GF mom keeps Peace Corps volunteer motivated
Over in Moldova -- not far from Russia -- there's a young woman who is thinking today of her mother back in North Dakota. She's a Peace Corps volunteer, Miranda Mozinski. Her mother is Amy Carlson, who works for Altru Family Medicine Residency an...
Over in Moldova -- not far from Russia -- there's a young woman who is thinking today of her mother back in North Dakota. She's a Peace Corps volunteer, Miranda Mozinski. Her mother is Amy Carlson, who works for Altru Family Medicine Residency and is also a foster parent.
In Miranda's opinion, her mother is one of the best of foster parents.
Miranda has been in Moldova since June 2009. She will stay there until July 2011. The Peace Corps is giving her the opportunity to do what she always wanted: work with and help children and hopefully make a difference in their lives.
Being that far from home, Miranda acknowledges there are waves of homesickness. Along with her mother, there are three younger sisters and a brother back here in Grand Forks." But, Miranda writes, "we Skype often and talk on a cell phone."
"My mother and I are especially close, and without her, I don't think I would have made it this far in Moldova. She constantly keeps me motivated and reminds me of my purpose here," Miranda said in an e-mail.
Miranda graduated from Red River High School in 2005 and attended UND before transferring to Moorhead State University, where she graduated last May with a degree in early childhood education. Then, she joined the Peace Corps.
On a typical day now, she arrives at school at 8 a.m. and teaches four or five classes. She and another teacher run an English Club that the students call "English City." They play games, sing songs and draw pictures. And they love the game Uno. Along with teaching English, Miranda takes lessons in Romanian, the language spoken in Moldova.
About 8 p.m. each day, she goes home to eat supper with her host family. They talk in Romanian and watch the news in Russian while eating and drinking a homemade wine that is common in that area.
"This is a very interesting country with a more interesting culture," Miranda said, "but nobody knows about it." Part of her mission in the Peace Corps is to spread knowledge about Moldova to Americans. The goals of the Peace Corps are to promote world peace and friendship. Even people who live in Western Europe know little about Moldova, so she tries on her blog to update readers about this country.
The food she eats in Moldova is mainly potatoes and cabbage. She longs for some sweet and sour chicken and an egg roll as she used to order at the former Shangri La restaurant in Grand Forks. Her mom has sent Tabasco sauce, and her Moldovan host family has grown to enjoy it, too. Now, she says her host father puts Tabasco on bread and eats it that way.
She finds herself yearning for a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, so family and friends have been sending her a continuous supply to use as a trading tool with fellow Peace Corps volunteers. Ranch dressing also is high on the demand list of volunteers.
Miranda noted, "We had a party when Mom sent a bottle of the dressing."
There are moments of soul-searching for Miranda in Moldova. This past week, she wrote, "I know I am a different person now than I was in America. I have learned to look at the smaller things in life and not take things for granted. I know when I return to the United States, I will be more appreciative of what I have.
"It is often difficult to converse in the mixture of Russian and Romanian languages here. I have learned to be patient if I want to get my point across and to be more understanding of others."
For now, she draws strength from the continuous stream of advice and help that comes from her mom in Grand Forks.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.