"At the center of the universe is a loving heart that continues to beat and that wants the best for every person. Anything we can do to help foster the intellect and spirit and emotional growth of our fellow human beings, that is our job. Those of us who have this particular vision must continue against all odds. Life is for service." ~Mr. Fred Rogers

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Off to Київ!

What a week! I am really having a hard time believing that tomorrow is Friday, let alone the 22nd day in October. Life is Kivshovata is going well, and although simple, definitely not slow. My alarm has been set between 6-6:30 every morning, so I am able to be to school by 7:30/8 to prepare for lesson observations and/or teaching. Tomorrow's alarm is set for 5 a.m., but I'll get to that later.

Classes are coming along swimmingly, and I gain more confidence each time I teach. I taught the 6th form again on Tuesday, and it was fantastic. I had a sense of comfort this time, and so did the students. I recognized them, knew a few names, and was much less of a novelty/circus act. We went over the "My Parents" lesson, and introduced adjectives to describe them. Again, I showed my pictures, and they were fascinated, but I think mainly by my Mom's good looks and Dad's dapper appearance. More critical thinking, more speaking, and more family...always a good time!

Today, Evan and I team taught the 4th form, which I will continue with in the following weeks. We had a blast teaching together. The topic: Food and the Present Continuous. "I eat the apple - I am eating the apple, "She/eat/peach - She is eating a peach" "They/cook/vegetables - They ____ cooking vegetables." (That one is for you to try!) I was so glad the lesson came together and was executed well. Oksana, as well as Marina, our Technical Coordinator, really liked the lesson which made us feel even more accomplished. We weren't give our material until yesterday at noon, and had 5 hours of Ukrainian, so at 6 p.m. last night, we were able to talk through our lesson and plan, finalizing everything at 7:45 this morning. Not ideal, but it is what it is and we managed. Flexibility and patience, that's what it's all about! Next week classes are on a break so students can help winter preparation at home, so we have a bit of a 'break', but I will start with 3 classes the following week, adding the 9th form.

All the work and stress of the week, however, is put aside tomorrow as our cluster of 5 embarks on a journey to Kiev! We want to catch the 6 a.m. bus, so that is why I have to get up so early. Only having an hour to get ready, eat breakfast, and walk to town may be a bit of a rush, but I knew I couldn't handle seeing a 4 on my alarm clock in the morning. We are supposed to sit with and converse with Ukrainians tomorrow on the 3 hour bus ride, but who really wants to be chatty with an American at 6 a.m. trying to comprehend very broken and butchered language...not any Ukrainian I've met. I'm pushing for conversation on the ride home, and sleep on the way there, unless my seat buddy is a sweet Babucia, in which case I will a) be fed copious amounts of food from her bag, b) get pet every time I say something correct in Ukrainian, and c) be introduced to her granddaughter(s) via phone.

Once in Kiev, Lena (our language teacher) is not allowed to speak to us in English, nor really help us out getting to the Peace Corps Office. We are supposed to use the phrases we've learned, and our heads, to take the bus to the Metro to the train to the office. We want to also explore the city a little, and maybe sit down and order something from a menu, so we allotted time for that. (And if I'm really lucky, sit down to do other things!) I will most definitely take pictures, and get them up when I can. My internet laughs hysterically when I try to upload any photo, whether it be to an email, Facebook, or my blog. Sooner or later, I will get some up and will take a flash drive tomorrow in case we go somewhere with internet/computers. I even made a video, so get ready!

Hope you're all enjoying your week, and have fun weekends planned. I'm not really a TGIF kind of guy, because I appreciate all the days independently for what they bring...but I am, however, thankful that tomorrow is Friday. For tomorrow means: another busy yet productive week in the books, more Ukrainian learned, and Kiev.

 (P.S. Lecia and I adopted a kitty/It followed me home and we kept it/I fed it so it would follow me home knowing that she would want to keep it. More details to come, but to wet your palate, he is tiny, black, and in the barn with the pigs.)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ben,
    I was ableto translate Kiev, but your previous posting: Word of the Day has me stumped. I get "Garbuz"