The Peace Corps uses this slogan to market and describe the the experience of a Peace Corps volunteers. You'll undoubtedly find it to be true when reading over the 367posts featured on the Republic of Moldova's"365 Days of Peace and Friendship" website. Being a Peace Corps volunteer can be a tough job: we live abroad, in unfamiliar environments, speaking unfamiliar languages, missing home, perhaps, and working longer days than we every did back in the States. But loving where we are, who we're with, are what what we're doing is what keeps us here and keeps us happy.
Love, then, is the key to our success as volunteers, and it also key to the success of Moldova. As a Moldovan journalist, Cătălina Russu, wrote in her Valentine's Day post, "All we need for Moldova to grow is love," love is the commodity that we build with when other resources fall short. Love drives Moldovans to develop new business, to improve the quality of their lessons even if they will not receive an extra reward, to work in difficult conditions abroad to bring more money home and offer a better quality of life to their families. Love drives them to develop their country to make it a better place to live and a place they can be proud to call home. Though the Republic of Moldova is defined as a third world country, there are many resources here -- good earth, a developing market, smart people -- and as shown on the 365 website, Moldova is full of life and love, too. As a result of this mix of resources, it is growing.
The 365 website set out with somewhat broadly defined goals, “To promote peace and friendship, to promote a better understanding of Moldova and life in the Peace Corps on the part of people all over the world by posting a story every day of the 50th Anniversary year of the Peace Corps.”
While the promotion of peace, friendship, love, and understanding is invaluable, it has been relatively hard for us to measure in terms of impact and changed attitudes. Nonetheless, judging by the statistics below (with more than 10,000 views in over 100 countries for an average of 7 minutes and 22 seconds, and 367 new stories about life in Moldova), it seems we did a pretty okay job of reaching these goals in terms of site usage and resource generation.
The website is mostly about culture, including posts from Moldovans, Peace Corps volunteers, and people from all over the world who found their way to Moldova. On it, you can learn about weddings and wine making, about life in the classrooms and working in the fields, about making placenta and planning projects. There are post from the capitol, Chisinau, a European Capitol, and from small towns with populations of fewer than 2,000. You'll find project reports and biographies of good friends. You'll find adventures - full of optimism, confusion, excitement, set-backs, leaps-forward, and new levels of understanding - and it all takes place in Moldova.
A huge thank you, mulţumesc, спасибо is due to all the people who supported the website by posting, viewing, and sharing its contents. 365 will not continue as it has, and we're not sure what will be done with the collection of posts, but we'll be talking with volunteers and Moldovans to figure how it or a spin-off project will continue, and what will be done with the stories that have been collected. If you would like to use anything from the website, it is free content, and please contact us if there's any way we can help.
Have a great 51st Anniversary Year of the Peace Corps, 20th birthday year of Moldova. Keep spreading peace, love, and friendship!
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