back home

i’ve been back in chişinău since wednesday morning at 4am.  i arrived in bucharest on monday evening, spent the night there and took a train to galaţi tuesday morning.  it was my first time back to romania since moving in january, so it was great to be able to spend some time with the staff and kids at the wmf community center.

upon arriving in chişinău, we spent all day wednesday searching for a new office apartment because the one we are currently using was sold while i was on vacation in the states.  we found a 2-room apartment that is cheaper than the one we’re in now and that is within walking distance of the boarding school where we volunteer each day.  and we really like our new landlord.

today we moved almost all of our stuff there, but since there are still a few minor repairs that need to be done and because internet is still connected at our old place, i’m here for a few more days until the new owners move in.

please note that my (our) mailing address has changed:

John Koon

C.P. 4, O.P. 2000

Chişinău, MD-2000

Republic of Moldova


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a few pictures from kiev


statue of lenin


orthodox church




multi-colored buildings


opera theatre


will i make it to tel aviv?


on time to atlanta.

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i made it!  after 2.5 hours of security checks in the tel aviv airport (i am not exaggerating), i was finally allowed to board a plane to atlanta!  13 hours in the air, and now i’m here.

andrew and i are now off to get our suits cleaned and pressed.  mine is a mess after being folded in my suitcase for the past 4 days.

3 more days to the wedding….

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tel aviv

so i’m in tel aviv, and it looks like my flight to atlanta is going to be on time.

should be stateside at 5:55am eastern time tomorrow.

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headed to airport

i’m headed out in a few minutes to the airport in kiev.  it looks like ukranian air space is still open, so hopefully i will make it to tel aviv and then on to atlanta.

kiev is beautiful.  hopefully i will be able to post a few pictures in the near future.  last night i ate dinner at a kosher restaurant connected to a synagogue i found.  it was delicious and so great to see such an active synagogue in eastern europe. 

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last night at about 6:30 i started finding fairly cheap flights to tel aviv out of kiev and from there a direct flight to atlanta.  i began to think that this might be a good way to avoid the ash cloud over europe as ukranian air space seems to be open, so i took a maxitaxi to the north bus station in chisinau to ask about transport to kiev.  apparently there is only one bus per day, at 9:30pm, and at this point it was already 8.  i returned home, bought both plane tickets, repacked my bags and called a taxi.  i got back to the bus station by 9, and we pulled out of chisinau at 9:30.

this was such a spontaneous decision, but so far, things are going according to plan.  i’m writing from a hotel lobby in kiev where i am waiting until noon when i can check in.  tomorrow i fly to tel aviv and hopefully on to atlanta.

maybe i’ll be able to see a little bit of kiev today?  or at least practice some of the russian i don’t use much in chisinau?


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volcanic activity

so i’m writing this from my apartment in chisinau.  i was supposed to fly out over 24 hours ago to nashville, but moldovan airspace (as well as almost all of european airspace) was closed all day yesterday and looks like it will be closed all day today as well.  i was told to not even bother trying to rebook my flight until monday afternoon.  i have considered traveling 3 days by bus or train to athens and then trying to fly to new york through istanbul (airspace in southern europe seems to still be open), but it just seems so risky and extremely expensive.

my other option is to wait it out at home in chisinau.  i have a paper ticket issued by us airways but my first leg is to frankfurt with air moldova.  the people at us airways said that they cannot help me until i get to frankfurt because i do not have an electronic ticket.  so, i have to wait until i can get rebooked by air moldova on a flight to frankfurt, and then deal with the rest of the trip once i’m there.  and if you’ve been watching the news, you know what the situation is like in frankfurt….

what do you all think?  should i buy a new (expensive) ticket, hop on a bus to athens and hope the volcanic ash doesn’t move further south?  or should i wait it out in moldova?

a dear, dear friend of mine is getting married on saturday in atlanta, and i can’t imagine not being there.

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