Happy Thanksgiving!!! (That’s today…as I write this…But I guess that technically means it is just the beginning of thanksgiving for everyone in the States….and the weeks later by time I get this on the internet). So as I wrote before, the Peace Corps gave us an extra $2.50 for Thanksgiving. (20грн each) We ended up spending almost 100грн! So to clarify…I am complaining here because that is a lot of money here, but really, we fed 6 people and we have leftovers for only $12… Not bad from that angle, eh? I made my first pumpkin pie and not to brag or anything but I thought it was absolutely delicious! Only the pumpkin was very hard and not squishy like how I would have ideally preferred for pumpkin pie would be, but it was still delicious. (None of our Ukrainian guests liked it though…) Actually, it was really funny, I decided to take the rest home to my host Babushka to see if maybe she would like it. She tried it and her face immediately screwed up into bitter disgust. BUT, I came back into the kitchen about 10 minutes later and my host mom was munching on the pie and almost half of it was already gone! She never said she liked it, but a pie that disappears is a good pie.
Today I taught my seventh grade class and it was absolutely wonderful! I had mentioned to my students at the end of class on Monday that Thursday was a special day and if they brought food, we could celebrate. Well, in America if you told a class this maybe one kid would show us with some store-bought cookies. Today. My class showed up with home-made baked goods, chocolates, a bag of apples, fizzy apple cider, and even cups. There was only one student who didn’t bring anything and she is new so she is excused. I am not sure I can express in words how overjoyed and proud I was! These were my students and they were awesome. Unfortunately, Monday is my last class with them and then I leave my little town. I am really going to miss them…
Lately I have been getting headaches from the scratches on my glasses, so on Saturday I got the brilliant idea that I would send my glasses to Kiev with our link group to get fixed. Brilliant right? I don’t have to spend 50грн to go to Kiev and I can just use my older prescription glasses for the week. Of course, Murphy’s law, (Or Sod’s law depending on your English), I woke up and broke my glasses this morning while fixing my bed. Eeeek! And tomorrow afternoon I have my final lesson…which just so happens to be the lesson I am to present in front of the Peace Corps administration to demonstrate my ability to teach…without glasses. For all my readers out there who are near-sided and -4.25 or worse, please write empathetic comments. As for the lesson, this marks the end of my methodological training. Next Thursday I will have my LPI, (Language Proficiency Interview) and the two weeks from tomorrow I am off to my permanent site!
We went to Kiev yesterday, where once again I had some bad luck. Due to reasons beyond my control, I was unable to take my stipend out of the bank this month and I have to request a new card. Murphy’s law, again, I need my passport to do this, the actual passport, not just a copy. But of course, my passport is with the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to get a pink card to work in Ukraine. There is no way for me to get it before next Monday when we “swear in”, (the process of becoming an official volunteer after completing training). So, instead, I had to exchange my US dollars. BUT, (of course another BUT), the bank wouldn’t take $20 worth due to the fact that the bills are wrinkled. So I was only able to get 795грн. Of that amount, I paid 775грн to my host mother for this months rent, which leaves me 20 грн to live off of, (that’s about $2.50). Of course, to look on the bright side of things, when I finally do get access to my account, I will be rich!
Its been snowing a lot lately! I think it was snowed almost ever day for about 9 days straight now. Its absolutely beautiful and white! (Until today, when it warmed up quite a bit and the snow turned into 3 deep brown slush covering all the sidewalks). When there was snow though, it was great because even at night when it was cloudy, it was bright outside. The kids were all out on sleds playing. Over the weekend it snowed the most I have seen since I have been here. I would have loved to play in it, but I went to my 16 year old host-sister’s home town about an hour away and she wasn’t very big on the idea of playing in the snow. Well, the day after tomorrow is my final language exam, LPI, and then on Monday I leave my beautiful city! I may not write again for a while until I get to my new site but I promise I will update as soon as possible. Pray for me! 🙂