good-bye village life // leaving site

it only seems fitting that my 200th blog post is the day i leave my village. i swear i didn’t actually plan that, just an epic coincidence. it’s the last day in my village and in a few hours i’ll have to say good-bye. i’m not sure it’s all really hit me yet, the fact that i’m actually leaving…maybe it will once my house is empty and i turn in the key? when we drive away? when my friends send me off on my one-way ticket train? i guess i’ll find out…

before i came to ukraine i remember youtubing videos uploaded by peace corps volunteers and wondered what it all would be like. there was one video from a volunteer (from somewhere in south america i think) recording the final drive away from his site. it was only a minute or so long, there wasn’t even any audio besides the sound of wind rushing and only scenes of green blurring past. i’m not sure why it stuck with me so, i guess because i wondered how that guy felt, what he must have been thinking as he left his home for the past two years. i mean, i was emotional when i moved out and drove away of my last college apartment! it will be difficult to say good-bye.

i got a lot of work done yesterday, more cleaning and packing. i fed some food scraps to the chickens once more, had to strategically corral some wandering turkeys back into their pen, took my last bucket bath (WAHOOO!!), and did about 5 loads of laundry by hand. when i described my day to my mom she said “sounds like little house on the prairie!”. and it is. well…minus me blogging later that day, but i’m just a modernized laura ingalls wilder.

i will really miss village life in some ways — the quiet, the simplicity. at this time in my life, i’m definitely ready to be around people my age and be able to leave the house at night to go somewhere or do something, but maybe someday i can implement certain parts of my village back into my life. i don’t think this would include bucket bathing, but certainly growing some of my own food, canning and preserving, and disconnecting from the world time-to-time.

admittedly, i’m slightly afraid to go back to america and its fast pace of life. i’m sure in no time i’ll be longing for simpler not-everyone-is-on-their-smartphone times of my village i’ve come to love. but not everyone in america is like that, so i don’t have to be either. i’ll just have to find the people that aren’t and make friends with them…maybe some neighborhood babushkas or maybe i should just become amish. ; )

a few months ago i started a running list of things i will miss about ukraine and village life. of course there are things i won’t miss, but i didn’t need to write those down. they were just little things that i worried i’d forget about. i don’t know that i’ll share the list yet, maybe once i get back and figure out what i actually miss. but i did want to write a poem, an ode to village life and to my hobbit house– to a place that has really started to feel like home. a place that i’ll be saying good-bye to today.

good-bye village life
(inspired from margret wise brown’s goodnight moon)

in a village of ukraine
there was a hobbit house
and a dog on a chain
and a picture of
a lady gazing in vain

there were millions of stars and roads with few cars 
and a flock of hens and pigs in their pens
and a little wooden doors and oddly carpeted floors

and backyard beets and homegrown meats
and babushkas that cried “eat!”

good-bye house good-bye house
good-bye picture of a lady with her big titties out

good-bye backyard beets and homegrown meats
good-bye flock of hens and pigs in their pens

good-bye millions of stars and good-bye roads with few cars

good-bye wooden doors and good-bye oddly carpeted floors

good-bye scent of swine and good-bye domashnee wine

good-bye bucket bathing and good-bye cats of the night a wailing

good-bye to the dog on a chain

and good-bye to the babushkas that cried “eat!”

good-bye quiet, good-bye lovcavore diet

good-bye greenhouse and good-bye occasional mouse

good-bye to village life and my homey hobbit house


interesting art choices


laundry and shower bucket // washing sheets is the worst


one of these doors is not like the other // hobbit sized door


flocks of hens


pigs in a pen


and a dog on a chain

8 thoughts on “good-bye village life // leaving site

  1. Nice post, Kristen! I can’t wait for your new “borscht, babushkas, and books” blog…That’s a lot of Bs, but I know you can handle it! Good luck on your next journey and your journey home. After this, I don’t know if home will never be the same, but I think that’s a good thing! Bon Voyage!!!!

  2. Oh Kristen, I sure got teary over this poem, and I didn’t even live in Ukraine. You have done such an awesome job with your pictures, recipes, and writing, even without capitals. I wish you the best of luck and that your transition to USA goes smoothly, Megan will be right behind moving back and getting used to life in crazy America. I hope you keep blogging about life, and I can’t wait to buy your first book!

    • thank you so much ms. cunha! it makes me so happy to k ow people have enjoyed my blog. I definitely want to keep it up…my journey isn’t over yet ; ) Hopefully I can make it out to Cali someday!

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