Saturdays Are The Best Days

Why are Saturdays the best days, you might ask? Because it’s the one day a week that I get Internet access! And I get to read all the lovely emails and blog comments from you, my encouraging readers. : ) I now have the freedom to travel to the city whenever I want, but unfortunately, I don’t have the freedom to make my own schedule. And the current schedule dictates that I am booked until at least 5 or 6pm, and Anya (my host mother) always waits on dinner for me. And since leaving the house after dark is a no-no, I have no time for the city until Saturday : ( Its kind of frustrating, but I know I’ll have more freedom after training is over!

Today after I spent some quality time on the Internet, me and my fellow cluster mates went to see some cave churches that were founded almost 1000 years ago. We went with our link mates (Peace Corps trainees we meet with once a week for “link” days) and some of their university students who wanted to show us all the historic sites of the city. Our link mates are people who have masters degrees and are training to be English teachers at the university level. They are all older in age, ranging from 25-45. So their university students were closer in age to us PC trainees from my cluster (we’re all 22-24 years old) than we are to our link mates!  We had a great time seeing the city with them, and the highlight for me was climbing to the top of an old bell tower and watching monks from the monastery ring the bells. It was so loud standing there next to the bells as they rang, but such a fun experience! I felt like my whole body was vibrating along with the bells. I took a video of it, and I’m hoping my blog has enough space for me to upload it here! (My fingers are crossed). Well, its not working today : ( I’ll try to upload the video another day, so for today you’ll just get a picture of the bells : )

From the top of the bell tower we had an incredible view of the neighboring church, as well as a great panoramic view of the city of Chernihiv. I loved seeing these sites with our new Ukrainian friends, who took so much pride in showing us the beauty of Chernihiv. I’m glad I went!

I wasn’t sure if my host mother would let me leave the house this morning, as I currently have a cold. Its nothing serious, but she’s very concerned. She blames my cold on me not wearing my house shoes, and insists on me drinking tea with honey every hour to warm me up. I’m fine with this part of the deal! I like tea and honey! The harder part has been her insisting that I not shower until I get better. She thinks taking a shower will make me sicker, which is kind of funny because if I was home in America, my Dad would tell me that a nice hot shower would clear my sinuses : ) Oh the joys of living cross-culturally. I humored her the first time she said no, but today is day 3 without a shower and I think tomorrow I will beg if it comes to that. I’m okay with 2 days without a shower, but 3 days is stretching it. And 4 days… that’s just nasty : P

Is it cold in America yet? I had to break out my winter jacket today for the first time : ( I’ve been wearing my warm fall jacket, but its getting crisp here and my host mother insisted that I wear the warmest jacket I have. I hope you guys have warm fall weather longer than we did here!

Much love to you all.

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