The heading to my post comes from a discussion yesterday about rumors we had all heard about the Peace Corps. One person had heard of cannibalism (of PCVs, not by them), which made us all laugh, as it seems to be erroneous (erronious?). Later on, we were listing things we could do to be safe. Someone said, "Drink safe water," which was followed up by "Eat safe people." I will endeavor to do so. Assuming I eat people, which seems unlikely.
Staging continued today...lots more information, talking about expectations, apprehensions, our definitions of personal success, and health and safety issues. My favorite ice breaker was when we had to stand back-to-back with someone, change five things about our appearance, and then try and guess what had changed...three different times, all with the same person. By the last round, it was hard to think of things to do. I ended up with one sock on, no shoes, my skirt twisted around backwards, my hair in a braid, my necklace around my wrist, and the pockets on my blouse unbuttoned.
I continue to get to know people. I had lunch with a girl named Sheryl, whose books that she packed include C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity
, G. K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man
, Thomas A'Kempis's The Imitation of Christ
, and Oswald Chambers's My Utmost for His Highest
. This makes me incredibly happy. We had a lovely conversation over lunch, all about books and church and growing up in Silicon Valley vs. Lakeview. Melissa, my roommate, likes 19th century Brit lit, so I will have multiple people to swap books with. A group of eight of us went out for Indian food tonight, which was a chance to visit with people for quite a while, as we were there for about two hours (much of it spent waiting for things).
Also tonight, I went used book shopping. Yes, I am incorrigible, but the Peace Corps gave us $160 to cover weekend expenses, and I had room in my luggage. (I'm 18 lbs. under the limit, which has many people asking me how I accomplished that. For $13, I now have copies of Jane Eyre
, Aesop's Fables
, Crime and Punishment
, and Under the Mercy
by Sheldon Vanauken. I've read (and own) the first three, but they were cheap and I can leave them in Ukraine when I come back to the US. I'm hoping to use the Aesop in my classes, since they're short enough to read easily.
Tomorrow, we fly to Kyiv via Frankfurt, getting there about noon Ukraine time on Monday. Then we're at a training center (whatever the Ukrainian word for "snowdrop" is) in a forest (??? Hansel and Gretel moment here...) for two days, leaving to go with our host families on the 6th. I don't expect to have Internet until next weekend at the absolute earliest, so this will be it for a while. As always, keep me in your prayers. It's been a great weekend so far, and I'm excited for the next part!