Faith, Hope, and Love Remain

Alei's adventures in Ukraine

Waiting in a Winter Wonderland December 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — aleicook @ 11:12 pm

The waiting game is still in session but this week has brought even more nice surprises to ease the anticipation.  I made it through Thanksgiving largely due to an hour or so on Skype and much-appreciated calls and emails from home.  I can’t say I missed the turkey, but the selfish little kid in me hates knowing everyone is gathered together while I am really, really not so I was very happy when Friday morning rolled around marking the last Thanksgiving I’d spend alone as well as ushering in the Christmas season.  Despite my penchant for suntans, boating, and temperatures that never fall below 90 I really think the span between Thanksgiving and Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  And this year is panning out to be the Best Christmas Ever (which, appropriately enough sounds like one of the cheesy Hallmark made-for-TV movies that I may or may not spend too many hours watching).

The season started out on a characteristically weird note when I was listening to a Christmas radio station online, heard them play the first Christmas song of the year, immediately teared up & then cracked up at my ridiculousness which basically left me laugh-crying to the Muppet’s Christmas Carol alone in my apartment before school.  Standard.  On the walk to my first class it was sleeting which has never been my preferred form of precipitation, but it turned out to be absolutely perfect timing because right in the midst of my lesson with my favorite 6th formers a cry of ‘Sniy!’ (snow) rang out & we all bolted to the window to see the first huge, perfect, fluffy snowflakes of the season floating by.  I’ve always known that snow makes me feel little-kiddish but after noticing how on par my reaction was to my kiddos’ I think I can say with some accuracy that snow makes me feel like a 6th former.  They were a mess of joy, distraction, and spontaneous outbursts of the ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ song, and I couldn’t even scold them as I caught myself looking out the window during little Anton’s speech so after a few minutes I threw the towel in & decided to teach them ‘Let It Snow’ instead.

I’m almost positive I’ll regret saying this in 30-some days but I’m really loving the new sparkly addition to own town and the good mood that it seems to put everyone in.  The kids now spend every break between classes sliding on the patch of black ice formerly known as the soccer field, the mundane seems magical & it gave me a good opportunity to introduce my teachers & neighbors to some holiday treats- Gingerbread lattes, Peppermint Bark, & Buckeyes.  Between my recent cravings for Starbuck’s seasonal drinks & newfound interest in reading food blogs I stumbled upon a recipe for DIY coffee concoctions here and found all of the necessary ingredients (except for whipped cream) at my local grocery store…talk about a Christmas miracle.  I was a little nervous about offering it to the teachers because neither mint, cinnamon, nor peanut butter are popular here but shockingly they liked it & even asked for recipes 🙂

This week also featured the long awaited debut of Yampil’s first yoga club.  Olha had suggested the idea last year after seeing the mat in my apartment & Wednesday was the big day when we finally gathered the 3rd graders & introduced them to downward dog.  They’re little & don’t understand English very well but they were excellent mimic-ers & I really wasn’t saying much between all of the laughing anyways.  Overall while it’s definitely not what I thought I was coming here for, it was adorable & encouraging & I’m looking forward to adding their smiling faces & flailing limbs to my Wednesday schedule.

That’s basically all the fun for this week.  I have off tomorrow & will spend the day traveling 6 hours north to Ashley & Becky’s town for our belated Thanksgiving celebration with 7 of our friends.  Then it’s one last week of teaching & wrapping up loose ends including Christmas presents, a grant, & packing before the big trip home.  So excited!  I hope you’re enjoying the season & I can’t wait to see you in T minus 10 🙂


🙂 🙂