"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, March 24, 2013

A Lion State of Emergency!

I remember in 1st Grade, Ms. Cole did a unit about the month of March "coming in like a Lion and out like a Lamb", or vice versa. Well, March 2013 in Ukraine has pretty much been one giant roaring lion who ate the lamb long ago. 

Shortly after my birthday, Ukraine was POUNDED with the biggest blizzard of the Never Ending Winter season. Peace Corps put all of the Volunteers West of Kyiv on travel restriction because the roads were super dangerous to travel on. School was even cancelled last Friday, which doesn't happen too often. 

The best part was the wind. It ripped through Kolky and left no one unscathed. I've never seen snow travel so fast sideways! Luckily, I stalked up on supplies beforehand and spent last weekend safe and bundled up in my house.

A little big of the sideways snow.

After the roads were plowed. 

The snow drift that made my house very difficult to enter/exit! 

Fresh, March powder!

The ground 2 feet below the snow

Last week, classes continued as usual, but fast forward to this Friday, March 22 and we get Blizzard Round II x 2! This time, Kyiv seemed to get the worst of it, but we got our fair share as well. (Kyiv had 2 feet in 12 hours, we only had about a foot this go around) Currently, Kyiv has been declared in a "State of Emergency" because their transportation and infrastructure kind of shut down, but I hear some buses are back running, the military was out clearing roads, and the airport is open. Lots of villages have been losing power, but Kolky has stayed strong, meaning I can bake and wash clothes.

I hope and pray daily that the worst of it is over. Someone told me that the first day it's supposed to be above 0° C (32° F) is April 15...I'm not sure what to think about that.

But today, I got out of my hibernating bear state and went to the House of Culture to see some of my students perform at a concert. Many of my students attend the local music school after lessons, something of which I was aware of, but not to what extent! I have some amazingly talented students! Below are some of the highlights of the concert, but I really was blown away with the talent and dedication these students have to music. 

A Ukrainian Bandura 

Everyone was in their traditional Ukrainian Vyshyvankas

Lilia on the violin

Accordions are often the instrument of choice here in Ukraine! 

A little circus tune, which was my favorite

Alice, playing a 10-minute piano piece, without sheet music

The girls ensemble 

Ukrainian Banduras 

Accordions are cool. Never forget that. 

A little something from Indiana Jones

This group played "A Walk Around America" which included almost every patriotic song from the States...
I'm not sure they really knew what they were playing, but I LOVED it! 
Now I'm on Spring Break (well, minus the fact that there is an In-Service tomorrow at school) and on Thursday, I'm going to Rome!!! I leave for Kyiv on Tuesday, I'll get some work done in the Peace Corps Office on Wednesday and take off Thursday. I'll blog when I get back, and of course, take lots of pictures. I even have a ticket for Easter Mass with the Pope and the weather is supposed to be mid-50's, so March certainly will go out like a lamb for me! Rome has been a dream of mine for a while, so I'm really looking forward to this trip!

Until next time! Arrivederci!

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