I went to Kiev last Monday. It was awesome but we unfortunately didn’t stay very long. We hopped on a bus at 10am and it was a two hour ride there. It was a pleasant ride and I got the chance to listen to an Indie band Ally passed on to me. At about 12pm we were dropped off at a bus stop on an island between roads with a staircase going down to a metro station. We then purchased bus tickets in the form of plastic blue coins that I am sure could easily be reproduced. The station was much nicer than I expected and very clean. The trains were packed full though which made it a little uncomfortable. We finally got to our stop after and then we started a scavenger hunt to find the Peace Corps Office. (Our teacher wouldn’t tell us because she wanted us to practice our Russian). It only took us 10 minutes to find it, but none of us were very happy that after all our efforts we only stayed for 10 minutes! Next we headed for a bank to withdraw our monthly allowance. Unfortunately the bank ran out of money so we had to walk thirty minutes across town to another ATM. After getting all our money, we got to eat and Mmmm, guess where we ate??? None other but the infamous MCDONALDS! It was amazing! I don’t think I have ever enjoyed McDonalds more. Unfortunately we didn’t get to do much sightseeing besides walking through the main square. We were already on the bus home at 4pm. (I would have stayed longer if not for our teacher wanting to leave.)
I was taking a walk the other day along the river when I ran into a student of mine from my third grade class. I was so surprised because he called out my name and I thought to myself, “Who the heck knows my name???” Then I heard running behind me and I was actually frightened, and rightfully so after being attacked by dogs! It was really cute though because he ran up and said “I live near. Where do you live?” and then gave me a huge grin like he had just figured out the cure for cancer. I was proud though. I think the whole moment would have been even better if he had sang the VeggieTales song I taught him, but, hey, I guess I can’t ask for too much. J He than ran off to his friend and I could here him bragging about talking to the English teacher and pointing to me from a distance. This happened a lot actually, especially in school or along the main roads. The girls will group up, blatantly stare, and then everyone will whisper to the boldest girl/boy all the things they want her/him to call out as we pass. (Usually just a “hello” but it seems that the coolest students are the ones who can actually remember our names; ”Hello Miss Danielle!”) In class it is even better because the same cool girl/boy is also overly helpful. They want to show off their English skills and help you with EVERYTHING. (Which has come in handy when I don’t feel like cleaning off the board, or when I need help putting posters up, or even better, when the entire class doesn’t understand but that one student, he or she turns around and explains.)
I had this one class that I was thrown into without any time to prepare or even look over the lesson. In this class there was this male student and boy did he drive me crazy. He thought he was being clever to ask and answer all questions in Ukrainian. I kept saying to him “Я не панимаю!” “I don’t understand!” but he continued throughout the whole class to talk to me in Ukrainian and then would turn to all his supporters and giggle. Then, at the end of the lesson he wiped all my boards for me! I can’t figure out if he is my friend or my enemy but I get the impression that if he is my enemy I am not going to be able to teach anything!
So this is random, but on Sunday this past weekend I was walking on a path by the river when I saw a kayak course and a bunch of kayaks. They were practicing avoiding tall floppy beams in the water. I have never seen or heard of a kayak course but it was sure cool to watch. (And cold). Maybe I’ll take this up as a sport. Hmm.
We had daylight savings time here last week. (Two weeks earlier than America.) Just so you know.J
I baked a cake with my babushka over the weekend. It was an orange juice and vanilla batter with cinnamon apples on top. We sat there together talking and peeling apples. (Oh how I love to peel by the way.) I went to pour the batter in the pans and then my host mom scraped the pans dry of batter. Let me emphasize this point; In my house when we were done with the bowl, we licked it. In this house we do not lick bowls not because we aren’t allowed but because my babushka has literally scraped every little drop of batter and there is not possibly any left. I am sure that even if there was any left she would get to it first or then be insulted that she had missed a drop. Even after the cake was baked my host mom scraped the bottom of the pan for crumbs and threw it in with the chicken feed. I believe my babushka should get an award for not wasting anything. I mean ANYTHING. Speaking of which, did I mention that there is not a single garbage can in my house? Yes, tis true. We do not throw away anything. And I being American, have not quite figured out how to not have garbage, so I have instead learned how to sneak garbage out of the house so I do not look wasteful. Is this bad?
So I am sorry about how disorganized the photos are in this post but this computer is wayyyy to slow to rearange them. Just note please that I have added pictures to my last post and also note the Papa Serguy picture. He is the Ukrainian Chuck Norris. Yess, the boogie man is scared of him. BEAST. 🙂 (Comments polease…thanks Stacy for keeping them up, I do read them. 🙂