Thursday, March 4, 2010


Winter is going. Can Spring be far behind?

The snow and ice are almost gone. A few days of mild weather, pagoda teplo, and it melts, very fast. Now it is water and mud, lots of mud. But muddy paths and deep puddles mean that Spring is coming, so how can we complain? It's in the air. I don't want to jump the gun, as it were, for fear of jinxing this wish. On the other hand, in Ukraine Spring officially begins on 1 March. No matter the solstice. Even a snow fall. We're there on paper, on a wing and a prayer.

For me this Spring also means taking my first trip back to the States in a year. I can't think of anything else. I've wrapped up my work, have one more English Club on Sunday (we'll celebrate International Women's Day), make a stop at Victoria's, and the rest will wait until I return. I'm cleaning my room, organizing files, putting things away, clearing shelves, packing, unpacking, re-packing. It's like that nesting instinct that goes into effect when you're 9 months pregnant and anticipating the birth of your child. Luba sees it. She smiles, touches her heart, shows 4 fingers. Four days to go.

I left Florida on 30 March, 2009, arrived in Kiev on 1 April. It wasn't an April Fool's joke either. I was really in Ukraine, with group 36, a bunch of raw Peace Corps recruits of all ages and backgrounds from all over the US. After 10 weeks of training in Chernigov, our boot camp, it was onto our sites. Now we are all over Ukraine, and doing good work, a seasoned group of dedicated volunteers. I've been a PCV in Starobilsk for 9 months. The one-year site anniversary is coming up fast, too, on 19 June. Then it will be just one more year to go to complete my service. Beyond that, I can't think.

Time has passed quickly. Some good has been accomplished. I 've lived through four seasons in Ukraine. I arrived with the lilacs in Spring, basked in the glow of a sunflower-filled summer that turned into a golden fall (inspite of a broken arm), and then made it through a long tough winter. We are coming into Spring again. The paths are muddy. The sun is warm. I see buds swelling on trees and bushes. Rebirth. You can begin again. You can go home again. To everything there is a season.

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