"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

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Goodbye Post to Fall, Grime, and JK

A little drizzly and wet today in Kolky. Winter, according to Ukrainian standards, began on the 1st of December, but so far we haven't had any drastic weather changes (not that I'm complaining). I remember quite a lot more snow this time last year, slugging around in my huge winter boots. I hear it's supposed to be a muddy Winter this year, which doesn't make me too excited. When I asked each of my classes on Thursday what they were most excited for in December, a handful of them in each class enthusiastically said "Snow!". No extra points from me on that one.

This weekend, I'm enjoying time to myself in Kolky. Tomorrow, I'll head to Manevychy to be on the jury for the Regional English Olympiad. While critiquing nervous students certainly has become a hobby of mine, I am more excited to see my ten students participate. When I started at Kolky Lyceum, I was astonished at some of the students English levels. They could communicate with me effortlessly and, although some explanation or sentence restructuring occasionally happens, most of my work was already cut out for me. For a few months now, I have been holding "English Olympiad Prep Club" for these students and I am excited to see their hard work pay off.

The Olympiad and school commitments kept me from going to Kyiv with my friends to see my Jon off (more on him later), so with no where to go and nobody for me to see, it was time to tackle my Winter cleaning. No that is not an fancy way to say I laid around all day watching West Wing and reading Kurt Vonnegut novels, I actually did clean everything!

My apartment is beautiful, top to bottom -- or rather ceiling to floors. I even scrubbed out the fridge and oven, tackled the shower, dusted those spider webs in each corner, and sorted my clothes. Fueled by coffee, reheated curry, and podcasts of This American Life, I was a machine this morning and afternoon. The accomplishment is satisfying and the reward...indulging on the aforementioned media. Now my house is going to be a little damp because I'm drying my sheets all around the house, but I think it'll be worth it. 

The clothesline that goes along my kitchen-bathroom!

Using every available "hanging" space!

As I mentioned before, my best friend Jon Kidd is leaving Ukraine tomorrow to go back home to Colorado. He arrived to Ukraine a year before I did apart of Group 37 and has completed his 27 months of service. He lived about an hour away so we hung out pretty often and drank the occasional frosty brew. If a new Volunteer gets placed at his site in Lutsk, they have big shoes to fill. We will all miss him around these parts, but he's going on to do some pretty awesome things in the States. Watch this guy move up the political ranks pretty fast. 

See you in Colorado, JK! We're all praying for safe travels home, a smooth transition back, and plenty of doors to fling wide open!

Working Kolky Community Clean-Up in April

So long, JK!

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