No more kvass
On my way to work this morning, I noticed something – all of the people selling kvass are gone. Previously they were sitting, usually in a shady spot, and also usually close to a store (or stores), bazaar, and bus stop, selling their product.
Now, I am not the biggest fan of kvass so to me, it is no great loss that there is no more kvass being sold. However, it also means the end of summer in Ukraine. Although summer officially ends on the autumnal equinox on September 23, here in Ukraine it is already done. The students have been moving back into the dorms (the number of cars at the buildings last Thursday and Friday was more than I had ever seen there), people are returning from their vacations, and the evenings are cool enough that a person needs to wear jeans and/or a lightweight sweater or jacket. In three more days, the television news anchors will announce that it is the first day of fall.
I think of where I was a year ago at this time. I was still involved in my first assignment, and had been asked to speak at the opening cermony of the university (different one than where I work now). That speech did not go so well – I was interrupted and someone else finished my speech for me. In many ways, I was still getting adjusted to my community and my assignment. I think of everything that has happened since the leaves last turned colors and sometimes see it as if it happened to someone else, in a surreal alternate universe. Other times I remember details. Some details I would rather forget are the number of mosquito bites I have been receiving, most of which have been on my hands because I hide the rest of me under the covers at night but somehow my hands end up exposed. This is one thing for which I look forward to colder weather.
Perhaps because I have spent some time in transit, or because of being around pre-teens/teens for three weeks, or just because it was a day that ended in “y”, I have also been doing a lot of thinking lately. About my service. About my future (of course). As much as I try to live in the moment here, the time until the end of my service is now less than a year, and with the economy still in a poor state of affairs, I have to admit to some worry about finding employment post Peace Corps. I also wonder what people I know in the States are up to. In general, I only hear from a small handful of people, so I do not know what is going on in anyone else’s lives. But I am very grateful for that small handful of people, who have not only been supportive but have sent me packages, which, no matter what they hold, always brighten my day.
Ah, introspection. Not a bad thing but after a while it starts to sound like dwelling, does it? I cannot help it – I have an analytical nature and while I can myself tell that changes have occurred in me since I have arrived in Ukraine, there are some things about a person that just cannot be changed. This does not mean they are bad…it is just a matter of finding a way to capitalize on them as strengths.
And so the days pass, soon I will be writing about the colors of the leaves on the trees and making a decision on whether to face the trauma of a haircut. It is not world peace, but it is my life right now.