I go to Ukraine in 24 days. Actually scratch that. I go to D.C. in 24 days. From there I fly to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, where I will train for the next three months. After that I will go to my site, which I won’t know until the end of training, and I will spread my glorious knowledge. I’ve heard training is pretty tough. I read somewhere that three out of ten volunteers drop out! But I won’t drop out. I’m too stubborn.
So for the next 4 weeks all I am doing is reading stuff, researching, and getting all the items that are recommended. The top items to purchase are: Potato peeler, Zip-lock bags (freezer) and Tabasco/spices. I have all three thanks to my lovely granddad. As for reading and researching, there is plenty of it. TOO MUCH of it. The Peace Corps sends me a complete package of of reading supplies for the next 10 years, but just in case I am a super fast reader, they also send me a bunch of links and recommend I follow blogs of current volunteers and read books written by past volunteers. If you are feeling bored, you could read some of these blogs and write a short summary for me. I’m paying (Just kidding).
So a little about Ukraine that I already know; It’s COLD in the winter and HOT in the summer. A country of extremes. Yay! And to make it even more wonderful, neither A/C or heating units are widespread amenities in the country. (I’ve heard that on occasion there are fans and wood-stoves if that counts?) Luckily I am a fan of snow and cold weather, not so much of the heat. Winter is not just cold though; it is also DARK. I’ve heard that this is the cause of widespread depression amongst PC volunteers and alcoholism amongst locals. (They’re just lacking in vitamin D I bet.) Luckily…I more or less have experience in dark depressing winters…I spent six months in Finland. Butttt….this is a lot longer than six months. So…pray for me is all I can say!!!
I found out that my family has heritage connection to Ukraine. My great grandmother was a immigrant to the US from Czechoslovakia, (before it became two countries). The cultures are apparently really similar and the languages are almost interchangeable. My Gramps gave me a prayer book from my Baba (Grandma) and I was actually able to read it! My mother has also been sending me a bunch of links showing traditional Ukrainian dancing that she and my aunt performed in high school. (Note: It is much funnier watching your mother PERFORM the dance than to have her send you links of someone else doing it.)
So, in conclusion…I am not ready. Ha. And I still have bunches of reading that I need to tend to instead of procrastinating by writing a blog before I have even left the state. Being that I will probably just be reading the next couple of weeks and I won’t have any new interesting news, I probably won’t post again until I actually get to Ukraine. Enjoy this one though and feel free to comment or ask any questions that you might have. 🙂