05 December 2005

December in Ukraine

Trouble accessing email today, so I will try here.

We had a great Ukrainian lesson today. Lots of talking, not too much conjugating or figuring out what cases to use. This language is amazingly complicated, which makes it beautiful yet frustrating at times.

Have been meaning to mention that they use abacuses (?) here! You remember, those little metal rods with different color beads that you move up or down to count things. Every time I buy an international stamp at the P.O. the woman uses an abacus to add my 3,30 to 3,30, and it always comes out right!

They also use "real" brooms. Not those plastic things we have, actual branches from a once-living thing all tied together. They work really well too. We've been using one to wipe the snow off our shoes before entering the house.

The snow melted last week during our "head wave" (haha), I think it got up to 10 degrees C. This morning it was 1 degree (plus) and I thought it wasn't so cold. Imagine that. It snowed again a few nights ago, but now it's mostly slush. I'm getting better at walking on it, though we're all destined to fall eventually.

Headed home to study and plan our community event. We will hold an "English Teachers Appreciation Night" on Wednesday and invite local teachers from different schools. It's a chance to share ideas and get them together to chat. Then Friday L and I are teaching a seminar on how adapt an old-fashioned textbook and make it more communicative. Should be a productive, yet super busy, week.

Hope you are all well and staying warm. We think of you often, especially now that it's becoming holiday time.

Big hugs!

02 December 2005

peace corps ukraine rocks

PC Ukraine does an amazing job of taking care of its volunteers. So to all our friends and family, please know that we are in good hands--and know that the writing has been sparse lately because we've been SUPER DUPER busy!

Three weeks til swearing in!

--Staying warm in Ukraine: LL & KH