Aging Moldova

Moldova is a small country in Eastern Europe, located between Romania and Ukraine. It was formerly part of the Soviet Union and it is now the poorest country in Europe. It suffers from political instability and corruption. Many of its citizens feel forced to leave the country and work illegally to support themselves.

Straseni, a typical Moldovan village, has no running water. Water pipes are still in place from Soviet times but the system has since broke and was never repaired. Water is gathered from public wells but this limits conditions for hygiene. The sick or blind must depend on their family or neighbors.

Accordion Player
Jon described his musical talent as a gift from God. Although he suffers from tuberculosis and spent much of his life in hospitals he was still singing. He began playing the accordion again after a generous gift from the staff ended his forty-three year musical hiatus.

Although she had a fairly large house Maria chose to live only in a small attached room. She is alone following the death of her husband and son’s suicide.

For much of her life, Agrepiua was a strong woman who spent her days in the garden. She moved to the center a month before we arrived after being abandoned by her family. Her daughter persuaded her to sell her home with a promise of moving to a better life in the Ukraine but the daughter stole the proceeds and left her mother behind.

July 2006

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