Recent Highlights, in Pictures

**Pictures below: click on a picture to make it larger

Last weekend was my counterpart Halya’s baby’s baptism (the baby’s name is Mark). The ceremony was in her husband Sasha’s village (Greek Catholic) church just down the road. It was the first baptism I’ve seen and was quite nice. Unfortunately I didn’t get very good pictures because of where I was standing, but these might give you an idea of what it was like. Mark has four godparents — Misha, Halya’s cousin; Anya, Sasha’s cousin; Inna, Halya’s cousin; and Ihor, Sasha’s friend — who were more part of the ceremony than Halya and Sasha, which was interesting to me. After the baptism the real party started. 8 hours (12-8pm) of eating, drinking, & dancing! So many people! Apparently baptisms are a big deal. It was the longest Ukrainian celebration yet for me — the food kept arriving, the musicians kept playing, toasts continued… It was really fun, though by the end there were some pretty drunk Ukrainians stumbling around.

My latest triumph at school has been persuading my colleague, Dina Dmytrivna, to objectively pick which two of our three strongest 10th-formers will compete in the regional English Olympiad competition. She wanted to pick her favorites, but later she decided we would test them further with listening and speaking and decide after that. Yay for objectivity!

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