"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 6, 2013

Two Thousand Thirteen!

Maybe I was a little premature to title my last post "Celebrating in Snow" because, well, the snow is practically gone! We got a few flurries last night, but really, it's melting a lot faster than it's falling. I'm back home in Kolky after a wonderful time in the "mountains" celebrating New Year's and ringing in 2013 with 26 Ukrainian friends! 

Secret Santa Cards from one English Clubber to another! 

Of course, Santa comes to Ukraine on St. Nicholas Day, but he also came in the form of an amazing care package too! Not pictured is a wonderful down-blanket my Grandma Jerry sent! I got to open it via Skype Christmas morning in America! 

Santa strikes again! 

It's not Christmas without cookies! 

Notice how I only rationed a handful of Candy Corn for the cookies. 

As I mentioned before, I celebrated New Year's with Ukrainian friends in the Carpathian Mountains. We arrived the evening of December 31st and took off back to Lviv on the 2nd. It was a wonderful time, full of new friends, lots of Ukrainian (even though 2 of my good friends from L'viv speak amazing English, so they helped me out!), food, drinks, dancing, and games. We even managed to take an excursion into a nearby village to sip from its natural spring and explore the 200+ year old church there. We also had some time in the sauna, some frisbee throwing, and movie watching. All in all, it was one of the best New Years I've had to date! 

Only the start to our New Year's Eve table
(Notice there aren't any drinks yet!)

A semi-candid shot by my friend Pavlo

Dancing to prepare for 2013!!!

Counting down near the bonfire outside with champagne toasts! 

A few of my friends - Pavlo, Luda, Mariana, and Maria!

Where's the snow!? 

My favorite photo from New Year's Eve!
A Santa Claus, a Snow Princess, a few New Year snakes, and an American. 

Happy 2013!!!

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