середа, грудня 28, 2005

You know you're addicted to books when...

I've only been in Balaklia since 6 am Monday morning and I already have a library card. I also have visited the bookstore. Now all I have to do is go to the second-hand clothing store and to church and then I'll be right at home. :)

My new host mom, Marina, is really nice...unfortunately, while she can understand Ukrainian, she can't speak it (she speaks Russian), so communication is sort of challenging. We watch Russian TV dubbed in Ukrainian together and laugh at the jokes.

The school is on winter holidays right now, but yesterday was the New Year's play/dance/party. Olga, the other 22-year-old teacher (of computers), and I were the chaperones and danced along with the kids. I think I might be cool for once in my life. :)

Two of my closest friends here, Tifanni and Mike, are less than an hour away from me. Tif and I are going to make KyivStar mobile phone company very happy, as we are pretty much calling and texting each other every day. We might go to the circus in Kharkiv with Tif's school next week.

For those people worried about bird flu in Ukraine: I had a flu shot, and Peace Corps is definitely keeping track of what's going on. They've evacuated PCVs from infected areas, even going so far as to change the site placement of one of the guys in my group. They've also given us meds to take if it becomes an issue, and have informed us we shouldn't eat raw poultry or raw eggs...

Brandi, I got your ornament, slightly cracked but still in one piece. Many thanks, and you'll get a letter soon. Please email me your cell number. :)

Lacy: congrats on the engagement!

Everyone: Happy New Year!

четвер, грудня 22, 2005

I'm a PCV!

Well, I was sworn in as a PCV about three hours ago...it's official! Celebrations since have included McDonald's, Internet, and an evening in Kyiv. :)

Highlights of the week so far:

*food at Prolisok leaves something to be desired, but I've had both pizza and McDonald's today; it's truly sad how much I've come to appreciate McDonald's in a foreign land
*I scored an Intermediate High on my Language Proficiency Interview in Ukrainian, which is quite good...PC's goal was for us to get Intermediate Low and I was two levels higher than that. This surprised me immensely, as my main reaction after my interview was, "Oh my word, they just asked me to explain a Jane Austen novel in Ukrainian!"
*I got a letter from Brandi and packages from my family and the Desters today :)

Merry Christmas, everyone! Thanks for making these first three months a little easier...I love you all!

~Sally Behrenwald, PCV

субота, грудня 17, 2005

the agony of de-feet

Well, my whole cluster has joked about ways to spend a night in Kyiv...but the one I found is not the preferred method. Just before we were supposed to go home yesterday, I sprained/twisted my ankle for the second time this fall, and the medical office told me that they thought it best if I spent the night here at the Peace Corps office. So I did, and watched A Mighty Wind, which is a mockumentary about folk music that has a wonderful take-off on the New Christy Minstrels, read Philippians, talked to Mom and Dad on the phone, and spent quite some time sending text messages on my new cell phone with my clustermates when my foot started aching and I couldn't sleep. Have I mentioned I love those guys?

So I'm still here, about ready to go take a shower thanks to a wonderful person I don't know who has shampoo to lend me (yay fellow PCVs), and hopefully, cross-my-fingers, going home later today for the farewell family party. And then tomorrow I have to pack all my stuff. And on Monday, goodbyes and off to Prolisok for the week.

четвер, грудня 15, 2005

training's almost over!

Wow. It seems such a short time since I got here, and a week from now, I'll be officially sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I taught my last classes on Tuesday, helped run a Jeopardy/Quiz Bowl-esque thing between the two schools in town (and wanted a real Quiz Bow

четвер, грудня 08, 2005

bits of this-n-that

Just got out of English Club...our last one here in Zgurivka! We made Christmas cards (thanks to my Mary Englebreit page-a-day calendar for pictures), and told what we wanted for Christmas presents. One boy wanted a "small toy pig". Whatever floats your boat, I guess!

My newest fascination: the tv show Firefly, which is something of a cross between a sci-fi show and a western, complete with much witty dialogue and character development. Chris, one of the guys here, has a bunch of the episodes on DVD, so I've been borrowing them from him.

Tomorrow I teach a "demo lesson," which basically means that my tech instructor and the rest of my cluster come see what sort of a teacher I've become. Based on the quick glance I gave the lesson book earlier, I'm teaching letter writing. This could be interesting...writing is not my kids' strong point. But several of them came to English club today, so they've had some practice.

неділя, грудня 04, 2005

the invalid has recovered

I had a long post written, and then Blogger ate it. Suffice it to say, I spent a large percentage of the week in bed with a cold and am now doing much better, both physically and emotionally. :)

Brandi, I fully agree! A mere thousand miles isn't that much, considering how far away the rest of you are. ;)

Liz, you can keep sending mail to the Kyiv address, as I don't move until the end of December. I got your postcard on Tuesday. Also, I have a Christmas card for you, so please email me your address.

Everyone else: thanks for the hugs. :)