I love October. My birthday of course but this year I realized I am only getting older. Halloween is why I love October. This week, I had a Halloween party in my school and it was great! All my students came in costumes and we had a costume competition. The funniest costume was my students Katya, who came as Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. Her costume was an exact replication, completely homemade. I was impressed! The best costume was a girl named Dasha, (not from my school), who came as Sherlock Holmes. I was a flower child, mostly due to my business and inept time to prepare an awesome costume. And maybe also because of the inappropriateness of my first idea, (which I will now go on to explain and ask for opinions about).
As many of you already know, I have TB, (Tuberculosis). Before anyone freaks out, it is only the common form that is in the blood, which is neither dangerous nor contagious. PCVs, as a precaution, are required to take medicine for it so that it cannot move to a stage 2 of the disease, in the lungs. Actually though, about 90% of Ukrainian also have TB in their blood, though only about 10% actually have it become stage 2. So, DON’T WORRY!!! Anyways, for this reason, and the fact that I cannot drink for the 9 months that I am on the medication, I decided to be TB for Halloween. (As a joke of course). I thought it would be hilarious and many other volunteers agreed with me. When I told my Ukrainian friends and students though, they were extremely offended by the costume and took it as a personal attack/joke against Ukrainians. Of course, this is not how I had intended the costume but I changed it anyways to no offend. Thoughts? Opinions?
Now I am on my way to a big Halloween party for all the volunteers. There is supposed to be about 170 volunteers there and I am super stoked to see all the costumes! Yay!
Sadly, my friend Margo goes home in a month. She has already been in Ukraine a little over a year and her group is about to finish their service. Sad day. I will miss her.
So, I did get a cat. Not the one I posted on my blog actually, but a new one. About a month ago, a little tiny kitten showed up at the front area of my apartments without a family and she was crying everyday. For three days straight I listened to this and then I thought of the cold winter. It was terrible and I finally I couldn’t take it anymore. I took her. I am really happy with my decision…now…At first though…oh man. I could of thrown that cat out about a million times that first week. Firstly, the cat started off by peeing and pooping all over my floor within an hour of taking her in. I forgave her and even congratulated her for missing my carpet. She was even potty trained within a week. But then she couldn’t figure out how to clean her butt after a messy poop, so she solved this by dragging her butt across my blanket, pillow, chairs and table. She also wouldn’t let me sleep, and on several occasions would start biting my feet or toes in the middle of the night. The worst night was about a week ago when she was finally starting to learn not to bug me in the middle of the night. So I was surprised and moody when she jumped up on my bed and woke me up. I roughly pushed her off the bed and rolled over….RIGHT INTO HER POOP! Needless to say, I was up for an hour cleaning myself and I finally considered whether or not I would be able to live with myself if I put her back on the streets. I couldn’t. She learned. And now we are getting along great. Its been about a week without any problems. I think once I made the choice that I would definitely keep her, we got along much better. 🙂
My birthday was fun and a little stressful. In Ukraine, it is tradition that the birthday boy/girl puts on their own birthday party, pays for it all, and does all the cooking. So, considering I had all my teachers, my students and my friends, I was stressed. I decided to have separate parties; one for my teachers, one for my English club and then at night I simply had a bottle of win with my girlfriends. For both parties I made my favorite American cake: Carrot Cake! They loved it! I also made American Salsa and Banana Bread for my teachers. I was up all night the night before preparing everything and I thought it would all turn out terrible, but actually they love everything. I was also worried because I made a choice to go against Ukrainian tradition of buying alcohol for my party! We instead drank traditional American Apple Cider and tea. It turned out well and none of my teachers commented. My students of course did not present this problem.
The best thing ever happened at my student’s party! I was on the Russian version of facebook one day and I saw that my students had made group for our Halloween party. I went to the group and in Russian, I saw this conversation:
Person1 : Who is going to present something to Ms. Daniela?
Person 2: Maybe we shouldn’t talk about this on this group?
Person 3: What? Ms. Daniela can’t understand. We can say what
we want about her and she won’t understand.
ME: Yes Polina, I understand. Mary is smart not to talk about this here. But while we are talking about it, I want 1 million dollars.
So my students brought me One million dollars with my face on it. AWESOME. I LOVE MY STUDENTS!!!
On my birthday I also planned a Skype-date with the Jeremy Gilley, the man who created World Peace Day (September 21st). This day is 14 years old and is the only official day in the world when all wars stop and in some areas, hostile zones are opened only for this day to allow organizations to make important vaccines. Unfrotunately, my students were used to my American accent and had trouble understanding him, but his passion was evident and they stayed interested throughout the 30 minutes. (PS: Please hjoin the Global Truce Campaign on Peaceoneday.org. This is an action to make the biggest group/petition of people in all the world to support peace!)
Off to Kharkiv now to celebrate Halloween. WOoot WOoooT! 🙂