Best Weekend of My [Peace Corps] Life

Sunday morning started out right—by sleeping in! Then I made breakfast for Michelle and Erin with a little treat from America—a packet of mix to make hollandaise sauce! So I made Eggs Benedict while enjoying my friends’ company and the lingering feeling of satisfaction from our successful seminar. I was thinking life couldn’t get much better—it was a beautiful Sunday, and we had all the windows open to let in the warm weather. I had no plans for the day except hanging out with two of my favorite people, so really, I wasn’t expecting anything more.

But Erin had a little USB modem with her that she uses for Internet in her village, and she offered to let me use it, seeing as I have no Internet hookup in my apartment yet. I was scanning my email and checking on my blog, when I followed a link that was supposed to lead to the page where my Peace Corps grant was hosted. But instead of showing my grant, the page displayed a little notice saying, “We’re sorry, but the page you are looking for cannot be located. The Volunteer project you have requested is fully funded.” I had to read it twice to realize what it was saying—my grant, which just last week had still needed $1700, was FULLY FUNDED! I screamed, scaring the bejeebus out of Erin and Michelle, who quickly got into celebration mode once I could articulate that I was screaming for joy because my grant got funded! There were even happy dances involved, I was so ecstatic.

Like I said, just last week I still needed to raise $1700, so whoever donated this week to help come up with that sum, this huge THANK YOU is going out to you! I won’t find out who my donors are until Peace Corps emails me a final list of donors and addresses, but I promise once I found out who did it, you’re going to hear from me : D Although if you are the mystery donor(s) and you’re reading this now, feel free to tell me sooner so I can stop trying to guess who you are ; )

The timing for this really couldn’t be any better, because my goal was to raise the money by the end of May. Now that all the money is raised, this grant will soon fund an English Resource & Technology Center, and my plan is to teach the Ukrainian English teachers how to use the new technology over the summer so they’ll be ready to incorporate the computer and projector into their lessons this fall. How exciting is that? My mind is spinning with all the possibilities, now that the money is raised and the time has finally come to put the plans in action! Again, my heartfelt thanks goes out to anyone who donated part of the $2667 we raised for this grant!

And today, another crucial piece of the English Resource & Technology Center fell into place—a shipment of English books arrived from Darien Book Aid! On hand to help me open the box was one of my favorite classes—the fifth graders!

Diona, Bogdana, Tanya, Sasha, and Dasha were reading the label, trying to figure out what the box might contain and why I was letting them open a box addressed to me!

I didn’t trust any of them with the knife, so I sliced it open while they waited in anticipation.

They were so excited to see all the books, especially the Harry Potter ones ; )

We wrote “Thank You Darien Book Aid!” on the board and took a picture with it, so we can email Darien Book Aid and show them how thankful we are : )

So between the success of the TELL Seminar, the news of my grant being FULLY FUNDED, and the arrival of a shipment of English books, I must say that this might possibly be the best weekend of my Peace Corps service yet. I’m a happy girl : )

I hope all is well where you are, sending you all my love.

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