(All opinions and descriptions of life in Ukraine contained herein are mine. I do not, nor am I qualified to,
express the official opinions of the Peace Corps or the U.S. Government.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Last Week in Obukhiv

This is it. All done with my traiining. We have one more class tommorow morning (Cross-Cultural) and that does it for the training portion of my service. It's kind of a wierd feeling really. The past few months have sped by at lightning speed.

I can definately say that I feel confident going to site. I actually felt ready about a month ago. I don't know what it is, but I just feel really comfortable around Ukrainians. Maybe it's because I have a Ukrainian name or something, who knows.

Ukrainians are really easy to get along with for me. They don't beat around the bush any, they make their opinions known right away, and that's how I am as well, I like that straight-forward type of communication. It's brazen, but it cuts out so much drama. I guess it's the Israeli side of me that is familiar to them. They live life to the fullest, and I understand where they are coming from.

However, tonight I went and played basketball at the local Gym with another Peace Corps volunteer from the other group in Obukhiv. Basketball here is played with a bit different rules than in the US.

First of all, fouls are called on pretty much every drive- that's even if there is no contact. If you touch the ball- it's a foul. If you sneeze next to a guy- it's a foul. Everyone just holds their breath and prays that the guy will miss, just not to foul.

After the games were over, I talked to a guy name Alex who lived in the U.S. for a bit about the American version of the game- basically that in the U.S., if you were to call a foul, you better have your hand slapped to the point where it stings, or get a good 'ol fashioned body-check- otherwise, you can take that foul and write an essay about it, because that's the only thing you're going to get from calling it.

The other volunteer and I came out of the game a bit confused and flustered considering the fact that at one point the guys were calling us out for fouling too much. I guess it was the language barrier that really stopped us from understanding exactly what they were complaining about, but it just brought to light the different nature of the game and how a game with the same rules and same concept could be understood so differently by a different group of people.

It was enlightening to say the least.

Anyways, I feel great now after running for the last two hours, but I really should go to sleep. Tommorow I will start packing and getting ready to depart for Kiev this coming Monday. Pretty exciting stuff this whole swearing in deal. Time to start my "real" job. Excited to say the least.

I miss you all very much and hope to have a fast internet connection at site so I can skype all of you who have been so kind to spend your hard earned money to call me on my cell.

I will try and post where I am ASAP. Stay tuned...

Much love and peace-


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