Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"We will laugh at all of this somewhere down the road"

Grandson Josh and great-grandson Philip

So I am having a bad day.

I'm supposed to meet with Vera and Tonya at NGO Victoria and no one is there.

I leave a grant report on Vera's desk but have a hard time leaving a note in Russian. My Russian sucks.

I'm supposed to do a report on EXCEL for the Peace Corps but I don't have Excel, and I don't know how to use it if I did. My regional manager, Vasyl, says I HAVE to do it. I'm looking around to see who might have it here in Starobilsk.

Two letters I mailed over two weeks ago, one to Valya and Nikoli in Chernigov, one to my Russian teacher Larisa in Cherkasi, which included some camp photos,and took hours to write in Russian, are returned to me for insufficient postage. The Post Office can be a hassle.

My bike is getting hard to peddle, so I take it to be fixed. After some time getting through the language barrier, the repair man changes a gear. Off I go, and the bike is harder than ever to peddle. I get an invitation from Nikita and Sonya to bike to the river. Can I make it?

My daughter Elissa sends love greetings, and I tear up. I have been in Ukraine for almost 6 months, and I am missing my family and friends terribly. I have to plan that trip to the USA. But how in the world do I get from Starobilsk to Toledo, Ohio?

My sister Andy is having some surgery today, and I can't be there for her. On top of that, the 'Canes (U. of Miami) beat the 'Noles (Florida State University) at the first NCAA football game of the season last night.

Vasyl tells me that Vera is NOT paying rent to Luba, and I've been here 3 months thinking she was. I'm off to the ATM to be sure my rent is paid. In traditional Ukrainian fashion, Luba did not approach me on this issue. Nor did her son Sergy. It would have been impolite. Well, at least I got this misunderstanding straightened out.

I email Jud that I am having a bad day. He emails Barbara that I am having a bad day. One thing about PCVs, we are always there for each other.

Jud reminds me that bad days make good stories. Barbara reminds me: "We will laugh at all of this somewhere down the road."

And then I see I have an email from my daughter Michelle. That cheers me right up. Her message: "Attitude is everything!"

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