Our first Ukrainian snowfall happened on 29 November – almost a foot, so no big deal to a western-New-Yorker like me. I thought I wasn’t in for too big of a winter surprise coming to Ukraine, but this week has begun to prove me wrong. We’re further enough north of Rochester that here, it’s COLD. Like -19°C (that’s -2°F) on Thursday morning. Wednesday’s high was 2°F. But really, I don’t mind the cold as long as the sun shines.
And, like the Norwegians say, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” The fresh snow really is beautiful, both in the city and in the village.
In Ukraine, the hard part is navigating the sidewalks and roads – they thrown down dirt/sand as the salt equivalent. It works pretty well, but the roads are still pretty icy. See for yourself:
That said, the cold plus the snow/ice (is “snice” a word?) make running difficult. That said, those who know me know that hardly any weather keeps me from running outdoors. Andrew and I braved the weather on Tuesday and ran for over an hour in the snowy fields – hard work for the quads, and we were freezing in the wind on the way back. Wednesday – high 2°F – was even too cold for me, but I managed a 20-minute run on Thursday with temps at about -14°C (+7°F). Based on my exercise log, this was probably my second coldest run ever. We had a really cold February in Oberlin last year – I recorded one 17-minute run at 0°F.
All told, the cold’s fine, but the wind gets you, running or not. Also, I’ve talked with a couple friends about mastering what we’ve dubbed “the Ukrainian shuffle-and-slide,” which is just what it sounds like – it’s how you have to walk to prevent falls on the icy sidewalks. How the Ukrainian women do it so gracefully in their sexy stiletto boots I have yet to understand…
Off to the Swearing-In conference on Monday to become full-fledged Volunteers! We get our site assignments Monday afternoon…my next post may well be from my new home.