Sunday, December 1, 2013

...Did I Mention I'm Still Alive?

Hi all,

So...yeah, long time no write.

I've been a teensy bit busy, and honestly a little too stressed. Since I last wrote...a lot has happened? Plus that whole revolution thing that's kind of sort of making front-page news right now. Rest assured, PC has made sure that we know we are not allowed to travel into Kiev...and is keeping the situation carefully under consideration.

Oh, Those Cultural Gaffs You've Been Waiting For...
That's right. I know there are some faithful readers, who have followed along through several countries/continents of misadventures - mostly wanting to hear those stories that make me cringe at the time of writing them. I don't blame you, I'd laugh too if they happened to you!
Actually, I laugh anyway, once I get over being mortified.

I managed to hit not one, but two inappropriate language gaffs a few weeks ago. It all happened one evening as I was drinking tea with Leanne. Oda came in to talk to her mom, and Leanne gave her a stern talking to - explaining she hates when the kids write on their hands. Eager to share, I informed her that my mom also hated when I wrote on my hand when I was younger! Except, y'know, that whole "conjugation" thing. Writing happens to really close to, well, pissing. (Pay-sah-tay vs. pee-sah-tay). So, I proudly announced that I use to pee on my hand. Naturally, Leanne thought this was hilarious.

However, I was not content to stop there with my embarrassment for the evening, oh no. The question came up regarding then next day's topic for the 8th grade class. I had just learned the Ukrainian for "Poetry" and proudly spouted it off.

Well, "learned" is perhaps a stretch.

I kind of forgot a syllable at the end, which resulted in me implying that we were going to be teaching "poses", which apparently is fairly strongly connected to the concept of the Kama Sutra.

So there's that as well.

Once again, Leanne pretty much lost it, and my face probably couldn't have gotten much more red.

Oh, by the way, I'm heading west...
After a VERY long day on Friday of waiting for a call (which we only found out later we wouldn't be getting because our very helpful language teacher informed his superiors we weren't at site, due to it being our "personal day"), I got the call on Saturday. I will be in what they call "Region 4" - which encompasses 3 of the most southwest oblasts in Ukraine. Zim and Hugo will also be going to the region (although we could be hours apart), while Curly got the region above us, and Harmony is more central. Outside of my cluster, there are another at least 5 people going, including one couple. On Wednesday we will travel to Chernighiv (again, the first place we came to in Ukraine and place we had the PST University mid-training) for the day (a nice 5 hours of transportation = reading!), and we will find out the exact location.

My language instructor met us coming back from Kiev, where we had gone for the day (before the prohibition, and staying away from large groups, per instructions) to the Great Patriotic War Museum (WW2). Poor was definitely a depressing museum. We only got through about half of the exhibits after several hours - there were info sheets in each room, but 98% of the info was in Ukrainian. German came in handy a little, but not really. We will definitely have to go back once our Ukrainian is better.

At the museum, Hugo brought up the soccer team that became famous for its resistance during the war. Apparently there's a good book on it: "Dynamo: Triumph and Tragedy in Nazi-Occupied Kiev", and they made a movie about it with Sylvester Stallone and Pele. My guidebook only had the shortened version of the story, and hopefully I'll get it put on my reading list at some point.

Anyhow, I could tell so much more: I'm done with teaching, my first real discipline moment (I hear I got scary, which I'm choosing to consider a compliment...), my demo lesson involving McDonald's, our grammar book, forgetting my key, and our Thanksgiving extravaganza.

However, it is getting late and I should get some I will just have to write sooner...?

Hope all is well,


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