"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

Friday, December 14, 2012


This is the first weekend I've been at home in the last couple of months, and it feels really wonderful! This past 8 weeks or so have been spent with friends, as our moments together were few before they left to go home to America. In fact today, December 14th, would have been the last 'official day' of my Peace Corps service in Ukraine had I not extended...and, if anything, this week has reminded me that I am so glad that I've stayed and yes, the goodbyes were difficult, but my work just wasn't quite finished.

The snow started in Kolky on December 1st, and hasn't really let up since. There have been some blue skies occasionally  but I've braced myself for another bitter, grey Winter. I'm more and better prepared than ever, and this third time around, I am 100% confident in saying that the warm weather will come back! 

My chilly front door!

The orchard to the side of my house

The "Furnace" as I like to call it - this is what heats both schools, and my house!

This week, the conclusion of my 'Water Project' was posted. You can check that out here: Kolky Lyceum Water Project! There's a little story of what we did with our grant money and the impact that it's been making! A fantastic cause worth supporting if you're feeling extra generous this holiday season! 

Also, as of today (the last possible day...) I'm legally registered for the next 7 months in Ukraine! The registration process began back on Halloween in Moldova and finally concluded today with a lot of stamps, a lot of back and forth, and a lot of patience. My school was so wonderful helping me out and supporting me with all of the necessary paperworks, letters of guarantees,  etc. They really showed me that they're willing to go a long way to keep me here in Ukraine just a little bit longer! 

Done with this paperwork FOREVER! 

Of course, it wouldn't be December in Kolky without the annual "Hello, We are Looking for Talent" contest! Students from 1st-11th form took the stage this last week, performing their little Ukrainian hearts out. There were 3 concerts, totaling about 8 hours over 2 different days. A few photos from my phone are of my 5th and 7th Formers!  

5b doing their thing! 

The 7b Ensemble

A group of 5th-7th Formers

Now I'm just waiting for Christmas and New Years! Christmas will be another day of lessons, but I have a feeling my school won't let it go unnoticed! I put up my tree earlier this month and although it doesn't have lights or a start (I've since put a Santa on top), it does have it's first package, which arrived early December! Thanks Grandma Jerry! 

Soon I'll post about a Teacher's Seminar I took part in planning and implementing, and some more plans for 2013! And of course, more photos from the White Winter Wonderland that is Kolky these days! 

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