Taking the good days
After last week, when the act of communication seemed to pose some difficulty, today felt like one of the days where you place a big check in the “win” column.
More than a year ago, I went with one of the librarians to PEPFAR training in Kiev, and afterward tried to write a program for a PEPFAR grant. Unfortunately, there was little enthusiasm for the my program idea, and things went on the back burner. After I returned from my sojourn in Thailand, the library brought up the training idea I had tossed their way before going to Thailand. So after a few e-mails and phone calls, I got a trainer committed to coming to the library, and today was the first day of two one-day training sessions.
So far, we have trained 26 people. Or 19, depending on how you look at it. Twenty-six people came in the morning, and 19 returned to the second half of the training after lunch – not bad odds for Ukraine. They all responded well to the training, and all had positive things to say at the end of the day. Tomorrow is day two. The only real challenge of today is that the whole training was conducted in Ukrainian…I know the vocabulary in Russian. Ah well, small victories – I was not the one conducting the training after all, just helping.
This came on the heels of a successful day on Saturday. I helped my friends explain the subtleties between the different modal verbs. Every week I realize what a challenge English is for foreigners to learn – from phonetics and pronunciation to modal verbs and all of the different tenses. I told my friends that I was not sure whether it is to their advantage or disadvantage that I am one of those English speakers who is rather precise with how I use the language, both when speaking and when writing.
So there is the good news. The bad news is it is still snowing. It has been snowing nearly every day for a week – not huge amounts, but still…in my eyes, it is time for the snow to melt and for Spring to arrive. I hear the birds singing hopeful songs, but the warmth is not arriving. Ah well, you can’t have everything, right?