Mars: My Favorite Candy Bar?

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. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Mars: My Favorite Candy Bar?

  1. Awesomeness! Pictures! I think I’ve figured out which host sister is which (although I can only recall the name Yelena at the moment…. sorry), but which one is Ally? And who are the men in the pictures? Where are your labels!? Just teasing. =)

    The area around where you are is gorgeous. Where did you take the picture of the staircase thingie, and the one by the water (the beach one)? Do you have to walk over that bridge often?

    You told me about the little boy, but now that I remember the dogs, that seems even more freaky. It would have been amusing if he sung VeggieTales, but I think he was quite proud of himself for seeing you in the first place, so that must have slipped his mind. =)

    Kiev sounds like a place to go back and look around more at. It’s always nice when things are cleaner than you are expecting them to be. =) And I am not a huge fan of McDonald’s but I can see a cheeseburger/hamburger thing being DELICIOUS after such a long time without it.

    Your Russian sounds like it’s getting way better, although that little kid seems to be trying to do something! Not sure what was up there, but I’m sure you will see how that goes. =) It’s nice that they’re so excited to be learning at all! And it’s, of course, also nice to have people willing to clean up for you. =)

    Oh, and what time does the daylight savings thingie make it over there? I should check online, never mind. =D

    I’ve never seen kayaking courses either, but it sounds like it would be fun to try out. Let me know if you actually do check it out!

    The cake thing sounds like it was fun, but dang. The ability to get every last bit of batter out of the bowl must be an Olympic skill. They should teach it to girl scouts. =) Haha on the trash. What sort of things do you find you’re using more of than is expected, if I may ask? And where exactly do you take your trash to?

    I feel like I haven’t fully responded to everything you posted but I unfortunately have a headache, so know that I read it, and I tried to remark on all that you wrote, but too much happens! And it’s all interesting! I can’t keep up! =D Also, I love you very much!! And I’m glad my comments are serving some purpose. =)

    Hope everything continues to go well for you!!! Love you!!!

  2. Danielle, you must explain one of your pictures The one with the big, big bowl of grapes. Is that for one person? Are you fat yet? And what meal is that for? How many times a day do you eat? Are you fat yet? What is that pureed looking stuff below that bread stuff? Is that bread or is it a muffin? Is this food sweet or savory? Oh, and finally, are you fat yet?

    • Hey Mom!

      We were picking grapes off the vine that day, to make kompot I think…iots like a think juice drink. No, I am not fat..and I dont plan on it either! That meal was just one of many I chose to take a picture of….it looked appetizing so big reaosn behind it. I eat three times a day…breakfast and dinner with my family and lunch with my group. I think it was bread but Im not sure…the puree was soup. sweet desert, savory meals.;..I think it was all savoryt in the pictures…Actually I take it back…the brown puree is a jam like substance…super yummy…tasts like plums or rasberries normally.

      You asked me if I am fat twice…are you expecting this?????

      Miss you mom.

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