May Day is a three holiday from school and work that celebrates working aka kinda like Labor Day in the US. Many people travel so this past week, I got to host three PCV ladies - Christine, Julia, and Kathleen - at my house. My host family was over the moon to have extra people around since our house was already filing up with neighbors, relatives, and other friends. My new host mom, Luda, and I had a long conversation over coffee about how much we both love a full house and people running around. It gave me an opportunity to tell her about my childhood when my house was full of neighbors and kids and constant motion. She said her house used to be much busier when her children were younger (Sasha, her son, is 22 and away at college and Masha, her daughter, is 19 and works at a hair salon in the next town over) but now she thinks I can keep the house noisy! I got to help prepare and cook until our kitchen overran with food and drink. We planted our fields with potatoes, tomatoes, cumbers, onions, beets, watermelons, and pumpkins for several days before our grand fest. The ladies showed up and the party started. Shaslick is the word for barbecue that is the traditional dish of May Day or May 1st. Our shaslick was divine. My host father, Peter, and his brother-in-law took care of the shaslick cooking while all the ladies got the picnic and kids ready. We ate far too much mouth watering, brazen meat with all the fixing and Betty Crocker chocolate cake! The weather was nice enough we stayed outside until well past dark still eating, drinking, laughing, and swatting at all the bugs.
The next day, I got to introduce my friends to some of my students during a photo club outing. My 8th form girls were far too excited to speak that we had to work out a system of asking questions in turn. In about 48 hours, I got to introduce my friends to most of my inner circle in town. They were a huge hit. Everyone keeps asking when the 'other girls' are coming back.
As much as I love my students, it was hard going back to school after such a long, satisfying break. Luckily, there is less than 3 weeks of school left before SUMMER!
|Left to right: Julie, Kathleen and Christine|
|Julia soaks up some sun.|
|Kathleen enjoying not being at work!|
|Luda and Baba Katya giving Kathleen the classic 'why aren't you eating more?" interview.|
|This is Shaslick!|
|Natasha, Luda's baby sister, with her son Vadlik and Baba Katya.|
Vadlik is a sweet, four year old who has a few special needs.
He is a great peek-a-boo and cartoon watching partner.
He is curious and giggly and most everything a little boy should be.
|Luda and Vadlik hanging with a few baby goats.|