"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

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Sunless, нічо Routine

Well, break is over and classes have finally begun. Finally, I have started my work as a TEFL Peace Corps Volunteer and I couldn't be more thrilled. I like routines, but I'm a Peace Corps Volunteer living in Ukraine, so those are very hard to come by. But the fact that I have my roseklad or schedule, is exciting to say the least. I have stepped into the role of full time English Teacher at Kolky Licium, and part of stepping into that role is stepping into a routine.

I may be speaking for some sort of minority here, but why is it that we like routine so much? And why is is that I like change almost as much as routine? Could one argue that they aren't really opposites? I think part of the comfort of routine is the fact that much of the time here in Ukraine, I am not 100% certain as to what is actually happening...or for that matter what is actually being said. But with my schedule, I do. I know where I am supposed to be, when I'm supposed to be there, and what I'm supposed to be doing. (That is unless everything changes but just for "that day"). Training was a crazy, whirlwind of 3 months and getting through it is nothing short of a major life accomplishment, partly because not one day was ever the same. We "planned" out the next week on the Saturday before, and I would frantically write it down, in Ukrainian, so Mama Lecia knew (kind of) when I'd be home. But throughout the week, I would scratch out this, or change that time, just because that was the nature of the game. But now that I'm in Kolky, and the whirlwind of training, Swearing-In, moving, life in general has sort of come to a stop, I can see my role so much more clearly because I can see my routine. And that's where I will be this week, basking in my routine, because we all know there is no sun to bask in! (March, is only 6 weeks away!)

But what I've decided about routines is that when their broken, you just have to go with it. There's really no sense in frantically trying to fix what was supposed to be. My friend Val and I have what we call a нічо "NiCho" lifestyle. NiCho, in Ukrainian, is a colloquial phrase meaning, "No worries", "It's alright", "Pshhh, I got this". Part of my 'routined' world is loving when it goes right, and being ok when it goes off course, "NiCho-ing" it. Because you never know when you're going to get Ukrained. Like when I needed to go to Kiev on Monday. Yes, it's a 5 hour trip. Yes, it took me 32. But NiCho. After a few different modes of transportation (6 buses, 2 marshrukas, 1 car, and 1 train) I made it to Kiev, and took the easy route on my way home 10 hours later. NiCho.

So, in short, life is good and there is no denying that. Yes, I could use for a little more sun, and a lot less gray, but I've got coffee, and decent coffee at that. The highlight of my week was receiving a package from home. I ran, well it was icey so hustled swiftly, toward the poshta when I was delivered a package form. INTERNATIONAL. All I could think was, Ahhhhhhh, AHHHHHHHH, AHHHHHHH! It was STUFFED with amazing stuff from home, pictures, cards, sweaters, razors, and Starbucks VIA. YES! Thank you so much to everyone who contributed. The next post will be my address, but please don't get to attached to it because it will be changing in a few months.

4 comments:

  1. Hey Ben, routine is great; it helps to avoid much of stress that comes from uncertainty. However, getting locked inextricably into a routine spells
    obsessiveness! Sounds as if you've struck a good balance and can avoid the dreaded COD!

    Pop

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