The Final Week
This is our final week at our training site – next Monday morning we are off to Kyiv for three and a half days, then off to our sites. Though we will find out our site assignment on Monday afternoon, in all likelihood I will not be able to report it until after I am at my site, as they have us scheduled from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.
What I won’t miss about Kyinka – doing the fence crawl. My host family often locks the gate, and then I come home to a locked gate, which there is no way to unlock from the outside – it is basically a piece of wire that is put through the holes inside. So I end up going around to the side of the property, crawling through a barbed wire fence, then going through to the back area, then popping the lock on the back fence (which entails standing on a bucket and using a hoe or other such implement), then going in to the yard area. This has not made me happy, especially when I get inside and find the Babusya at home. She asks why I did not rattle the door, which I usually had, but she had not heard it. The last time I was locked out, I gave the fence door a good swift kick, and that worked to bring her out. This process I will not miss, nor will I miss the questions that run through my mind related to why they were locking the fence in the first place when they are at home.
However, they are really nice people and I will miss them. They have been very good and patient with me. I understand that I will get days where I can visit them, and hope to do so.
What else has been going on? We are in our final week, as I mentioned. Today we had test on Policies and Procedures, Health, and Safety. Tomorrow someone from Peace Corps is coming to meet with us, Wednesday is the Big Day – our “Language Proficiency Interview” (read: Oral Language Exam). Thursday is more technical session stuff, as is Friday morning. So our final week is not turning out to be in any way slow or relaxing. Next Monday morning we load up the bus and go to Kyiv, and every moment between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. is scheduled. Monday after lunch we find out our site assignments, and we are sworn in on Thursday afternoon.
If anyone reading this is wondering when I am going to post a wish list and what will be on it…makeup will be one of the items, most definitely. While I do not wear a lot of makeup, I found out just how much more expensive it is to buy it here. For example, standard mascara by Maybelline or L’Oreal is around 120 UAH, which is about $15. Yikes. So figure you’ll see items show up now and again as a wish list item…
Okay, so much for that digression. About a week ago I was getting a flower shower, which was most pleasant. I was walking on my way to school and one of the trees, which had been blooming (white flowers with a heady fragrance but I was told they were not Magnolias) . So these trees were losing their blooms and the flower petals were falling on me, so I was getting a flower shower.
Morning comes earlier and earlier for me these days, as it starts to dawn around 4 a.m. As my room faces East, I get the light coming in at that time, and consequently I wake up. Waking up at 6 every morning was proving to be a challenge; this is a bit too much. Most of the time I manage to go back to sleep, but on occasion I do not. The other morning, I was awoken around the same time (4 a.m.) by the buzzing of a fly. I tried to swat it away, but it kept buzzing. I turned on the flashlight to find out what was going on, and it turned out the fly was caught in a spider web right above my head. I did not want to deprive the spider of its hard-won meal, so I sat there and watched it weave the web around the spider, until the fly could no longer move.
And…last week we had our event. We had conducted a raffle fundraiser and book drive for the village library, and we had arranged the raffle announcements to coincide with the events of June 1 (International Child Protection Day), which we also helped to plan. The project was overall a success and I will soon be posting photos on Picasa, for anyone who looks at the photos!