Thursday, May 26, 2011

Життя Update

So as you can tell from the lack of recent posts (besides ones I myself did not write), I've been very busy. On top of our language lessons and teachings, we've had our summer camp / community project implementation to plan, scratch, re-plan, correct, and plan again. It happens to be next Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - so there is obviously a lot to do and a little stress in the air. Not to mention it's hard to focus when you want to change out of your sweaty nice school attire into your Adidas shorts, GREY tank top, Chaco's, and Ninja'd glasses.
But in the midst of craziness and in true Peace Corps style, we've managed to have some fun along the way.

The weekend of May 14th and 15th was pretty jam packed. The 14th was my host mother Natasha's birthday! I will not disclose her age because I know she'd kill me if I did (some cultural norms do translate). The previous volunteer, Adam, who lived with Natasha came to visit that weekend as well so it was fun to listen to each others experiences / his saxophone. We had Ukrainian BBQ for dinner which I've grown quite fond of, many traditional Ukrainian beverages (use your imagination), and sang Happy Birthday in English while Adam played it on the sax.
I have two major loves in life - California Burritos and Volleyball. And on the 15th, both were satisfied. The Community Development PCV's in Chernihiv put on a large community picnic that we as a cluster + LCF attended. We decided it would be ideal to go grocery shopping when we arrived and might I say, It was like we struck gold. They had everything from Tortillas to Oreos. I dropped a fair bit of my monopoly money and ate way too much. I then proceeded to play volleyball - which was glorious, I need to buy one at some point.
When I got home from Chernihiv I made my host family traditional CA Burritos - and by traditional, I mean with what ingredients I could find, however it definitely hit the spot.

Last week we had Youth Development's PST University on Wednesday and Thursday in Chernihiv. While is was informative - it truthfully was just a excuse to hang out with all the other YD volunteers and catch up on the internetz.

While the brief retreat seemed like a weekend in itself, the real weekend following was a bit toasty. We ended up having a "study" social at the river. It ended up being another excuse to jump off things :)
One last thing, I'm slowly being eaten alive by mosquitos - and I saw a bee looking insect that was the size of a mouse... Ha ha - but really what the? I should have brought the Africa bed net.

Wish me luck!!

Fam Photo

It's crazy to think 11 weeks is almost up! But lets not talk about it, I wouldn't want to tear up (and we all know how much I love cryers).

We had to send in a family photo for the Swearing in Ceremony in June. Figured I'd share both the one that made it as well as the process.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mary-Kathryn Hart Celebrity Post!

First let me say that I am probably not Matt's favorite clustermate, but I am contending for that position.  In the almost seven weeks/seven months Peace Corps time I have learned lots about Matthew:
  1. He really hates it when we call him girl's names...sometimes I try not to, but that frustrated grunt he does is just too fun some days! 
  2. He really likes us, eventhough he says he wishes he had a cluster with another boy or two or three....and I do believe that some days he would truly trade us for men...but most days, he'd keep us. 
  3. If you do not feed Matt every 3-4 hours he gets sassy, if he goes longer than that he gets REALLY sassy!! (Today he told me "They're Banana Republic Pants, NOT sassy pants") 
  4. Matt is the best arts and crafts-er I know. 
  5. Matt enjoys jumping off things, especially monuments. When you come to visit Matt, we will go to a big city and visit some lovely historical places and you can see this first hand. 
  6. Don't tell him I told you, but he is a gentleman...possibly a bit forced living with all girls...but he makes sure we're safe! 
  7. Matta has these one liners that can make a bad day better or a good day great!!Don't worry 
Phyllis, I worry enough to give myself heartburn about my cluster every day, but Matthew is a smart boy and has good senses. And he does usually walk us home, except Kym, but that's really because she lives about 50 minutes in the wrong direction. 

I believe Kym said this already, but I'll risk repetition because its true: Matt is a great teacher and an asset to our cluster and the Peace Corps!!!

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Spring Time Baby

    If you haven't already figured it out, Spring is upon us (I guess that's not entirely true for the small percentage of Australians that apparently came across this blog). Anyways... now I realize for most of my friends and family in California this word doesn't really mean must seeing how everything weather related is pretty much constant however but people here take Spring very seriously and it's filled with many Ukrainian holidays. 

    While I've already explained Easter, one of the other main holidays is Святом Перемоги (Victory Day) which happens to be today, May 9th! It's basically equivalent to the US's Independence Day.
    This morning there was a large parade where we got to watch loads of soldiers, tanks, traditional Ukrainian garb'd children (which ironically looks like little Aladdins running around) and folk dancing.
    We ran across a fair amount of our students we teach so it was fun to see them in a different setting then the classroom. There was a concert held after the parade where veterans still alive were congratulated and some sort of speech was given in their honor that I was unfortunately unable to understand.
    And to top it off, later tonight there is supposed to be fireworks! After seeing Disneyland's firework show relatively recently I hope I haven't ruined my ability to appreciate such events - however I guess we'll find out tonight!

    Friday, May 06, 2011


    2 quick things,

    1. I found wifi in Kozelets!
    2. I found a hedgehog

    Sunday, May 01, 2011

    Tank Drank!

    We had a picnic literally on a tank. We made some tank drank (or tanktini's as the women's put it) and it was glorious.
    Any of course it had to be jumped off of.
    That is all.