"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, November 21, 2012

Going Clubbing, Some Thanks, and a Bітаю!

At the beginning of the year, I told myself that English Club, this year, was going to happen. Not only was it going to happen, it was going to be on a regular basis, and I was going to be intentional about it. And, as it turns out, English Club has become something I enjoy and look forward to! It's a relaxed and safe environment for students. The numbers vary depending on other activities that week, amount of homework, and of course, the memory of over-stimulated middle-schoolers.  

Some of the more 'successful' EC lessons have revolved around holidays, (see the Halloween post a few days weeks ago) but we're having a blast whatever the topic, whenever the season.

I haven't been very good about bringing my camera, but my iPhone catches a few moments! Take a look at what we've been up to!  

Magazine Poetry!

Creating, Writing, Speaking, Learning!

Team Activities!

Singing Songs!

Crosswords...always a favorite!

Decorating our 'Thankful Turkeys'!

I want to end this post with gratitude and thanks for the many, many blessing in my life. I am so fortunate to be where I am and couldn't be more appreciative to the people that have helped me along the way. I have the most amazing family in the world, supporting my crazy adventures and overwhelming me with love and encouragement. My friends, at home, in Ukraine, and all around the world inspire me with their talents and gifts, and shape me to be a better person...and haven't forgotten about me! This experience in Ukraine couldn't happen without all of you, so I humbly say thanks. As a wise woman once said, "It takes a village". You all are my village.

Other things I'm thankful at this moment in my life:

  • My health and the health of those I care about so much;
  • The last of this seasons apples and the peanut butter that accompanies them oh so well;
  • Great Internet! (I have wifi now. Let's Skype! Seriously.);
  • My electric kettle. (How do you people live without one!?);
  • The love that is shown to me in Kolky every day;
  • Celebrating election victories (and not having to watch election ads);
  • Ukrainian friends that are going to keep me sane without my soon-to-be departed PCV gang;
  • High-5's from my kiddos;
  • fresh milk. 

aaaaand one last thing. 

Two great friends of mine from Cal Lu got engaged this weekend! A HUGE ВІТАЮ (Congratulations) to my friends Danny and Blythe! They are two of my favorite globally minded, do-gooders that are literally changing the world with each adventure they take on. I'm so excited for this next one of theirs! 

My CLU Family!
(Danny and Blythe are on the right!)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Home and Family"

A few weeks back, a reporter friend of mine, who had written a story on me a while back, asked me for 5-8 family recipes for a magazine his newspaper publishes. "Home and Family" published 3 of the 'dessert' recipes the other day! I haven't found a hard copy yet, but I found the article online! 

The photo, I'll admit, is quite misleading because I certainly did not make that cake - but rather was gifted it from my school and Tanya, our head cook on my 24th Birthday in March.

I've translated the short text below, and then it's followed by Bread Pudding, Banana Bread, and Apple Crumble recipes shared from me and my family! Смачного

Taste Banana Bread from Colorado

"A Volunteer from Colorado, Benjamin Hogue, has been living in Kolky for two years. During this time, the American has not only loved Ukrainian food, but also learned to cook. (Side note: I didn't learn in Kolky, but rather the necessity has been heightened and enthusiasm honed.) And besides borsch and varenyky, 'the guy' enjoys food which he loved at home. Ben has shared with 'Domovychk' recipes, that his family makes overseas."

This article has been shared with permission from the author, and my friend, Андрій Соколовський (Andriy Sokolovsky)