Its been a while, I know. Sorry. Getting ready to leave is kicking my butt. Seven weeks and six days until I fly home! Wooot Wooot! Sad though too. I feel like I am more than ready to leave; two years is a REALLY LONG TIME; But I’m not ready…I love Ukraine. I love my friends. I love my students. Its going to be sad….
I went to COS (Close of Service) conference at the end of September. I’m not really a big fan of big groups of people so I felt super awkward. The information was really useful though and it was nice to see the group I trained with. After the conference though, I started to feel super anxious and overwhelmed like I don’t have enough time to do all the things I need to do….we’ll see.
[photo 1:I’m on the right sitting down!]
Skittles (my lovely cat) had surgery 3 weeks ago. No more baby making parts. It was terrible. I thought it would be but I think its worse in Ukraine. Then after the surgery she was wobbling all over my apartment with blue antibiotic spray all over her fur (and now all over my apartment). Twice a day I had to give her antibiotic shots. It was terrible. She would scream and bite and scratch. I have marks left all over my body. By the 3rd day, she knew that that needle meant and she ran whenever she saw it. However, now she is back to her normal health and is as annoying as ever. Up until yesterday I thought for sure I would be taking her home but now I am not so sure due to recent developments. I hope so though…
On September 15th I had a very important HIV/AIDS training in my school. We invited a HIV/AIDS trainer from the Peace Corps office who conducted a seven hour traing for 4 students and 21 administration and teachers. At the beginning of the training I was nervous because everyone was complaining about having to spend seven hours in school on a Saturday to learn about somehting they “already knew about”. By the end of the training though, everyone was glowing and saying thank you and expressing how surprised they were about the content of the training. Even though the training ran a little over time, every teacher stayed to take a picture with their certificates. Woop woop! SUCCESS!
[Pictures of participants, training, my secret twin, and the organizers, Lydia, Radislav and me!]
So now are making a calendar to lead up to World AIDS Day, December 1st. It looks awesome and we had 16 students participate in a HIV/AIDS art contest to be featured in the calendar. The outside of the calendar is a collage of all the pictures we took at the training. Its going to look awesome. As I mentioned before, the calendars are for sale for about $3-4 and shipping is about $3-4. If you want one, please let me know and I will send it as soon as they are ready.
[Some of the awesome submissions]
And the front of the calendar:
This past weekend I took one of my best Ukrainian friends, Lena, to Dnepropetrovsk to celebrate Jewish Rosh Hashanah with 25+ Peace Corps Volunteers. She was one of 4 Ukrianians to be present amongst the large group of Americans. She said it was one of the most unique (and tiring) experiences of her life. Aside from the overwhelming amount of English being spoken, we also took her to TGI Friday’s where she exclaimed, “All they have on this menu is snacks and finger-food! Where are the actual meals?!” 🙂
So now I am preparing to go home. I have to write a [long] description of my service, continue grad school applications, and pack up two years of my life. I took the GRE and I did good. Not excellent, but good enough for the schools I am applying for, which means I don’t have to take it again!!! YAY! Next week is the start of fall break. Funny story: Fall break will be two weeks this year while Winter break will only be one week. Why? Because my town is broke so they don’t want to turn the town’s heating system on. Extending Fall break means they don’t have to turn on the heating until the kids come back to school. It also means that I won’t have heating in my house until November.
During Fall break I’m going to have one last project. Like the Girl’s camp I did during spring break, we are going to have an HIV/AIDS camp during Fall break. For three days with the help of two volunteers we are going to have a camp for 15 girls and boys. Pictures to be posted.
I’m going to PARIS before I go home! I AM SO STOKED! I recently heard that one of my best friends is moving there to study french. She is from Mexico. We met while studying abroad together in Uruguay three years ago and we have kept in contact since. So, I bought a ticket already and I might be as excited about it as I am about going home.
More news to be posted soon, probably a few days before I leave or when I get back. I will be super busy though since I have tons of paperwork to do, a home to pack and several travel plans. I plan on visiting at least five states when I get home so I may not have a second to sit down and write! But to all who have been reading, thank you so much for showing interest in what I have been doing in my service the last two years. I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂