It is now 15 times cheaper for me to call the US!
Please pray for the Y family...their van broke down this week, leaving them without transportation, which is a problem when you have 10 kids. I didn't quite get the details, but it isn't running at all right now, so they're going to have to try and get it fixed, I think. Nadia told me last week that they'd really like to sell this one and buy a new one, but I don't know how that works out financially.
Went to a concert at the Palace of Culture today, which was very nice. A lot of Ukrainian concerts feature flashing lights and large troops of scantily-clad children dancing to songs with random English lyrics, but this was a lot of love songs in Russian (and Italian!) with flowing piano accompaniment. And no flashing lights.
I am deeply impressed by the MSU Credit Union. I used my debit card tonight for the first time in close to a year to put some money on my Skype account. Apparently within an hour of doing this, someone from MSUFCU called my parents' house to confirm that I was, in fact, the person using the debit card. I'm amazed that a) they deal with this sort of issue this quickly and b) especially on a Sunday. As Mom said, they seem concerned about the security of my money.
Decided to clean out random things in my fridge tonight and ended up making a dip for crackers out of cream cheese, sour cream, imitation crab, green onion, and a little bit of Worcestershire sauce. When I told Grandma about this on the phone, she wanted to know if I was having company. Nope, but maybe the neighbor kids will help eat it. Tomorrow's cooking plans include pizza with chicken, onion, and mushrooms. Or maybe a couple stuffed mushrooms with a little bit of the cream cheese and crab that didn't go in the dip. I like cooking! (And I like reading recipe sites online now that I have Internet...but so many things call for ingredients like Mozerella cheese, which is only available at one store in Kharkiv and is rather expensive, comparatively speaking.)
As I mentioned, I put money on my Skype account, so now I can call US numbers (and maybe Germany also?) for about $0.02/minute, as opposed to the $0.30 I was paying before. Am trying to catch up on calling everyone...if you want to be considered part of everyone, let me know.