The first of so many “lasts” and my message to America

I still have some posts to make from my adventurous summer. But I don’t want to give the wrong impression a majority of Peace Corps. service- you simply stay at your site and do your job.

IMG_6782

And that’s what I’m doing now.

September 1st. historically marks the beginning of the school so even though it was Sunday – schools across Ukraine had their First Bell (aka “Day Of Knowledge”) ceremonies.

Since it had been rainy the last couple of days – my school moved the ceremony to our town’s palace of culture.

For me, it marked the beginning of so many ‘lasts.’ Continue reading

Summer Sunshine- photo SPAM

Hey everyone! Sorry guys like most Peace Corps. volunteers towards the end of service my blog has slowly been dying… 😦

Things have been super busy in a normal-crazy kind of way.
IMG_7063

What does that mean?

IMG_7453

I don’t have any thing extra-ordinary to report. Mainly for the last couple of months. I’ve simply been doing my job. Teaching my fourth forms the proper use of prepositions with a game involving four-leaf clovers. Continue reading

Love In The Mail

So March has been a pretty stressful month- I’m in the process of re-registaring which involves a lot of paperwork in a foreign language… Thankfully my counterpart has been awesome and doing a lot of additional work on my behalf- without complaint.

Have I mentioned how awesome my co-workers are?

Besides, that I’ve trying desperately to fundraise money for Camp MAKE.

Why?

Because, we are all born to make a difference and the kids of Ukraine deserve to know that.

IMG_7051

Thankfully it seems mail always comes to Ukraine when I need it the most to cheer me up… and I have gotten some pretty wonderful things in the mail recently. Continue reading

Moments In Ukraine- Camp MAKE

Some people have asked me for advice, on taking photographs. I’m not an expert at lighting or how to get the perfect angle by any means.

In fact, most of my favorite photos are extremely ill-lighted and topsy-turvy.

It took me a while to realize that it’s not really how the photo comes out that matters…

IMG_4126

It’s the memory behind it that does… Continue reading

My Crazy Valentine

Once again, I’m seriously behind on blog entries! But there’s something good about that… because, well if I’m not updating it means I’m busy in a crazyily good/insane sort of way!

I’m slowly realizing that I have less-than a year left of service (9 months to be exact!). Which is crazy… time really does fly when you’re in your second-year of service. A few other things have been going on at my site.

Many multi-cultural activities/projects.

I’ve kind of been going through a holiday kick-lately my students have learned about everything from President’s Day where we did various worksheets related to Honest Abe & good ol’ George (and changed the game Simon Says to “Obama Says“), to Valentine’s Day.

I love talking about holidays and traditions with my younger students. Why?

Because, anything out of the ordinary of our regular English lessons is really exciting for them. Last month we spent an entire week focused on Valentine’s Day-

IMG_6815

We learned new vocabulary… talked about holiday traditions.

IMG_6824

And then, made Valentines. Continue reading

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

IMG_4725

It’s official the holidays are over. I marked the end of the holiday season when, I ran out of the seasonal cookies and gingerbread tea my mother sent me.

As usual, I’m super busy and therefore behind on blog entries about the festivities at school, life here in Ukraine, and the 2-week vacation my school gave me.

In Ukraine, the holiday season can be rough for volunteers. Since Christmas isn’t celebrated until January, 7th (Ukrainians follow the Russian Orthodox calendar).

However, New Year is celebrated similarly to Christmas- people decorate trees, give gifts, and kids get visited by a Ukrainian version of Santa Claus.

It can still be the most wonderful time of the year! Continue reading

Because Everyone Loves A Good Story

A few months ago, I requested books from Darien Book Aid(a program that sends used children’s books to Peace Corps. Volunteers for free). To be honest our school’s English room is pretty well stocked- with young adult literature(thanks to the hard work of previous volunteers). But the little ones at our school, don’t have much age approiate reading material.

IMG_4621

So I sent, a quick e-mail over to my friends at Darien Book Aid asking for some books for our school’s lending program and about a month later, I received a box of gently used children’s books in the mail (with a focus on Disney, fairy tales, animals, and science- exactly what we needed!).
Continue reading

Starting Over

It’s been a long time. I know. I have been awful on updating.

I blame my lack of updates on not having a power cord-thank you power surge of 2012 for frying mine.

So you and I have a little catching up to do… You know the crazy thing is that- I am almost one year into service?

Yeah. I know. Most people seriously doubted, I would last this long… (To be honest, I didn’t think I would either.)

But everything has somehow changed. I’m not sure if it is the change in location, being surrounded by new people, or if something has suddenly changed in me.

When I realized I would have to start over. I was a little terrified.

Why? Because, it meant new names, new faces, and leaving everything I had known behind (wether or not it was good– it was still the ‘known’).

But, it took one day on the job to fall in love with some of my students.

First Bell Ceremony

First Bell Ceremony


Continue reading