In the past two and a half days, since I have been here in Izmail, I think I have eaten more than I have in the past week. I am not exaggerating (and I am trying not to think of how much weight I am gaining!) Add that to the candy that has been given to me in the past week (by Ukrainians, because of either St. Nicholas Day or the New Year, and now I am starting to understand why Peace Corps tells us that many volunteers gain weight in Ukraine. Prior to December, I honestly did not understand why they would say that. But it is the holiday season now, and after all the eating I have been doing, I understand.
Of course, the facts that I am staying with PCVs that have a real kitchen, and that there is a young man here who really likes to cook, increase the odds of my consuming a lot of food. Especially sweets. They have an OVEN! And made cookies. And a french toast casserole, sausage and egg casserole, chicken wings, “Spanish” rice, cut up veggies, chocolate cake, carrot cake, and numerous other things that were tempting, even for me, the one who does not usually eat when not hungry. What is about nice people and good food (okay, and alcohol) that leads to eating, and eating, and eating?
So I have been eating. A lot. What else have I been doing here? Yesterday my host brought me on a tour of the city (photos to be uploaded later). It has been crazy warm here – it was around 55 degrees F yesterday – unseasonably warm. I was out in just a turtleneck and fleece (and gloves, of course). My host showed me the highlights and talked about the projects they (he and his wife – they are serving together) have done since they have been here. I hope to be able to achieve half as much, and worry that I will not be able to do so. I’ve been trying to not think about work since I got here. It’s too stressful to think about work. I am trying to take a few days off and relax.
So we explored a bit, and returned to the apartment, and we all ate, drank, and were merry. Isn’t that what you are supposed to do on holidays? Today we relaxed, did crossword puzzles, read, and generally were kind of lazy – no walks today. I did, however, download a bunch of movies from another one of the PCVs who is here.
So..once again I have been posting into a black hole. I know everyone is busy, but remember I am starved for information and appreciate you all e-mailing me to let me know how you are and what you are up to!