Thursday, December 17, 2009

Daily Life

When I wake up in the morning, this is what I see out my bedroom window: The branches of an apricot tree covered in snow, behind Luba's sheer curtain with stars on it. I lay in bed and stare at it in quiet comtemplation, remembering what it looked like in summer. It was a green scene. The apricots were delicious. Luba made jam and compot (fruit juice), which we are enjoying now.

My sister Andy sent a wonderful Christmas package that included some decorations, so I put them up in my window. I think Luba and Sergei must decorate for Christmas, but maybe not until the end of the month. For now, my humble Christmas display is our only sign of the season at home.

The Christmas tree is going up in front of the Cultural Center in town. Every day this week, workers have added a few more branches. They are real live pines, cut from a nearby forest and carted in by truck. The scent of pine fills the air. Parents bring their children on sleds to watch the ritual.

I hope to take a photo after our English Club meeting and Christmas party on Sunday late afternoon, even though we are having frigid weather, below zero, with blowing snow and blizzard conditions.

I've been working at home more lately, but get out for a few hours a day, to Vera's or the Library, to the bazaar, to do errands. Vera and I did get the draft of our Small Project Assistant (SPA) grant, "KNOW YOUR RIGHTS," into the Peace Corps this time. We are awaiting word from reviewers on how to make it better, for the January 25 deadline.

I am also drafting timelines and suggestions for Iryna at the Library. Some good things are evolving, including some aspects of a Heritage project. I hope we can give it wings! More on that in the new year. That's when we'll get to that Partnership grant too.

I love getting your emails. In the morning I usually have four or five emails that were sent the night before, and then I hear from the early risers, Andy and Kathy, around 14:00 here, 7:00 am there. I look forward to these. I don't know how PC volunteers did it before the internet, cel phones and skype, our connections to home, family and friends.

Okay, the cat wants food. Luba hung laundry on the line outside and the clothes are freezing into cardboard boxes. The water is heating for a bath. I'm making another cup of coffee. The light is fading. This is daily life in Ukraine in December

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