(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, September 21, 2011

The One Year Mark

Dang. It's been a while since my last post. I must apologize, but the first month of school has almost come and gone and it feels like things are moving again. From laziness of summer to the grind of school.
But the cool part is, school has taken a whole new fun-ness to it if you will (yes I know that's not a word, no I don't care).

First off, I finally started my photography club this week. I'm very proud to say that there has been a lot of interest in it, and the three cameras I received from National Geographic are being put to good use. I will be posting the pictures this next week on a separate blog (it will be linked here), so that is very very exciting for me.

I  am also starting to get the hang of teaching a bit more on lock-down. I mean, it's no piece of cake by any means, but it's definitely starting to make more sense in terms of how to structure my time and what to focus on and what not, etc.

Furthermore, i'm now tutoring several students after school, and am holding several English and outdoor sport clubs. I am able to converse more with my students (mainly because I think we met half way between my skill level in Russian improving, as well as their English skill level improvement) and feel very confident that I understand mostly what my students are saying to me.

Lastly, *drumroll sounding* yes, yes it's true- As of September 26th I will have been in Ukraine for exactly one year. Unbeleivable. I know. I still can't wrap my mind around it. It seems like yesterday I got off onto the rainy tarmac in Kiev Boryspol. I was warned it would go by fast, but who would have thought this fast.

Looking back at all I have accomplished, and all that lays ahead of me, I can proudly say this is the best choice i've made for myself in a long long time (probably ever). I am not just proud of my decision, but I'm glad to admit that I didn't really believe it would do such wonders to my maturation/individuation process- but here I am a year later in awe of what i've been able to accomplish all on my own, and never a moment of "Oh crap, what have I done with my life."

Anyways, enough of the drivel- I'll leave you all with some photos I took with a student the other day while we were working on our first photo project entitled "My Armyansk". She really got some winners, and i'll post those on the student blog, but for now you have some of mine :)

Love and Peace from the border lands AKA UKRAINYA
Nitai "Rijik" Vinitzky (Rijik= red head)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

первый звонок (First Bell)

And so another summer comes to a close. What a summer it was too. But looking to the future, I am extremely excited to be starting a new school year. My optimism stems from a few new changes to my schedule that I thoroughly look forward to.

For starters, I was gifted three DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) Cameras from National Geographic through a program in Simferopol. I have them now for a year, and am happy to announce that I will be teaching a photography class this upcoming school year!

Furthermore, I have grant project in the making. I won't divulge quite yet the specifics of it due to the fact that it's still in the early brewing stages. Stay tuned though-- I will be needing all of the help I can get once it gets written up.

Finally, I feel like I need to say that I have finally got a grip of the Russian language. I mean, i'm not fluent by any means, but I understand a good deal more than I did last semester. I can't stress how significant it is to know the language when you're teaching English (especially to young students). So I feel like i'm coming in better equipped than last semester, so I feel very optimistic about my teaching capabilities.

All in all, a lot more to look forward to this next school year!

Below are a few pictures of the ceremonial "First Bell". It's basically a commencement ceremony that marks the beginning of the new year by ushering in the new students with flowers, backpacks and balloons. 

Hope you all are well, and hope to talk to some of you soon!

Until next time!
Much Love and Peace from Ukraine,


Romeo and Juliette


Onlooking Babushkas

Classy Teacher

New Terrorists (AKA new first graders)

Fresh faces ready to learn

Maybe not this one

This one's just wants to go home already... :(

Not this one, she's ready with her bouquet

Ritual backpack hand out- 11th formers giving 1st formers new backpacks for school

Release of the customary Yellow and Blue Balloons



The sound of school couldn't be any sweeter!