Tomorrow, I should be going home. That’s my Ukrainian home, not the one on the other side of the ocean. The last few weeks have been pretty eventful.
What seems like forever ago, my cluster loaded up into a rented marshootka and rode to Kiev to find out where our permanent sites would be. We are a Russian cluster, so we imagined our sites would be either to the East or South as that’s where the Russian speakers are. We weren’t disappointed. My site is in southern Crimea. It’s a beautiful place, the people are awesome and maybe, just maybe I can have minimal winter there. That might be too fanciful a dream, though, as my host sister there told me of a winter not too long ago where temperatures got as low as -28C. You might think as I did that it doens’t sound so bad, knowing that Celsius is different than Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, when you do the conversion, that’s still around -16. Ouch. That’s ok, though. The warmth of the Crimean school children will keep me warm, right?
After site visit, we all returned to Kiev for mini siminars on various teaching topics. I think the best and most useful one was on project-based teaching. For a “talking lecture,” I was riveted through the whole thing and hope to master this skill down south.
On Wed., November 21, we headed back to our site where my mom had a birthday party for me. All laid out were my favorite Ukrainian dishes (bez luka). My clustermates were all there. It was my first birthday party, and it made me see why people like them so much.
Unfortunately the next morning I woke up with a great deal of pain, got checked out by a couple of local doctors and the next day, still having serious problems, I was on my way back to Kiev. That’s where I have been the last week. The good news is the doctors think I am well enough to head home tomorrow. It’s hard to explain how excited I am to get back to my cluster, my family and instruction on how to live in Ukraine. I mean, I know how much I need this training, and once I started feeling better, I knew that I would get behind if I didn’t do something. The training unit was able to provide me someone to help me for the last few days, which is great, but learning on your own isn’t the same as learning in a group or practicing with a group. There are only a couple weeks more for me to soak up everything I can before I am out there on my own.
I’ll definitely be glad to get back to that, my host mom and everything else my training site has to offer.