elena) said that everyone loved my cookies so much and they wanted the recipe! That's a real win in Moldova! From my experience, Moldovan's aren't too keen on trying new/foreign foods (except for Mama-G, who is an adventurous eater :o]), so for them to not only try my cookies, but then to like them so much that they want the recipe! that's HUGE! It really made my day. And, of course, i emailed her the recipe...which tooks some time cuz i had to guesstimate and convert the measurements (i just eyeball the amounts i use, but of course, i think in terms of cups, teaspoons, etc, not grams and milliliters (except in Nursing)).