"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

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

PC 50th, the procurement of a cow (almost), and of course, Women's Day

With a title like that, it's hard to know quite where to begin.

March came in with celebration, as Peace Corps marked it 50th Anniversary! I seem to be attracted to 50th Anniversaries because when I joined camp, it was their 50th, I served on the 50th Committee for CLU, and now I get to partake in another golden anniversary with PC. Barack even made it an official national holiday, but I still had to teach at school...and what do you know, my school threw a surprise concert and party for me! I remember talking to my Counterpart about the 50th in Kyiv, and then again a few weeks ago, but little did I know my school would put on such a show. (Spoiler alert: I'm making a Top Ten Favorite Things about Ukraine list and one of them is how Ukrainian children/teens will get on stage and sing for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING). It was exciting to say the least, and the cocktails and shots of cognac after work were a nice way congratulate such an awesome organization and the hard work of the international citizens around the world.

A few days later, the phone in my flat rang and someone asked me if I wanted a cow. Granted, many people call all the time with the wrong number, talking to me about who knows what, but this time they wanted to talk to me and the crazy talk was actually real! As it turns out, someone was moving from Kolky, but couldn't take their cow and thought the nice American could use the milk. (I think that's a lot of milk, but really what do I know). I was beyond excited thinking about the money I would save on milk, and the pictures I would have of me and my cow. I probably said yes without knowing what I was really agreeing to, but figured the worst case scenario would be either a lot of milk in my fridge or a steak on my plate. Again, what do I know. As it turns out, she was able to move the cow because she gave her couch away and there was room. As they say in Ukrainian, "Bleen!" or "Dang!"

This last weekend was really awesome because I had 5 days off! Friday, I had a regional Volunteer meeting in Lutsk which was really productive and informational. I really look forward to meeting likes these, or just casual gatherings with other Volunteers that have been in country longer, because they are such amazing sources of information. I'm surrounded by other hardworking, motivated, and successful Volunteers and I couldn't be more excited. Saturday was a lazy day in Lutsk with friends which involved card games, cooking (mainly by Melissa) and baked goods (Melissa again). My friend Jon and I reaped the benefits of having such a fantastic hostess, benefits including banana bread, snicker-doodles, and oatmeal raisin cookies. Kolky threw a Women's Day concert on Sunday, so I made an appearance there. No concert would be complete without a few good job high-fives from Mr. Benjamin. The Mayor even gave a few because he saw how popular they were. Stealing my moves to win votes, I see how it is. Monday and Tuesday were days off as well for the holiday, so I enjoyed some downtime with friends, a lot of booking reading, and even a few runs!

Looking forward to a quiet weekend in Kolky, even though we have school on Saturday. Because of the days off for Women's Day, we make up for it on Saturday. Although knowing Kolky Lyceum, we'll have a half day and a concert, and call it good. The sun has been shining lately, giving me hope that there is a light at the end of this seemingly endless tunnel that is winter. Spring Break is soon, and I have some exciting plans for that, but I'll end here to lesson plan and finish my book.

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