Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bittersweet










I'll miss this beautiful country, and my Ukrainian kiddos.

America...I'll see you in 2 days!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kamyenets Podilsky

We arrived early Easter Sunday morning ater a long train ride. We got a taxi that took us to the old town, across the bridge, over the canyon that runs through the middle of the city. We had the city to ourselves for a few hours; it was quiet and peaceful and the sun was rising and it was heaven. We found a forest, and spent some time there. We walked around the little village that made me feel like I'd gone back in time 100 years. "Was it a train, or a time machine!?" We found a pump and Macall tried to pump some water. A minute later, an old man came out and started yelling at us in Russian. Assuming he was angry at us for wasting water, we apologized profusely. He then proceeded to show us how to correctly use the pump. "Oh. Spaceeba bolshoy. Ya americanka, izvinitza." I'm sure he thought we were stupid. Then, we went to the castle. The Fortress, actually. We explored it for a few hours. :) I was very careful, 'cause I didn't want my head to fall off.
After eating some delicious pizza at "New York Street Pizza", we went to the canyon. We walked down the lovely stairs by the waterfall, down to the stream. It was very picturesque.
Here's a quick video I took while exploring the castle!
video

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Eastern European Tour

Ok, it's about time I put some pictures up from my adventure.
A couple of weeks ago, I went on vacation with my wonderful ILP group (minus 3, who went to Poland instead.)
We hopped on a big purple double-decker bus filled with Ukrainians, and headed west.
After 24 hours, we arrived in Budapest, Hungary.

A castle

Fisherman's Bastion

Parliament

Parliament

Budapest was kind of a blur; I was so exhausted from the bus ride (lack of sleep, you know)and everything seemed surreal. "Hey guys, remember that one time we went to Hungary?" ".....No."

Next stop, Vienna! We stopped in the beautiful Austrian city for only 4 hours on our way to Prague. We made the most of those 4 hours. We saw all the good stuff. :)





this is what we really wanted to see; Marie Antoinette's childhood summer palace. We hopped on a metro and only got a little bit lost, but thanks to some kind English-speaking Austrian's, we found it. It was stunning. You can't tell from this picture, but there were fountains and gardens and courtyards and statues...it was beautiful!

Prague, Czech Republic was my favorite city. We were there for 4 days, so I really had time to fall in love with it.






Prague was so quaint and lovely. I loved just wandering around, eating gelato, trying not to trip on the cobblestone streets, and seeing all the beautiful sights. I wish I could bottle-up the feeling I had there and take it home to share with everyone, because it's impossible to describe. It's something that has to be experienced.

We went to Dresden, Germany for a day.

We hung out at The Zwinger.

Fed some swans.

Saw some cool buildings.
But I'm going to be 100% honest right now.
We got bored.
In Germany.
After seeing all we needed to see, which only took about an hour or two, we were done. But we still had 4 hours left. So...we sat at a cafe for a while. Then we window shopped. Then we ate some ice cream. Window shopped some more. Shopped. Used the toilet at McDonald's a couple of times.
"Hey guys...remember that one time we got bored in Germany?"

What a GREAT VACATION!! The bus ride back was even longer, but we got to drive through Poland so I saw some beautiful Polish countryside. :)
Europe is beautiful!
And now that it's springtime, Kiev is becoming more and more beautiful every day!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Privyet

Fun Fact #1: There is a cockroach living in the inner-workings of the microwave at our school.
Fun Fact #2: All the boys here have mullets.


Fun Fact #3: Sometimes semi trucks like to drive the sidewalk.
Fun Fact #4: Honey and coffee make a wonderful exfoliator.
Fun Fact #5: Classic rock is frequently played here. And techno.
Fun Fact #6: Puzata Hata is my favorite restaraunt here in Kiev!

Fun Fact #7: If you have a "no smiling" contest with a Ukrainian child...they will win.

Fun Fact #8: I'm taking a train to L'viv tonight!
Fun Fact #9: Learning the cyrillic alphabet messes with your brain. Let's use the word "PHOTO" as an example. You might read it as "rnato" until you realize a few seconds later that it's an English, not Russian.
Fun Fact #10: "Ukraine's Got Talent" is a great show.

Lovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelove.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Kids and Other Cool People.

Ok, I need to brag just a little bit. I have some of the cutest kids EVER in my classes. They are really smart and many of them speak english quote well! I was really impressed when I first met them. I feel so blessed to be able to play with these kids every day! I need to get more pictures of them, because their cuteness must be shared with the world, but here are a few:


This is Helen. She is in my elementary class, and is SO smart and silly! She likes to show off her sweet gymnastics skills before class starts.


Me, Yulia, and Anna. We were having class on the floor that day, just for fun. We're that cool! Yulia is my sister. We like to play Uno and read books together. She helps me with my "Russian reading skills". Anna is a super gorgeous ice skater who is so sweet and polite. One time, when we were playing Go Fish, someone asked her if she had any sharks. She said "No I don't...Please go fish" and gestured sweetly to the deck of cards on the table. Is it bad to have favorites?


Sometimes I wish we could have naptime...these kids are so exhausted by the time class is over. 9 hours of school a day can't be healthy for a child.


These girls are my exploring buddies. :)


You're never lost when you can see the temple! I only have to take two Metros and a bus to get there...not bad!


My branch likes to party. And when we do, we party hard. It was only a little bit shocking to watch my branch president rock out to Weezer when he was playing Rockband. Then I got over it. Because only AWESOME people are in the International Branch in Kiev.

I love life.

P.S. When you have friends at the Embassy, they can hook you up with Dr. Pepper and other American foods.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ukraine!!

I live in Ukraine. And it's kind of amazing.



I teach english to children. It's kind of challenging, but REALLY fun!
This is my school.
I also teach a woman named Valia, who works for ILP and speaks a little bit of english. She's super awesome!



I wish I had pictures of my kids to post on here!

The other day we toured around the city center. We saw some awesome stuff!




I also went to a ballet...it was BEAUTIFUL! I'm going again this weekend, to see The Nutcracker. :)


I have so much to blog about, but I honestly have no desire to do that right now.
I LOVE IT HERE! I miss home, or rather, I miss the people back home. Already I consider Kiev my home! I've adjusted quite nicely to the culture. :) I never had culture shock. Maybe it's because my host family is so wonderful, and because my roommate is one of my good friends from Grantsville (we were roommates down at SUU as well. We just can't escape each other!)
Life is wonderful!