One of the best parts of my two years here has been weekend-long slumber parties with fellow PCVs, especially Michelle. Whenever she comes to Sokyriany we always cook all weekend, because she lives in a dorm without a kitchen and cooking is a treat for her. We also are both addicted to the TV show Castle, so whenever we’re together we watch new episodes. This weekend is Sokyriany marked the end of an era; our last slumber-party! I’m down to two weeks left in Sokyriany, but next weekend I won’t be home because I’m going to L’viv with some friends for one last adventure in Ukraine. The weekend after that I’ll be packing like crazy, so this weekend was pretty much the last possible weekend we could do this.
Michelle arrived Friday afternoon, and freaked out when she saw the suitcase on the floor in the middle of my room. “Isn’t it a bit early to be packing?” she asked. I explained that I was putting away all the clothes that I wouldn’t need during my last few weeks here, because they were taking up space in my closet. I wanted an idea of how much room they would occupy in my suitcase, but they didn’t even all fit! I really don’t know how I’ve accumulated so much stuff… I even sent a huge suitcase home to Ohio with Tori in August, and yet there is still so much to pack.
After Michelle arrived I put the suitcase away; packing was not on the agenda for this weekend. Firstly, I dragged Michelle to Milady (Olha’s shop) to see Olha. I had a secret plan that I needed Michelle’s help with. My going-away present for Olha is a beautiful engraved picture frame, but I needed a cute picture of Olha and I to put inside of it! I told Olha we needed to have a “photo sessia” (photo session) and she immediately closed her shop and led us to the park. The weather was perfect and the park was full of beautiful fall colors. Michelle did a great job as photographer, and the pictures turned out so well! I have a few to choose from for the place of honor in the picture frame.
After the photo sessia we headed back to my apartment for dinner. It was a Ukrainian meal of borsch and pelmeni, the former being homemade by Olha and myself, and the latter being bought at the grocery store. What Michelle and I didn’t know was that the pelmeni was disgustingly old, with an expiration date in 2011. We didn’t realize this until it was cooked and on our plates and we were wondering why it tasted so funny. GROSS!
After dinner we watched Castle and squealed for every love scene, because our favorite characters finally got together! Then it was time to get down to business… the dreaded business of hand-washing our clothes. I’ve been making a grand master list, detailing “things I will miss” and “things I won’t miss” about Ukraine, and handwashing goes firmly in the won’t-be-missed category. I hate hand-washing; your clothes never come as clean as they do in a washing machine, and your hands always end up chapped and sore. Plus air-drying doesn’t shrink your clothes, so jeans never fit exactly like they should. Lucky for me, I think this was my last time hand-washing! I don’t want to jinx it, but I think the next time I wash clothes will be in two weeks in Kyiv (I know, my standards of cleanliness have fallen in Peace Corps), so this might have been the last time I ever have to do this! I sincerely hope it was.
Now, to be fair, I have a few pictures to illustrate the “things I will miss” column. First off we have Olha, my dearest Ukrainian friend. This is one of the pics from our photo-session, a bit blurred but still precious!
And of course, I’ll miss slumber-party/cooking weekends with Michelle! Saturday we made Ukrainian Eggs Benedict for brunch, followed by Sweet & Sour Chicken and Fried Rice for dinner. Then Michelle made us French Toast for breakfast Sunday, and we had Chinese leftovers for lunch! When we weren’t eating we were just hanging out, and both of us did some blogging we wanted to get caught up on. I even did some studying for the GRE, making flashcards of all the GRE vocabulary words I’ve never heard of. Examples: pusillanimous, saturnine, ineluctable, tendentious, and stentorian. And here I thought only the math portion of the GRE would be a challenge
Sunday night Michelle left for a meeting in Kyiv, and tomorrow my LAST week of teaching starts. Fall Break starts this Friday after class ends, so this is my last week of lessons! On one hand, it’ll be hard to say goodbye to some of the kids, but on the other hand, the lessons this week will be easy and consist mostly of taking pictures with the munchkins. Oh and I have my last English Club this Thursday, so I’m going to make a slide show of all my students who come to English Club and plan something cool as a way to say goodbye. I’ll miss those kids the most.
I hope all is well where you are, thanks for reading!
P.S: I’M FINALLY CAUGHT UP ON MY BLOG! CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER!