16 November 2007

The "R"

So it's all official. The paperwork is handed in. Most of the goodbyes have been said.

We've been showered with gifts and kind words. It's been hard to know what to feel, happy and sad, relieved and surprised, hesitant and ready. Mostly, I feel ready.

Thanks to those of you who kept in touch. Your words of support and your interest in our lives here were always bright spots in my sometimes challenging days. I hope we were able to paint some pictures of life in Ukraine for you, and somewhat increase your understanding of this part of the world.

I am proud of finishing. I couldn't have done it alone. I have been touched by many incredible people along this journey, and supported by many more at home. I have gained valuable experience that I will carry with me. I'm looking forward to readjusting to life at home and finding out what aspects of this adventure I'm going to miss.

Love from Ukraine!



we'll make this a joint post as our last post from the good ole ukraine. we'll continue the blog at home for a little while--highlighting the differences in culture, our readjustment, and detailing some of the things about Peace Corps Ukraine / Ukraine that we couldn't talk about while serving--and then shut it down.

so, we're rpcvs now. what a hell of a long initiation process (stole that from another rpcv) to get into the club. two years of slogging through another culture, language, and worldview. it opened my mind though and, in a way, opened my heart. and, at the same time, service in Ukraine hardened my heart (my friends at home will have to help me be friendly and optimistic again as pessimism and rudeness have been some of my most surefire tools of survival).

things i miss that i'm looking forward to:

laughing out loud in public. (karen and i did this yesterday and it felt SO GOOD.)



things that i'll miss here:



verenyky with cherries and sour cream and sugar!!!

living in a beautiful, historic city

it's been an amazingly short--and, at the same time, amazingly long--two years of service. i dreamed of being a PCV for a good chunk of my life. and, for these two plus years, i dreamed of being an RPCV. now that i am, i have few adequate words to describe it. basically, i feel ready.

ready for my next challenge and ready to go home and understand this previous challenge.

thank you to ukraine for all of the memories. thank you to all of my students, host families and friends for all of the good memories. you made these two years worthwhile. everytime you smiled or said "thank you" or asked a good qustion, you made me feel happy.

good luck to oleh, levko, and dima on FLEX round 2! and good luck to Marta in everything! you're my stars and were the light of my two years in ukraine!

peace out for the final final from ukraine,

RPCV Ukraine 05-07


Nicole Raisin Stern said...

Dear Larry & Karen,
I've been a silent reader all this time during your PC Ukraine experience and enjoyed getting to know something of Ukraine through your eyes. Congratulationson finishing! I'm sure Monterey and MIIS will welcome you back :)


Virginia said...

Congratulations! What adventures lay ahead? Mark and I came back to USA back in May. We are in Santa Fe, an amazing city with so much histoy, diversity and beauty - an Ameican paradise that makes us think of Ukraine every day...keep on posting yor adventures online...People will want to hear about the transition back to the USA....changes....a new life...but Ukraine is part of you now...

Ginn (& Mark)
Group 28
Read our Jurnals: www.pulverpages.com