Settling In

I arrived in Saltykova Divitsa on Friday evening September 23rd. I was in a huge bus filled with PCTs (Peace Corps Trainees) going all over Kyiv Oblast and Chernihiv Oblast. We were the third cluster to be dropped off.
Little by little people (5 of us) trickled away with their families and I was left alone, me and our LCF (Language Cross-Cultural Facilitator). He told me I will be living with an old lady and that she was unable to come pick me up. As he was saying this I could see a very old lady riding her bicycle as fast as she could towards us. She stopped and greeted us. It was my Babusia (Grandmother). She told me to call her Chocha Luba (Aunty Luba), she is the cutest old lady I have ever met. I loaded my things in her next door neighbors card and was off to her house.
When I got here I found that I would be spending the next three months at a small farm. The farm is complete with chickens, a cow, pigs, and a little dog named Muktar.
Chocha Luba is here all by herself, she does everything on her own. She is very sweet and treats me like a son. She makes every meal with love and always watches me eat. She makes me coffee every morning and always tries to make me eat cake after every meal.
My room is very big and I have enough privacy. This is where I tell you that there is no plumbing. Yes that’s right, no indoor plumbing. Which means I have no shower and no toilet. The toilet is an outhouse which I’ve become fond of, I enjoy the chickens pestering me as I make #2. Showering is a challenge, everyone morning Chocha Luba warms a bucket of water and brings it to my room at 7am (I am suppose to do it but she insists). My shower consists of a bucket of warm water and another rounder bucket in which I stand in and “shower.” I usually wet myself with a cup and then put shampoo and soap and throw water on myself to wash it off. I then take both buckets of water and throw it outside and come back in and clean the water off the tarp. You would think that this would be very difficult for me, but I have become use to it in the last few days and it has become very regular …. no pun intended.
My day usually consists of going to language class for 4 hours a day and then coming home and helping Chocha Luba with the chores. I usually feed the chickens, make mulch for the cow to eat (Corn and Cabbage mashed up), and cut up some pumpkins for the pigs and cow.We have also started observing classes at the local school, next week I start teaching English.

Internet is scarce, but I am able to get to an internet cafe about once a week. So please..

Stay Tuned.

PS the picture on top is of me and Chocha Luba.

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One Response to Settling In

  1. Thank you ver much for this message. I sure miss both you and Michael. You both seem to be doing exactly the same thing, differently, together, yet so far apart… I sure miss both of you.

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