Couch-Surfing

4th August

Couch-surfing, which has become a bit if a new phenomenon, is such an amazing thing to be involved in.

The values statement of Couchsurfing:

‘We envisage a world where everyone can explore and create meaningful connections with the people and places they encounter. Building meaningful connections across cultures enables us to respond to diversity with curiosity, appreciation and respect. The appreciation of diversity spreads tolerance and creates and global community.’

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Last night we were picked up by Nikolai from the train station in Chisinau, Moldova after our 5 hour journey from Odessa. We didn’t know that they already had 4 other people staying…….and they accepted a family of seven!

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So there’s a girl from Armenia called Tate and a girl from Portugal – they’re both doing volunteer work in Romania. Today they are leaving to hitchhike into Odessa.

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Also there’s a young couple from Germany, Linda and Marselle, who are on a month or so holiday in Eastern Europe – hitch hiking and using buses. I remember very fondly of my hitch-hiking days – in the early 1990s – hitched twice to Perth & back and also from London to Ireland and back to Greece. It’s quite a liberating and awesome experience……..and of course very cheap – but somehow I don’t think it will work with the kids so sadly my hitch hiking days are over.
Nikolai and his wife Vita are Transnistrians living and working in Moldova.

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They are also both highly artistic with some incredible art they are both doing – painting and designing (which is Nikolai’s job) and also Vita makes incredible jewellery. They were married last year in August and judging by the photos they showed us, they had an awesome wedding – and yes I can hear our friend Sasha cringe – he wore a white suit, and it looked fabulous! it was really good of them to accept us because on the first night there were 13 people in their small two bedroom apartment. It was pretty squeezy but worked fine. We were given their bedroom with a double bed, just enough room for sleepmats on either side and one at the end of the bed, four of us on the double bed. We slept surprisingly well!

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They were such a fun and calm couple – a very positive experience for our virgin Couchsurfing place.

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