So I'm still tinkering with my blog look (my mother has complained about the previous pattern, which I thought was adorably Ukrainian, but is apparently hard on the aged eyes : p), but I've put in a temporary generic design.
Anyhow, today's theme is all about the cute children in my life.
First: my relationship with my secondary counterpart's 2 year old daughter is pretty cute. She exclaims "Stepha!" every time she sees me, and hurls herself into my arms. I dutifully repeat her slightly-butchered diminutive name and swing her up for enthusiastic greeting.
The other day, after I returned from Will's village for a training (which I have mixed feelings on - it got cut short and the parts I'd spent hours preparing didn't get used, which made me feel inadequate), I met up with my counterpart, my secondary counterpart and her three children, and a friend who is a secretary/librarian at my school.
We had tea and cake, and spoke a mixture of Ukrainian and English. I got to re-tell (in Ukrainian, it didn't go well) how Hugo almost missed the bus to Will's village Wednesday evening, dashing in the door with literally seconds to spare. We were short a chair, so I served as the 2 year old's.
I walked with my counterpart and the friend to her bus stop, and as we waited my counterpart received a phone call. She laughed and shared the following story, about the car ride home my secondary counterpart had with her children and husband.
2 year old: (suddenly): "Daddy, you love Stepha?"
Father: (caught off guard): "Oh, um, no..."
2 year old: "Mama, you love Stepha?"
Mother: "Yes, I love Stepha"
2 year old: " *sister* , you love Stepha?"
Sister: "Yes, I love Stepha"
2 year old: "*brother*, you love Stepha?"
Brother: "Yes, I love Stepha"
2 year old: "...Daddy, why don't you love Stepha?!"
Ukrainian, of course, has different verbs for different kinds of love, and I got the impression that her question blurred which kind she was asking, so of course her father felt a little awkward answering. I love that she interrogated her entire family over their devotion to me!
However, even this outpouring of love pales in cuteness levels of comparison when looking at last Friday's exchange I had with one of my second form pupils - we'll call her Dasha.
I was walking to the front desk with my co-teacher of the day to return a key. As I went, I passed through a little mob of the 2nd form class that I teach on Mondays with my counterpart. One little girl, shaking with excitement, bounced up to me:
Me: Hello! How - are - you?
Dasha: *scrunching up face in adorable concentration* 'I...am...Dasha!'
(with great triumph)
Me: Yes, you are Dasha...And - HOW - are - you?
Dasha: *looking slightly panicked*
Me: I am -great-...are you -great-?
Dasha: *quivering with understanding* 'Great! I am great!'
Dasha beamed with pride and rushed over to some friends.
I turned and continued on to the classroom - about 15 feet from the group. It wasn't until I turned around to shut the door behind me that I realized I'd been followed - lined up like ducklings, the 2nd form class had decided that I was apparently going to be their teacher. I gently shooed them away, and my co-teacher told them they had to wait for the other teacher to collect them.
It was adorable.
Anyhow, I'll probably post about my recent trip to Lviv and how I've kept busy over fall break this week. But not tonight!
Hope all is well,