18 August 2006

winding down

As the summer winds down, I feel like it's barely getting started. We still have constant visitors, which I'm sure I'll miss once the cold, dark Winter approaches. We've just returned from an incredible trip to Krakow, where we met up with Michelle the marathon-traveller/gradstudent/picture-taking machine. =)

It was an incredible trip, full of friendly waitresses, patient ticket salespeople, and easy-to-follow public transportation. Polish turned out to be fairly easy to understand when spoken, but the written form was full of crazy consonant clusters we didn't know how to pronounce.

It was wonderful to have my friend here, to experience a bit of our life in our city. I enjoyed witnessing what was remarkable, odd, or shocking to her, many things I have long since gotten accustomed to ignoring.

Auschwitz was awful and wonderful; we had an excellent tour guide who compassionately described some of the horror that took place where we stood. There wasn't much time to let things sink in, but I'm so glad we went. Our time there was much too short.

In a week or so meetings will start up in preparation for the new semester, and then I will get into a new routine. I'm looking forward to seeing my students, hearing of their summer "rests," and hitting the ground running in terms of our English study.

Happy Ukrainian Independence Day, August 24th. This year is the 15th anniversary and we will celebrate with a concert, good food, and even an appearance of a world champion Strongman.

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