Yay! I can finally update my blog! (Thank you, Cheryl and the rest of the Tamarack Public Library.)
Wow...I've switched sides of the world since my last post. Last Thursday morning, I was at the PC office, checking my email for the last time before riding with one of the Peace Corps guards to the airport (he was off-duty and offered me a decent price to get me there, plus helped out with my luggage). I checked my flight info one last time...and found out that my New York-Chicago flight was canceled. Cue Moment of Panic.
So when I got to the airport, I went right over to the Delta window and asked them if they could do anything for me. I was supposed to fly out of New York around 7 pm EST, and they were able to rebook me for 7 am Friday morning. They also thought that once I got to New York, I could get a voucher for a hotel room.
The next obstacle arose when going through immigration services/passport control/whatever it's called. Because there was a mistake in my passport (the registration for my visa, although not my visa itself, had expired the day before), I was charged around $140 just to leave the country. Since I only had about $225 on me overall, this was sort of traumatic. Fortunately, another PCV who was on my flight gave me $30 to help me out.
The flight from Kyiv to New York was 11ish hours long and full of people speaking Russian. I helped the older lady sitting next to me with food requests, and the stewardess told me that I was very helpful. I would hope that after two years, I could translate, "Do you want tea or coffee?"
It was icy/snowy/messy in New York, so we didn't land until about an hour after the scheduled time. Once I collected my bags, I tried to find out about my hotel voucher. After talking to multiple people, I was told that they didn't give out vouchers for weather delays. So I was stuck in JFK Airport for 12 hours with two large bags, a backpack, and a computer bag. I rented a cart for $3 and traveled around the airport--from Terminal 3 down to Terminal 1 so I could get food, and then back. I called Mom and Jason and let them know what was going on, and I had Chinese food (of the food court quality) and Starbucks (Mom thought I needed coffee to keep me awake). I ended up with about 2 hours of dozing sleep on the floor of the Delta terminal, with my backpack for a pillow, my laptop bag under my arm, and my coat for a blanket.
Friday morning, sort of rested, I flew from New York to Chicago and was met by Jason, who pretty much hugged the living daylights out of me. Not that I minded at all. He'd spent the night in Chicago, so we went back to his hotel so I could have breakfast and get a shower, and then we hit the road a little before noon Chicago time and arrived back in Lakeview around 5 pm Michigan time. At long last, I was home in the US.
Since then, I've been slowly adjusting, both to the time change (I keep waking up around 5 am every day and getting really tired by mid-afternoon) and to life in general. I called the Yukhymetses on Sunday, and I see that Olha from church emailed me (but the library computers won't let me read Cyrillic font).
I'm sure I could think of a million things more to say, and I'll try and get back here in a few days to post some more. Blogger doesn't seem to work on my parents' computer, so I'm at the library now. (Does anyone know how I can find out if I actually have wireless on my laptop as opposed to wireless capability?)