So close to spring... but not really

Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
Trip End Dec 22, 2007

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Flag of Ukraine  ,
Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'm back at my site now after a week brushing up on my Ukrainian at In-service Training near Kyiv. Oddly enough, I spoke more English at this training than I have in two months, but it's ok- it was still good to see other volunteers and compare experiences. At the training there were volunteers from all of the groups- some who have been here for over a year already. So it was interesting to get their perspective on things too. It's always nice to see that people are still happy and ready to have a good time after a year here!
Earlier in the week, the temperature rose to a stunning 5 degrees Celcius, the warmest weather we've seen since early November. I was in Kyiv on Sunday when it warmed up, and it was wonderful- everyone was full of life, walking around and laughing, enjoying the freedom of being able to go hatless. Snow was melting all over the place, running like rivers down the street.
But that was just a tease... the next day the ground froze again, and it was SUPER slippery since what had melted the day before was now frozen into smooth, solid ice. That day I was in transit back to my site, and I almost barfed on the little mini-bus because we were sliding all over the place! Also, the man next to me smelled like vokda and barf, so that did not help things any. But luckily we made it back to Kremenets without incident. Phew!
Today it is snowing again, so I guess winter really isn't over yet. Soon, though- it's almost March! Though I was told that two years ago, there was a freak snowstorm at the end of April... hope that doesn't happen this time around!
Even though it's been snowing A LOT, I'm still dazzled by it, like a little kid. Sometimes I almost miss the bus just standing there watching the big flakes fall out of the sky.
Oh, good news-- the English version of the address that I sent works just fine. I've been recieving letters, and it seems to take about 2 weeks. If I forgot to give you my address, let me know!
Well, wish me luck, I'm about to try to convince the other English teachers at my school that it's a good idea for me to teach a lesson to the older students about HIV-AIDS Prevention. Bet you didn't know that Ukraine has the highest level of AIDS in all of Europe did you? It's definitely a taboo subject over here, but I'm willing to put myself in an awkward situation if it might save some misinformed teen's life!
Send me warm thoughts...
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