Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ya lublu tibya, Larushka

I am so grateful that I have been able to share this journey of a lifetime with one of my greatest friends, Laria. She and I have relied on each other so much here and my experience in Ukraine would be drastically different if she wasn't here with me every step of the way. We both cannot believe that the time has already come for us to say goodbye. I am sad to leave, but like Laria, I am ready to be home and see my family again. We arrive in Boise around midnight on December 19th and we cannot wait to see the smiling faces of our families!


Momma Jill to the rescue :)

My host siblings!

I am really going to miss my host siblings a lot now that my countdown to America is coming ever so close.

The other morning, my two year old host brother Yegor knocked on my bedroom door really early in the morning and said "Hello, Jill!" (which is the only English he knows) and then he continued to ask me in Russian if he could come up to my room. I was still in bed but I just answered 'da' which is yes. His little feet make the cutest sounds when he tried to climb up the stairs and it was funny to listen to. Anyways, he came up to my room, crawled into bed with me, pointed at my laptop, and asked me in Russian if I had any cartoons. Luckily I had one, and it happens to be my all time favorite movie: UP! So Yegor and I spent the morning watching up and hanging out. It was a lot of fun and it definitely made my day to feel so loved and needed by a little heart.\

Out to Grandpa's Village

This past weekend my host family invited me to come along with them on an outing to their grandfather's village outside of Kiev. I have met this grandpa before, his name is Vasya and from what I had seen of him before he is a sweet man with a caring disposition. Anyways, the car ride was well, long and in close quarters. The kids sang the whole way and the mom was studying English on her ipod and talking to herself.  for those of you who know me, you will completely understand why this car ride was rather difficult. haha but either way, we made it to the village which was extremely different than any of the sights I have seen here. But as we were driving through the village, it is impossible not to notice how most of the houses are quite small and in bad shape so that was what I was ready for. Well, grandpa Vasya is like some sort of sausage king here in Ukraine (yes, seriously) so he is completely loaded and his house was spectacular!!  I spent the day watching Tangled (in Russian!) with the kids, playing around in the backyard, relaxing with the family, and enduring the never ending awkward moments.
What a guy heh?  



Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The waiting room
So recently I had to go to the Hospital here. With my background and 'luck' we all knew it was inevitable but even I was surprised I lasted this long here until my first visit.

The outside of the hospital called Boris.
Anyways, the other night I woke up and my face literally hurt to the touch. All night I rolled around in pain and eventually I got up to get some breakfast in the morning. My host mom took one look at me and started letting out a long slew of Russian concern and disgust from my face. Finally she said in English--what happened to your face?! So I ran to the bathroom to look in the mirror and my face was red and swollen HUGE--so big that my eyes were almost shut from the size of the swelling in my face.

Wellp I went to the doctor and they had no idea why it was swelling but injected me with a lot of steroids and I had to go back twice for two more treatments of it and now my face is somewhat back to normal. Jeesh.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today was a good day!

My Russian here is getting tons better every single day! I even text and talk to my host mom on the phone in only Russian now! I feel pretty dang legit. Today I was trying to do some shopping before school and I found a small shoe store. Given my shoe size, I try to look in every shoe store to see if they even have anything in my size…some things never change. Anyways, when I walked in, the store owner started spouting off sentences faster than I could process. I smiled, opened my mouth to speak, and to my surprise, only Russian came out! I just simply started having a conversation with her without really thinking!! I told her that I was sorry but I only can speak and understand a little bit of Russian—not a lot. Then she and I talked about the type of shoe I was looking for and the size and she said she only had one in the whole store and to my surprise (insert sarcasm) it was hideous. I told her thanks for her time and right before I left she complimented me on how well I spoke Russian! I native complemented me on my ability to speak their language understandably!! Woooooo-hoo!!

Karaoke Bar

This week, my girls and I were totally feeling like we needed a break from teaching and we got all dressed up and headed to a local, popular Karaoke bar. We arrived around 8 and stayed until right before closing at midnight because we were having an absolute blast!! We were seated right in the middle of the room and it was so cool—colored lighting, mirrors on all the walls, and 5 karaoke screens. They had a lot of English songs to choose from and we totally made the most of it and I dragged my friend Jen up with me and we picked Respect by Aretha Fanklin.

After that, the Ukrainians were in. haha they loved watching us attempt to sing and dance and we loved listening to their Ukrainian songs! I was so happy that I could read the Karaoke screens when they were signing Ukrainian songs and I could sing along with them—so fun and the Ukrainians thought it was really cool that I could read the lyrics with them!

Russian, Russian, Russian!

I love love love Russian. Not to mention the fact that I really like it here, too. I am going out every day and just reading the signs along my journey. I first learned the Russian alphabet and now I am working on learning my Cyrillic alphabet which is like cursive Russian.  I can certainly say that I am going to miss that part a lot about Ukraine. I really enjoy trying to decipher a new, foreign language in the world around me. Today a cute older lady stopped me when I got off the metro  and asked me in Russian if I knew how to get to (somewhere I couldn’t understand). Before I even thought about it, I immediately replied back in Russian that I was sorry but I only speak a little bit of Russian and that I didn’t know. She said thanks miss and asked someone else! I LOVE being able to speak and communicate with the people here!! I love learning in general and there is nothing I love more than taking on the challenge of conquering a new language! I love it so much that I’ve even signed up for Russian at BYU-I when I go back in January :)