In other news, this summer has gone by WAYYY too fast. I have almost started dreading the start of school. But, it will happen. So…I was hoping to get the world map project done before the end of the summer but it may not happen. My Director volunteered that she would get the wall ready for me by painting the base color blue, but every time I called her to ask if it was ready, she would tell me, don’t worry about it, it’ll get done! So, then I was on vacation out in the west, and I get a call that it is ready. Unfortunately though, the rest of my summer is already crowed with trainings and summer plans, which leaves me a total of 10 days before school starts to get the wall painted. But I already have so much to do in those ten days; I just don’t think its going to get done! Normally I like the lack of scheduale in Ukraine, but this one time, I’m thinking, arghhhh.
On other fun notes, Camp H.E.A.L. was AWESOME! So awesome that my team, named JUST NINJAS, got 2nd place (out of 8 teams, and the 1st place team was all university students whilst the rest of the groups were high school students…felt like 1st place). I took 13 students along with me and they were so sad when camp was over! So sad that while we were in the train station, they started to reenact the camp by playing games and singing songs. We created quite a crowd by the time we got the singing “Here I Am Riding My Pony”. My favorite though was a team -building game they played where they had to “cross a river” using 4 sheets of paper and the pieces of paper had to have at least one foot on them at all times. By time they got all 13 students “across the river”, the crowd started clapping and taking pictures. Made me proud actually. I also have to add for the benefit of my students that even though I brought the most students, none of my students were part of the trouble makers who ended up getting in trouble. My students were constantly commended for their great behavior and their participation. Yes, I am bragging, because when I was heading to camp, I was super nervous that there I was, 21 years old, responsible for 13 students only a few years younger than me and capable of all sorts of trouble. But when camp was over, I was glowing with pride. Thanks Guys! 🙂
Ok…enough of the icky stuff. I finished my diary and started a new one. Boring news if you don’t know me, but I write. A Lot. Now on to my 17th diary. (This is a hint to family that I need a new diary. 🙂
What else? My oblast (regional) bestie, Margo, and I went on a long trip around Ukraine. It was super fun! First we went to Kiev for an awesome language refresher. (Where we study up on our Russian and learn new cool things about Ukraine.) Then we went to Lviv. Lviv is a city FAR out west near the mountains. It resembled Europe much more than our flat coal/factory cities out in the East. It was so beautiful. Ha, but instead of going to all the museums and seeing all the cool sites, Margo and I pretty much cafe-hopped and drank beer and coffee. Now, before you think we are caffeine/alcohol addicts, I would like to point out that, A) Coffee is instant in the East, except for McDonalds coffee (MMmmm), in the west they have real coffee, and B), (sorry East Ukraine), the beer is TERRIBLE in the East. Even the Easterners say this. They are much more vodka people. They had REAL beer in the West. Also, the cafes in Lviv were beautiful. We were sitting at this one cafe looking out onto a plaza surrounded by European architecture, a nice NATURAL hill in the background, and people bargaining for goodies in the bazaar. What beats that, right???
So, Danielle, Me, likes to play things by ear, and Margo, oblast bestie, likes to have things planned, so, thanks to Margo, we did get train tickets to our next destination, Odessa. But thanks to Danielle, we bought them too late and had to leave the west from Ternopol, change trains in Kiev, get off in Mykolaiv, and then take a two hour bus to Odessa. But things worked out smoothly, since Ternopol was a pretty city to see, in Kiev we got to hang out with the volunteers finishing the second language refresher, and then I met up with my group from training in Mykolaiv! See, things do work out! 🙂
Odessa….AMAZING city. Probably my favorite city in Ukraine right now…except for my city of course!!! I was really hoping to see an Opera in the famous Odessa Opera House, but apparently even though there were operas advertised online, there were no actual operas. Super disappointing. No biggie, I spent most of my time laying on the beach anyways. I love the beach. 🙂
After Odessa, Margo and I split. She headed back home to the East and I headed to the top of Crimea to visit some volunteers. One of my awesome friends, Maggie, taught me how to can so when I got home, I made and canned SALSA! Super easy and super awesome. I am sooo stoked to eat it.
So, school starts in 2 weeks. Sad. Not ready. But I guess it’ll be good to get back on a schedule and I really do miss my students. I’ll write again soon, I promise. 🙂