in the land of snow and sunflowers

every ukrainian has been telling us that it will start to get warmer soon…but i’m beginning to doubt that. as just had to sport my winter coat and snow boots to make a trip out to the bathroom. the snow is gorgeous though and kind of helps make this place feel a little like chicago (well minus everything else).

but the bright yellow and blue flag tells me that there will eventually be sun, fields of wheat and sunflowers. sunflowers are everywhere here. painted on windows, doors, sunflower seeds, sunflower seed oil (a cooking staple). which right now, in the grey gloom of winter weather, is the only colorful thing that promises brighter and warmer days ahead (which we’re all looking forward to).

but right now, it’s still cold cold cold. and i can’t even tell you how thankful i am that i didn’t wait to have my warm winter jacket sent to me! but the bucket bath situation is definitely making me reconsider my normal routine of daily showering. yea…probably going to have to change that. i don’t even want to think about bathing in lukewarm water right now. buuuur.

shopping at the supermarket today brought things to a whole new realization of just how tough budgeting is going to be. we have an allowance of 15 hryvnias which probably doesn’t mean much to you. and to me either really lol (i’m still trying to figure out the money). but just to give you an idea…i couldn’t buy almonds or any other nut because they were too expensive about 18 hryvnias (other than peanuts 6 and sunflower seeds at 4). but more than my lunch allowance. pretty much everything was too expensive, except for bread, which was about 3-5 hryvnias. i’ve never before felt what it’s like to not be able to afford a food item. it was such an awakening. and kind of terrifying at the same time. this is going to take some serious budgeting. and maybe a diet of solely bread and sunflower seeds.

anyways i should keep this short since i’m supposed to be studying ukrainian right now. my goodness we have so much homework! but i just needed to sit down and think in english for a little bit.

besides my ukrainian language exercises in the workbook we have for peace corps, i have to practice a mini ‘speech’ to give to the school administration tomorrow. yes….we all have to speak about ourselves…in ukrainian…in front of a group…this is going to be interesting. i’m practicing phrases that took me weeks to learn when i began learning french. but we’ve had to learn them in 3 days. wow. i’ve only been learning ukrainian for 3 actual days. i started from struggling with the alphabet to being able (well hopefully) speak about myself in front of ukrainian professionals. not bad i say. not bad.

alright well i should get back to practicing my speech. so i hopefully don’t make myself sound like a fool TOO much.

4 thoughts on “in the land of snow and sunflowers

  1. Hi Kristen,
    We just received the link for your blog and read your entries, hanging on every word! So interesting. Please continue writing, we look forward to reading all you can share. Our prayers and love are with you. xoxo

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