Long time no write! While I have not been want for topics, I have been want for time to sit down and write the blogs that have been sitting in my head. But I have found some time in my schedule and hopefully in the next few days I will be all caught up and you will have lots of reading about what my life is like right now!
A quick overview/preview, I returned to the States for seven days for Christmas with my family on the 23rd of December. The return was good and it was nice to be around my family for the
holidays. As much as I love traveling and being in Ukraine I think it would have been near impossible to miss Christmas with them. Seven days seems short...and it was especially because I caught
the flu! But, to be able to participate in Ukrainian festivities, I had to return to Ukraine the day after New Year's.
Traditionally, Ukrainian Christmas is celebrated after Christmas in the States. So yes, I got to enjoy two Christmas' this year. And I laugh as I write this because in the cafe I sit in, there is STILL Christmas music playing on the 23rd of January. Christmas for those of us split between these two cultures have had ALL of the Christmas spirit this year.
After Ukrainian Christmas, my students began their exam period. I am one of the few lucky teachers in this world who gets to do the fun part of teaching...and not the terrible part...AKA testing and grading. So since returning to Ukraine I have had lots of 'free time'. While I thought that time would be filled with doing my research, studying Russian, and maybe even reading for fun, instead, in my usual manner, I filled my schedule. I have been traveling, doing some extra traveling and spending lots of time in cafes with my friends. Last weekend I also went on a long weekend to Odessa in the South of Ukraine.
I also used this free time to move! After some plumping issues at my old apartment, I decided it was time to look for a new place. Thanks to my absolutely wonderful Russian tutor, I went on my
first ever apartment hunt and successfully signed my first lease. The apartment hunt was a great chance to practice my household Russian vocabulary...after seeing three options I knew
all of the words for balcony, living room, and oven. After seeing our options, I settled on a place that I had fallen in love with the moment I saw it. Pictures and gushing about it will
come in yet another blog post.
I am writing to you this week from Kyiv, where I am spending my week teaching at the Military Academy and the Economic University as well as seeing some friends and maybe (emphasis on the maybe) relaxing a bit. Then next week, I will travel to the mountains with a friend to participate in a week long respite program for families of military veterans and families of those who's familiy members have been killed in the war. I am excited take this chance to hang out with kids, teach English camps, and hear these people's story. I will return to my new apartment for three days before leaving again for Warsaw, Poland for an English Teaching Assistant training. So, you could say I am a little busy. But, I hope to find time during my travels to get some of my thoughts written down.
For now, I leave you with some inspiration from StoryPeople and a promise that I have begun three other blog posts and will post them soon...after some editing.