30 October 2005

voda or vodu

In about six days or so we head towards the capital to discover where our permanent site will be. We will stay with our future host family for a week and then come back for some technical sessions. I am hoping beyond hope to go to a place in Ukraine whee I can make full use of the Ukrainian language. You can read into that how you will.
In other news, it is nice to receive letters from friends and family back home. I haven't heard from my family yet, but I am hoping their words are on the way. We've heard from some friends of ours from school; it is so nice to keep in contact with what is going on back in the States.
The language here is picking up. When I first got here, I walked into a shop hoping for a pencil and some tissue. I walked out with a pen and some beer. There days, I more or less get what I want if the shop attendant can understand my jumbled words. Yesterday I bought some slipper and journals. One journal was an adventure as the shop keeper dug through her pile until she could find the right one for me. I stuck it in my bag and didn't look at it really close until I got home. There I found that I had an American Chopper journal, replete with Paul Sr. My uncle would be so proud.  In case you don't know, there is only one self serve shop where I live.  Everywhere else, you have to ask for what you want. It turns each trip for bread or toilet paper into a life or death task. It was really hard when I had zero/nul/NONE of the language, but it was a great way to practice the language.  I didn't realize how badly I could fuck up asking for water in a second language, but with all the cases in Ukrainian, one sentence can vary about 70 different ways. Voda or vodu or whatever ever else it can be.
That as it is, the days of death are fewer these days.
Wishing you love from Ukraine.

1 comment:

legersabroad said...

Hello from East Timor...
Glad to hear you are getting through PST and on to site placements! Those language barriers can be tough but we are lucky our language, Tetun, is quite easy with no conjugations or even tenses really. We have been 6 weeks at site and like it a lot. There are lots of challenges, too. Well good luck with the rest of PST and have fun!