Friday, November 20
I am another week closer towards my final site placement and per usual the mixed emotions are running rampant. On one hand I’m extremely excited to start teaching/feel like I’m contributing, and I’d be lying if I said that the prospect of portion control and regular email access sans prepubescent boys (typically the only non-Peace Corps trainees patrons at the Internet Dungeon) doesn’t sound wonderful. I’m starting to realize however, just how much I’ll miss my new town and Ukrainian family. I think Morozivka is finally warming up to the foreigners as evidenced by the storekeeper who ran after me for about a block screaming ‘divchata’ (girl) when I left my binder in her store accidentally last week. And my family continues to be nothing but helpful and inclusive. I can finally express full thoughts so now we can joke around at the dinner (or breakfast, or tea, or 13th snack of the day, ect.) table & talk about everything from teenage pregnancy to the difficulties that arise from trying to talk while having dental work done. Being able to communicate makes a world of difference, a novel concept I’m sure, and I’m even embracing thinking and dreaming in Ukrainian. I should probably clarify that my speech is completely and utterly grammatically incorrect and all conversations are made possible due to the other party’s excessive patience. I do my best not to think about what I’ve said afterwards because I’m pretty sure a common sentence goes something like “The lesson (in the incorrect case) to start at 9:00 and I will home at 6:00” but whatever, we make it work. Other recent victories include my newfound domestic prowess. This Friday evening I successfully hand washed and clothesline-dried my laundry, scrubbed clean every pair of shoes I brought and peeled an apple and pear with a fairly dull knife…leaps and bounds from what I could do before. I’m contemplating going all out & getting a Ukrainian haircut but the fear of the dreaded mullet (currently all the rage here) is a pretty strong deterrent.
So to celebrate my current good mood, here are some fond Morozivka moments:
- Emily finally got her care pack from home today & like a true Ukrainian, shared her wealth by giving us all a Reese’s Cup. I’m sure we looked like we were eating our last meal on death row as we each managed to take literally 15 bites out of one cup. It was a 10 minute ordeal & Hershey’s would have been wise to shoot a commercial of our reactions and poetic musings about how wonderful and underrated the chocolate + peanut butter combo is.
- Thomas, prone to perpetually tardiness, was running late for the train to the neighboring town for our lesson one Saturday morning & thus had to run to the train station (about a mile). He was warm from running so he took his coat off; seemingly logical behavior. Unfortunately for him, he had to go through the bazaar to get to the train so his jaunt in a short sleeve tee-shirt was the talk of the town for the next few days. We don’t have a newspaper here but if we did I think that ‘story’ would have received prominent placement for the amount of scolding he received from neighbors, teachers, and random babusias alike.
- Ashley was explaining happily that she got to shower the previous night but then had to clarify that “By shower I mean bathe in the kitchen”.
- On the underground metro in Kyiv a man acted like he was oblivious as the bag he was holding very conspicuously shook, meowed, and hissed.
- While learning about the clothing unit my teacher casually referenced mesh tee-shirts as a normal menswear item that a volunteer may want to purchase during our two year stint. So apparently I know what to get for Bronson & Luke if they come to visit. This also reinforces what I’ve thought on multiple occasions- that watching Borat beforehand was a bad idea. Hardly a class goes by where there isn’t something that reminds me of it & makes me fake cough in order to stifle a laugh. Pretty accurate filmmaking as far as I can tell.
- On a group outing to the discotheque someone decided that it would be a good idea to start the ever-popular train (like a congo line but faster). We tend to be a spectacle & elicit a good degree of mimicry, so I think the instigator (no, not me) thought that the locals would jump right in. Apparently it was too much too soon though as we were the only 5 participants & gave up after a lap.
See, nothing but fun.