Thursday, April 19, 2012

Monastyryshche and Moving

To put it in short, I visited my dear Caitlin in her town, Monastyryshche, a few weekends ago before I moved in with my 3rd host family.

Visiting Caitlin was something I put on my To Do List months ago and never seem to make happen. So I did it. I took a break from packing and lesson planning to spend a few days with one of my favorite women in Ukraine. We did a ton of cooking and cookie eating and movie watching. All our favorite things. To make up for the junk food we were eating, we took a stroll on the edge of her city to photograph the town sign (see photos below). About 8 kilometers round trip and worth every step. We got to see a new part of town, watch a horse and buggy get caught in traffic between two semi-trucks. Ukraine amazes me every day. Like boggling my mind every day. Later that same day, we had dinner with Caitlin's counterpart, Natasha, and her family. Natasha is an intelligent, funny, stylish woman who also happens to be a great mom and wife. Hanging out with her and soaking up bits of her thoughts was exactly what I needed. Some days at my school and in my village aren't that easy. Being around others who experience the same yet figure out how to make it better always lifts me up and inspires me. I am eager to visit the Mona gang again this summer during their summer camp.

The city sign was surrounded by blessed items like this cross. 

The city sign. 

Natasha and Caitlin! 

Last week, after getting back from Caitlin's, I moved from the Cherevko household into my 3rd house with my 3rd host family. I've done a lot of moving in the past four months but it's all for the better. Life happens, things change, and I am learning to adapt in a flash. Lucky for me, my village family is expanding! I have dinner and tea invites all over town each week. During my final days living with Baba Nina, Halya, Tolrick, and Vika, we get ready for spring and Easter by dusting, scrubbing, and moping every inch of every surface in our house. Blankets, sheets, and pillows were to hang out to air along side with winter boots pinned to the line. After chores, Halya showed up her new baby bunnies and I spent some quality Baba time with the ladies of the neighborhood.

Baba Vera bringing her newest goats to visit me. 

The little ones getting used to their freedom from fences. 

Baba Vera and Baba Nina have been friends and neighbors for over 30 years.
They were chatting about their grandkids coming to visit and which kid is working which job.
Halya and her snuggly friend. 

Baby Bunnies! (need I say more?)

Since I have lotsa stuff and my new host family only has a little car (which they were gracious enough to load my stuff in and drive it to their house), after loading up my stuff, Kati and I walked across town to my new house. The sun was setting, our students were out fishing and playing at the lake, the mailman delivered Kati's mail to her, etc. Our trip took quite a while but we enjoyed it. 
Kati insisted she take a photo of me.
She remarked, "You look very nice but your flower, your flower is just sad."
This is a potted plant my 3rd form gave me to over a month ago.
It's barely alive but I refuse to throw it away. I promise I will make it look pretty again. 

Slova, 8th form, doing some fishing.
The safety is questionable but his skills are excellent. 

Checking out the results of the evening. 

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