Faith, Hope, and Love Remain

Alei's adventures in Ukraine

I Enjoy Being a Girl March 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — aleicook @ 8:58 pm

To all of those reading this who happen to be women, I congratulate you and give to you wishes of health and happiness.  I feel it’s only right for you to hear this sweet but strange offering as I heard it non-stop this week in honor of International Women’s Day.  This ‘global celebration of women’ that we had on Monday sounds too good to be true but has been celebrated for over 100 years & has it’s own wikipedia page (see for yourself) so it must be legit.  Basically it’s like Mother’s Day but all women receive flowers, candy, compliments, small gifts, and congratulations just for being the fairer sex.  I couldn’t help but feel a little jilted when I first heard about it as I’ve gone 22 years without, but apparently as a way to make amends God decided to give me almost everything I’ve been wanting in rapid succession.  It truly felt like having a birthday week (that’s a thing, right Mrs. Klein?) as I was showered with blessing after wonderful blessing.  I don’t want to leave anything out so I’ll go chronologically. Last Friday we had our Meet Your Neighbors meeting in Vinnitsia where I, shockingly, met my Peace Corps neighbors (the other volunteers who live in my oblast).  I was pleasantly surprised not only by my friend Julia from Morozivka’s presence despite living in another region, but also with a great new book to read on the bus ride back.  I had to leave abruptly & miss out on real(ish) pizza but in doing so I was able to dodge the bullet of being an actress in a training video that is shown to all new volunteers (our security officer asked me & I panicked and agreed because as the head of all things safety & quite possibly a former bodyguard he is one person I want on my side) & was able to make it back for school on Saturday.  Weekend class sounds like a bummer but had I skipped it I would have missed our school-wide morning assembly complete with poetry, songs, and odes to women, flowers, chocolate, an intricate Ukrainian tea cup from my students, and a raucous after school party in the teacher’s lounge complete with accordion accompanied sing-alongs.  The men had to prepare everything for the party which worked out nicely for me as all of the sandwiches had meat on them so I had a solid excuse not to carb load on food that I don’t particularly care for.  The next day my internet was fixed & I got a $6 haircut (luckily not the same as a $6 haircut in America).  More candy and kindness from my neighbors & students followed early in the week & then on Wednesday I got good news & the perfect care package  within 30 minutes of each other.  I found out that I was accepted into a group that reviews grants for projects involving AIDS awareness which means that Peace Corps will pay for me to travel to Kyiv six times a year for our meetings (conveniently close to my host family), I’ll become very familiar with the grant writing process which I’ll need if I continue to work with non-profits as planned, and I’ll play a part in stopping the epidemic in Ukraine.  As for the care package courtesy of the genius Ashley Chamberlain: it doesn’t get much better than peanut butter, Sharpie pens in 20 colors, great new CDs, and my very own Tom Skilling WGN snuggie.  I don’t know if Yampil’s ready for the Snug but I certainly was & am sporting it right now.  My mom & grandma finalized their itinerary for our Eurotrip & will be flying into Kyiv so I can officially start the 3 month count down.  And as if all of that weren’t enough….drumroll please… I JUST SHOWERED IN MY APARTMENT 🙂  They installed the boiler in my bathroom and now hot water from a shower nozzle is just a turn of a knob away.  It is absolutely everything I imagined & more.

Here’s an awkward  picture of me in my abundance as a reminder that  life is very, very good.  I miss you all & hope your weeks are just as wonderful!


3 Responses to “I Enjoy Being a Girl”

  1. tricia klein Says:

    Hi Alei, I am so excited that your grandma is joining your mom, you will have such great memories!! Love the picture with all your gifts. Have you gone on any dates? Have a great week.
    Mrs Klein

  2. Colleen Says:

    HAHHAHAHAHA I love the snuggie! They really are the best EVER!! I too had a hot shower this weekend (not a permanent addition like yours) buuut totally under rated in the western world!

    Oh and CONGRATULATIONS on the grant!!!!!!!!!! That is so so so exciting!! I´m so jealous of all the good things happening in your life and I´m so happy/ proud of youuuuu!!!

    I miss you more than words 😦

  3. Jennifer Lyons Says:

    So I’m a little late to the party – but absolutely love the snuggie!
    All your pictures stories are wonderful.
    We miss you and stay safe. Jennifer and Clare!

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