The Moldova bracelets went like absolute hotcakes.

Bringing Moldova to Maine during IEW

I was very excited about this week. I first heard about it in October during a talk with my community coordinator. I knew that as an exchange student I would make some presentations in my community about my country, but I was delighted to hear that there is actually a special week dedicated to that. I just could not wait for it to happen.

​My first “audience’’ was my host family. On Sunday night, after I finished assembling my information, I did a mini-presentation in the living room. This was actually the first time I showed them my national dances, food, music, and more of our traditions. We had a great time; after I ended the PowerPoint, we remained in the living room and discussed all the new things they had learned. I was extremely happy to answer their questions. ​ ​

​My first presentation was in my Spanish class. Things went way better than I expected. I was worried about how everything would go, but I felt confident and comfortable with the audience. They had a lot of questions, and I answered them with great pleasure. The next day, I went to a Chinese class. It was a very interesting experience, because that class was all decorated with elements of Chinese culture, and I felt a huge contrast comparing my country to China. But it was super cool to see how many different cultures are on the earth!

Then I went to a French class, and the last one was a U.S. History class. The U.S. History teacher was so impressed with the way I organized my information that he asked me to give this presentation to his European History class in the spring, since during that time they will be learning about the Soviet Union and its former countries.

I also had some ribbon the color of my country’s flag, so the students could cut themselves a piece and make some bracelets. They just adored that, and in just a few moments, I had none left! Even though I didn’t wear a national costume, I still had it on one of my PowerPoint’s slides. I wore my FLEX T-shirt, and I started my presentation with some information about the program that made my dream come true, what I had to do to be here, and the aim of FLEX.

I cannot even describe what I felt while presenting. Having so many students listen while I talked about my country made me feel proud and blessed to have this opportunity. Moldova, a small European country that nobody knew about, is now in someone’s mind. Maybe, they went home and searched for more information. Maybe, they talked about it at dinner with their family or even thought about visiting it in the future! I feel so happy that I could make my country known among young American people. For me, that was an important responsibility, and I took it very seriously to be the young ambassador of my country! It made me feel even more proud that I was born in Moldova and that I have such a beautiful history and culture. It opened my eyes about a lot of new things, and as American students learned new things from me, I can say that it helped me to realize some things, too.​

Thank you FLEX and PAX for offering me such an amazing opportunity to present my country. It means a lot for me, for my future, and for the future of Moldova!

—Cristiana (FLEX, Moldova), hosted by the Martin family (ME)