Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Relaxing: Anya and I hung out at her house for a couple of hours playing "Wurdle" on my iPhone. Her mom made us French meat and potatoes for lunch (or that might have been the day before, but it was awesome because she knows I love it). I have eaten a lot of French meat already since arriving. I don't know why it's called that. It's made of flattened pork laid out in a pan, then layered on top with onions, mayonnaise and cheese. Sometimes potatoes are cooked with it. It sounds strange but it tastes awesome. Not healthy, though.

Teachers: In the afternoon I went and met my favorite teachers. I worked with Natasha, Lena and Larissa at School Number 5 (Pyaty Shcolly). Before the meeting, I dropped my bags off at Natasha's house since she lives in the center and I would be staying with Kamilia that night. Anya headed off back to Kiev with a friend on the train for work the next day. Kamilia also joined us. She works at a village school and just got a new volunteer! He was still away at camp, though. We met at the new restaurant, City Park. That's just a weird name for a restaurant. It doesn't bring to mind "food." We ordered pizza, daronay (potato pancakes) and malincey (crepes filled with meat). They gave me a Ukrainian doll as a gift. It is the type of gift often made by a grandmother and given to a new baby to keep her safe. Natasha reminded me that I like "Ukrainian gifts" so they wanted to give me something Ukrainian. It was perfect because I do. I like real stuff that was made in the country or at least conceived there. :) It was a great time and so short. It also gave the teachers a chance to catch up with each other in Ukrainian. Larissa and I had ice cream for dessert. She asked me if I would be coming again next year. "We've gotten used to seeing you once a year," she said. And I said I have no idea. It was so expensive this year that I might have to take a year off. :) Then we walked back Natasha's house. Kamilia left to buy groceries and Larissa went home to be with her son because her husband wasn't home. Lena, Natasha and I had tea. Natasha's daughter Dasha made it, as well as the cake and pizza we sampled. When I left. Natasha said it seemed like I had just been traveling and would be back soon. I remember her saying this last year, too. I guess I probably will be.

Cookies and a Movie: Natasha called me a taxi and I went to Kamilia's house. I told her we should make chocolate chip cookies. I found the recipe on the internet and she assembled ingredients. "Oh, but brown sugar," I said. "We'll just have to use extra white." "I have brown sugar," she said and pulled out a box from Israel. She also had chocolate chips her dad had sent her. "You have BROWN SUGAR? WHERE DID YOU GET IT? SHOULD WE USE IT? IT'S SO VALUABLE!" I said it like that in all caps because I was so excited. "If we don't use it, what is it there for?" she laughed. I was more excited to make those cookies than anything. She had BROWN SUGAR and REAL CHIPS. And then of course we burned the cookies. She had a little convection oven and she said it would automatically turn off when the timer dinged but they still burned while we talked and played with Zhora, her son. That's okay. They stuck to the pan and we pried them off and the burnt part was left in the pan, so they tasted great with milk! We watched "Speak," which I hadn't seen. It's about Kristen Stewart, and her first year as a freshman after a traumatic event at a party that she doesn't tell anyone about.

Kamilia, Zhora and I all slept in Kamilia's bed together. I was going to sleep in another bed, but Zhora was happy to have me there and Kamilia and I got to chat more. We did have a mini dance party at one point with a very active kid admiring himself in the mirror as he danced. :)

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