понеділок, листопада 28, 2005

send hugs, please

Thanksgiving dinner was a big success...chicken, mashed potatoes, applesauce, and stuffing that was really stuffing! My family called as well, and I got to talk to Kate for the first time in two months...yay! As she reminded me, none of you have seen my photos yet, so the next time I'm in Kyiv maybe I'll be able to upload them. (Not trying it here in Zgurivka...I think the computer would explode.)

I've had a head cold all weekend, and I'm feeling a little down, both physically and emotionally. It's going to be really hard to leave Zgurivka (where I currently am) in a few weeks and move to Balaklia, my new site. My host family here has been great...I'm not completely sure where I'm living in Balaklia, as several different places were discussed. I'll be moving to a community where I don't speak the primary language, and I've only been studying the secondary one for three months.

It'll be okay, I'm sure...just right now it all seems rather overwhelming.

четвер, листопада 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I am so thankful for all of you...your comments, letters, and emails have really helped me over the past two months (wow...tomorrow is officially two months since Staging...where did the time go???).

Eric and Cindy Thomas invited me for Thanksgiving dinner, but the logistics of getting to Kyiv and getting permission to go mean that that's not happening. But that's okay. My cluster is planning on cooking a quasi-American meal for dinner (chicken, stuffing, applesauce, and mashed potatoes) and having a party tonight. Which should rock. I'm breaking out my ziploc bags of spices to contribute. :)

We have snow here now, and it's oh-so-pretty...makes me a bit homesick for Michigan, though! And so you can all stop worrying, I bought a winter coat. It's a long black wool one, and I'm quite fond of it. If only I hadn't left my black winter hat in the States...

пʼятниця, листопада 18, 2005

site visit recap

Site visit...wow. I don't even know how to begin to describe it, short of the 5-8 page letters I'm writing to several people. But this post will need to be shorter, as I'm at the office in Kyiv (once again) and my friend Erin is waiting for me to go out for coffee/tea/something.


~I twisted my ankle half an hour before getting on the train for 13 hours.
~The first question my host family wanted to know (at 6:30 am) was whether I am Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant.
~My host mother tried to play matchmaker with me and one of the local English teachers (sorry all you romantics out there, I'm not interested).
~My school is AWESOME and I love the kids. :)
~My director (principal) is one of those women who will accomplish everything in life and you don't get in her way. We had tea a lot this week, which is something I hadn't done with the principal since third grade. She speaks to me very loudly in multiple languages.
~The primary language there is Russian. Guess I'm learning another language.
~I received multiple gifts, including two address books, a bead flower, a flag, 9 apples (three of which were pickled with asprin and horseradish), a wall plaque, and a wooden rooster.
~I think I'll really like living there.

субота, листопада 12, 2005

site visit

I'm going AWOL for the next week or so while on site visit...I'm going to be about two hours south of Kharkov in a city of about 33,000. Apparently I'll be teaching 3,4,6,7,8,9, and 10th forms for the next two years. :)

Also, apparently I need to start learning Russian, as eastern Ukraine is primarily Russian-speaking (or so I am told). If this is the case, why have I been learning Ukrainian for the last six weeks???

неділя, листопада 06, 2005

Lesson Plan

Class: SJB, PST 29

Date: 6.11.05


SWBAT (student will be able to):

Primary Goal: accomplish a trip to Kyiv by herself

Supporting Goals:

a) travel to Kyiv by herself via marshrutka, aka "very crowded bus" (a trip of roughly 2 hours)
b) walk from the marshrutka station to the Metro
c) get off at the correct Metro stop
d) find the Peace Corps office (keep in mind that the Metro stop where she got off isn't one that she'd gotten off at last time)
e) check email, pick up any mail for her cluster that's there, visit with other PCVs and PCTs
f) find the GCM church in Kyiv, located quite close to her original marshrutka stop
g) visit Eric and Cindy Thomas, GCM missionaries in Kyiv, as well as attend their church's rummage sale, perhaps purchasing a coat
h) if time permits, go to church
i) ride the marshrutka home

Presentation of new material:

Student will read her map of Kyiv, and get directions to the GCM church from Eric Thomas.


Host brother will coach student on vocab words needed to buy tickets, find her way, etc. He will also confirm that she has figured out the correct metro stops.


Currently in the process of completing this activity, on step d. Lord willing, the rest of it will go as well as this has so far.


Okay, so that was a bit silly. It is also how I'm supposed to write my lesson plans, more or less, except that Yaroslav, my training instructor, wouldn't like it because I didn't give homework. :) Basically, I was the only person in my cluster who wanted to come to Kyiv today, so I had to come on my own. I wanted to meet the Thomases, and this is the last chance I'll get for a while, as they will be on furlough until January, and who knows where I'll be then. So I packed my bag, Mama Luda sent apples along with me for refreshments, and I came. And I'm quite pleased with how it's gone. God is good, and maybe I'm a bit more adventurous than I realized. :) Besides, I have to do this next week to get to and from my site visit (!!!), so this was my trial run.

And here's hoping that I can find a coat that fits at the church rummage sale today! (It just seems typical of me that I'm going to a church rummage sale, even in Ukraine...)

пʼятниця, листопада 04, 2005

according to the fifth form, my sister's name is America!

Mood: tired, but happy :)

Stage Notes: As usual, the town computer club, complete with small boys playing violent games

Oh my word, it's been a looong week. For whatever reasons they have, the Peace Corps decided to change our language instructors for three weeks, which has just meant a lot of adjustments. However, both my comprehension and output of Ukrainian seem to be improving lately. Yay.

The highlights of my week have been the classes I've taught. Part of it is that I have kids who really do want to learn, and part of it is realizing just how much I enjoy teaching. The low points have been feeling stressed and exhausted most of the time. We were told that weeks 5 and 6 of PST (what we're doing right now) are generally the toughest, and this has been week 5. Which means that I've been in Ukraine for 5 weeks. Last night it hit me that five weeks before, I was packing to come here. That boggled my mind. Then I thought back one more week to going to an MSU orchestra concert with a friend, and at that point I realized that my brain couldn't handle the fact that my world has pretty much turned upside down in six weeks. It seems as if it was another world...

Prayer request: there's a chance that on Sunday, I may get to meet some people who used to go to Riverview and are now missionaries in Kyiv. This would be awesome. :)