Faith, Hope, and Love Remain

Alei's adventures in Ukraine

A Day in the Life November 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — aleicook @ 5:23 pm

I am absolutely thrilled to say that I’m typing this from a wireless connection in downtown Kyiv AND I just ate sushi AND I’m on my first unchaperoned trip out of Morozivka 🙂  After last week’s excursion with our wonderful language teacher we have finally been deemed able to navigate the city well enough to not be a gigantic liability (theoretically) so Emily, Thomas & I wasted to time in hopping a marshrutka to a place where the coffee isn’t freeze dried and the internet is free.  This bright new world of technology also means that I was finally able to post my pictures & they can be seen here (there’s also a link on the side that says ‘pictures’).  I’ve done a truly terrible job of documenting everything but I think we’ll be able to get at least one more trip in so I should I have better pictures up within the next few weeks.

It’s been kind of difficult to accurately describe what this whole experience has been like so far so I’ll do a little play by play of my day yesterday to illustrate:

  • I woke up at 7:30, heated water in the our kettle & brought my mug of instant coffee & a banana to have with the last of my peanut butter while I said my morning prayers in my room.
  • Approximatel20 minutes after finishing my ‘Mom’ had me go to the kitchen and have a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast part dva.
  • I got ready, donned the full length parka & headed through the bazaar to the train station to catch our 8:45 elektretchka to Barishivka
  • After walking past a man selling knives on the crowded train we quickly hopped off and started the 30 minute trek to our teacher’s apartment.
  • We spent 3 hours learning about how  to adapt Ukrainian textbooks & then had a cross cultural session about gender roles in Ukrainian which was particularly welcome as the principal of our school is a man & despite being very nice refuses to shake any of our hands except Thomas, the lone male.  Cultural adjustments galore.
  • After class I went back home, had borsch with my ‘family’ & then spent a few hours writing lesson plans.
  • I’ve been asking to help around the house & usually am laughed at & ignored (nicely though) so I was thrilled when Snijanna knocked on my door & asked if I wanted to help cook.  The next 2 hours were spend making mlintsi (like crepes) filled with sweet cheese of some sort which was fun but a little painful as we didn’t use a spatula but went the ‘pick it up and flip it with your finger’ route instead.  (I also can successfully peel potatoes and kiwis with a knife now too…not bragging, just saying).
  • Next on the agenda was savoring some more borsch & a few too many of the mlintsi.
  • I’ve taken to running in place in my room like an idiot while going through flashcards so that followed my dinner in a fruitless attempt to undo all of the carb ingestion.
  • An hour or so into it my other ‘sis’ came in & told me that that was enough exercising & that it was time to drink tea & eat more mlintsi.  Vicious circle much?  So I drank some tea, ate some lard & pretended like I understood the Ukrainian horoscope games that we played at the table.
  • I finished up the Saturday joining the whole fam in watching a little of a Russian show called ‘Dance for Your Dreams’ where as far as I can tell people dance in crazy costumes & apparently the winners give money to a charity or something?  Who knows really.

So there you have it, a day in the life.  Fascinating, no?  I still feel a little bit like I’m in a middle school sleep-away camp w/ our schedule & curfews & whatnot but I genuinely like it here so it’s all good.  Battery’s almost out so poka for now!


3 Responses to “A Day in the Life”

  1. Maya Says:

    Dear Alei,

    Your life sounds fascinating and trying to imagine you in Ukraine is amazing. I really hope your are as awkward as you portray in your journal.

    I misplaced my phone card so I am going to go find that and call you soon.

    Adieu for now,

  2. tricia klein Says:

    Hi Alei,
    Thanks for the pictures. You look great as usual!! Can’t wait for you to come home, so we can have a cup of tea and lard. Never thought you and I would have that in common:) CG girls volleyball won state and CG football still winning. Your dad is having a blast. Look forward to next weeks update. Be safe and have fun!!
    Mrs Klein

  3. Dana Cook Says:

    Alei, grab a tissue and read on. This is the song that I heard the day you left…God is good.
    I love you dearly.

    Three in the morning, and I’m still awake
    So I picked up a pen and a page
    And I started writing just what I’d say
    If we were face to face

    I’d tell you just what you mean to me
    Tell you these simple truths

    Be strong in the Lord
    And never give up hope
    You’re gonna do great things
    I already know
    God’s got His hand on You
    So don’t live life in fear
    Forgive and forget
    But don’t forget why you’re here
    Take your time and pray
    These are the words I would say

    Last time we spoke you said you were hurting
    And I felt your pain in my heart
    I want to tell you that I keep on praying
    That love will find you where you are

    I know cause I’ve already been there
    So please hear these simple truths


    Say… from one simple life to another
    I will say… come find peace in the Father

    Be strong in the Lord
    And never give up hope
    You’re gonna do great things
    I already know
    God’s got His hand on You
    So don’t live life in fear
    Forgive and forget
    But don’t forget why you’re here

    Take your time and pray
    And thank God for each day
    His love will find a way
    These are the words I would say

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