Three days ago was the hottest day yet in Ukraine. For Karen and I, it was beach weather. As there is no beach here, or anywhere near here, we made do by going to our schools and doing our jobs--as much as we wanted to just stroll around the center, take in some outdoor sights, or just park ourselves on a bench and eat some ice cream. Of course, upon arriving at school, we found that our students had done just that. In some classes, I was teaching three students. In others, six. Such is the life here.
All those commercials say it is the toughest job you'll ever love, and it is tough some days. But other days, man, let me tell you, it ain't so tough. Standing beneath the cupola of a 14th century church, admiring the, unfortunately deteriorating, frescoes depicting priests and lay people....and the disembodied--and screaming--head of Jesus. Discovering a new pizza joint--pizza, having recently been rediscovered as our favorite food--and watching my excited wife order pepperoni, a rarity here, and watching her smile decline as a pizza wheels out of the kitchen, replete with hot, red chili peppers (and no the kind that play guitars with socks dangling of their dangles). (Upon receiving the bill, we saw, written, "pepperoni," which ended our debate of whether I had ordered wrong, or if they really though that was pepperoni was hot, red chili peppers. At least, in that new place, themed like a European football hangout, pepperoni has a different meaning.) Taking in a beer (Guinness!!) and a Margarita (Karen) at a newly discovered pub, Irish themed, and meeting with a fellow PCV and new friend to us all, a Ukrainian named Roman who works for a Dutch firm and has a former moto-cross & tennis champion for a father in law. (When info on tennis courts in L--- pans out, I'll let you know if that is fact or farce). So, no, it ain't always tough.
But when everyday you've got to run around the school, finding someone who might know of someone who has the key for your room--because copying them would make too much sense, it's a little tough. When you're getting yelled at on the marshrutka in a language you barely understand (Karen's story), it gets a little tough. When you've got four summer camps looming on the summer horizon, it gets a little tough.
But, man, when those kids get all excited cuz your actually there, cuz you actually understand them, cuz they actually understand them, and cuz you're actually, actually, actually there and will actually be there for another 18 months, it is worth it.
Anyway...rain now. And lots of it. The reason: It's L----. Kinda what we always said for Humboldt County.
"Why's it raining is freakin' June?"
"Cuz it's Humboldt."
This weekend, some folks coming in from the East. A Birthday. Meeting my language tutor on Saturday.
On Tuesday: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. In Ukrainian.
Next week, the last week of regular school. Then a 10-day day-camp. Time to bust out my newly purchased guitar.
Oh yeah, and in the next 10 days, we're moving again. And for the last time until we move back to the US. Moving to a nice 2-room apt near the center of town.
[P.S. Congrats and golf claps to Scott Webb for getting the accept into MIIS. Too bad we won't be colleagues--as you'll surely finish before we're back. You're at a great school in a great part of the state.]