Sunday, September 27, 2009
This is the day that will not end. The last time I had pajamas on was 5am on Saturday back in Philadelphia. Now it’s 5:30pm Sunday night in Ukraine (yay) & aside from a few intermittent cat naps on the various forms of transportation I’m running on empty. On the plus side however, I am now officially a world traveler having visited New York Cit, Frankfurt, and now Kyiv in the course of a day.
I’m a little too disoriented to provide a thoroughly detailed account of the travels but here’s the jist: we drove two hours to JFK airport & saw the NYC skyline as we passed over Hudson Bay, we waited 7 hours at JFK to check our luggage & board our pimped out 747 plane, during said 7 hours a few people in the group found out that information on their visas was incorrect & they had to fly immediately to D.C. instead of Europe , we waited 4 groggy hours in the Frankfurt airport & then took another bus to our plane which finally landed in Ukraine. Outside the gates were about 20 PC Ukraine staff members waiting with welcome goody bags for us who ushered us onto…yet another bus. 2 hours later we arrived at what was described as a ‘Post-Soviet Sanatorium’ which is actually pretty reminiscent of a better-furnished old college dorm. We have about an hour to fill out paperwork & rest now & then we’re off to a dinner celebration/training extravaganza & hopefully an early bedtime as I’m unlikely to give that great of a first impression in my current semi-conscious state.
On the plus side, the people are all still really nice & funny & we found out which 4 other volunteers we’ll be living with the next 3 months & which language we’ll speak. So now I can (somewhat) officially say that in two years I’ll come back speaking Ukrainian We still don’t know which town or oblast we’ll be in but I’ll take any information I can get at this point.
As for the mental state, it’s finally starting to sink in & that mélange of emotions is still going strong. The usual rollercoaster of being sure that we’re going to have an amazing time one moment & then completely convinced that I’m not going to last 3 months let alone 27 the next. I’m missing everyone a lot, a lot but I know it’s just part of the experience & hope that it’s something I can learn to cope with. In the meantime I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that eventual access to a phone/internet will help alleviate some of the homesickness. That and perhaps a little borsch, which I am officially off to try for the first time in Ukraine. Do pobachennya!