Happy Victory Day! (As a word of explanation, it's the holiday commemorating the end of WWII in Europe and similar to our Memorial Day.) I am celebrating by checking my email for half-price, visiting Tif and Mike this afternoon, and watching the fireworks this evening, although I haven't decided whether to go into the center to see them or just watch from my balcony.
Points to Liz for getting the book title right. FYI, the skirt turned out okay, the couch cover is just fine, and the refrigerator is suppposed to come later this week.
Coming out of school on Saturday, I was greeted by my 5th form girls, who showered me in dandelions on the count of three. It was a beautiful moment.
After that, I went over to the Y's for the evening. It was a lot of fun. The little kids know me well enough now not to be shy around me--I braided Snizhanna and Leeza's hair, stood in the middle of the living room floor like a Christmas tree with children dancing and singing around me, and made many, many origami cups. Nadia gave me a bunch of clothes that apparently came over in missionary barrels (or the 21st century equivalent) from the US that didn't fit anyone in their house. I now have a new skirt and a bunch of sweaters, mostly lightweight ones that will be great for spring and fall teaching. Yay!
Sunday morning, I was getting ready for church when I found a stuffed toy rabbit in my backpack. I assumed one of the Y kids was responsible, but I wasn't sure if the rabbit was a gift or just visiting me. It turns out that Valery, the 2nd former (who has some mental/emotional issues, I think...his mom said that when he was little, he had his hand slammed in a door and just kept smiling), had given it to me as a gift. He assured his mom that the backpack was already open and no, he hadn't opened it! I told him that he needed to name the rabbit for me, but so far, all we've come up with is that the rabbit is not named Valery (my suggestion).
We had communion at the Baptist church Sunday morning, which was the first time I'd taken communion in 7 months. It was good to be able to do it again. Interesting things about communion in Ukraine include the use of wine instead of grape juice in Protestant churches, a common cup, and none of the kids taking it, apparently because the practice is that they don't until they're teenagers and can comprehend the significance.
Spent Sunday afternoon at the K's house. After church, Lilia K., who is three years old, incredibly strong-willed, and extremely fond of me, decided that I should NOT go home, and therefore plopped herself down in her uncle's car in the spot where I was supposed to sit and pitched a small fit. I can't help but feel a bit flattered, but she refused to give me a hug goodbye.
[Phone conversation between Tif and I]
Tif: I told Mike that you were spending all your free time playing with little kids, and he said he'd have to come visit you.
Me: He wants to play with them, too?
Tif: No, he's worried that you don't get any adult socialization.
I think my initial reaction to Mike's comment says it all. I simply assume that the rest of the world loves small children as well. :)
But I do get adult socialization! Rita, a bookkeeper from my school who's a little younger than I am, came over for tea and cake yesterday. She's studying English, so we have conversations where we primarily speak in each other's language to practice. Much fun, and we might go to Kharkiv to see Mission Impossible: III
. And Ira, a 24-year-old woman from evening church, invited me over to her house for dinner at some point when our schedules coincide.
So really, I'm just social in general. It simply tends to run heavy to small children. :)