This past Saturday morning, just a few hours after Kati's massive dinner party, I ordered a taxi (in Ukrainian) and got a bus to Burty. I went home for the holidays. Sam and Drew spent the weekend in Burty with their host families and I figured this was a good idea. When I called Mama Olea last week to ask her permission to visit, I received a screaming YES!
I celebrated Christmas a few more times with a few more families and observed a few new traditions. This refreshing weekend of comfort food and sleeping in my old bed and knocking on familiar doors of familiar homes filled with warmth and language and laughter and stepping into Papa Valodia's embrace or Mama Olea's kisses and hearing "I've missed you!" over and over again and seeing my favorite American and Ukrainian guys (plus a few hours with Christine) was just what I needed to boost me through the rest of this winter break.
|A few of my former students getting candy and money on Christmas morning from Mama Olea.|
This tradition is awesome. Kids make bank and get all kinds of fancy sweets.
|Papa V's reaction to seeing 'his girl' when he got home from work.|
|Our pup didn't like the snow much.|
|A White Burty Christmas!|
|Icy berries at Drew's house.|
|Maxim and Sam doing their techno thing.|
|Dima and Drew|
I missed these guys a whole lot.
"These guys are the heart and soul of Burty." -Drew Ireland
|Burty a few hours after snowfall. Just not cold enough for it to stick.|