Host Family Life & Teachers’ Day

Funny story: apparently my host family has a second dog, Cesar (Цезар), a big scary-looking German Shepherd who I think acts as the outdoor guard dog. Guard dog to all except one, that is: Dina, the little Dachshund! Dina likes to corner Cesar and boss him around by rushing and barking at him. Cesar, 6 times Dina’s size and strength, flattens his ears and retreats when this happens! Who would’ve thought little Dina would be the alpha-dog?
Here’s a nifty tip: If you want really clean hands/fingernails, wash your clothes by hand! I completed Ukrainian life-skill #1 Friday afternoon with the help of my host mom. She filled one large basin with warm water and detergent (TIDE, just like home!) and another basin with cool, clean water. She then showed me how to submerge a garment and rub it together at the spots most likely to accumulate grime (cuffs, neck). After doing that for a while, you dunk it in the clean water basin a few times and wring it out. Last step: hang clothes on the clothes line. Voila! The whole process only took about half an hour for my 3 shirts, 1 pair of pants, and various undergarments. And it was kind of satisfying to have washed my own clothes.
I’ve been working on letting my host mom know my food preferences… I’ve told her I love fruits & veggies, so pears (груша – from the tree outside!) and bananas (банан) have appeared as well as a delicious salad of cooked & diced beets (буряк), carrots (морква), potatoes (картоплія), onions (цебуля), and pickles. I also told her, “Я не подобаєця жир” (“I don’t like a lot of fat”), b/c she’s been putting about 4 tablespoons of butter on my morning бутерброт… The eggs (яйця) here are delicious, with vibrant yellow-orange yolks – I think they come from my host family’s chickens (кури)! [We’ve been learning food words this week, in case you haven’t noticed.]
We attended “Teachers’ Day” at our training site school this week. It’s a national celebration in Ukraine which occurs every year on the first Friday in October. The students honor their teachers and give them the “day off” – this means a slew of student presentations and performances followed by a day of students teaching classes while teachers relax in the lounge, eat cake, and drink tea. It was great fun to see the performances and the respect the students have for their teachers. We PC Trainees even got to perform – we sang “Old Macdonald” in English after introducing ourselves in Ukrainian. Fun times.
We’re having a cooking day next week with our language teacher – one Ukrainian dish (chocolate-filled donuts) and one American dish (pizza) are on the menu.
More pictures below!
Church in our village.
School in our village — “Children are our future,” says the script above the entrance.
Our language-learning classroom, aka Natalya’s apartment! Lots of diagrams and charts.

5 thoughts on “Host Family Life & Teachers’ Day

  1. marit

    ……when I went to college in Norway, which is, yes I know a couple of decades ago, I washed all my clothes by hand too….I agree your hands are pretty much clean all the time…..and I am also glad to have another person to share this talent with!

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