February and early March have been busy - FESTIVALS and work!
February 14 was Valentine's Day, and just like home, it's a big day for the card and flower vendors. My young friends gave me very cute, very small Valentine cards, not unlike the cards I received back in 4th and 5th grade!! It was a great fun day. Photos from my organization's St. Valentine's Day festival are below.
BOTH YOUNG LADIES ARE DEAF- AND FABULOUS DANCERS!
|CELEBRATING MEN'S DAY|
|A WHEELCHAIR DANCE PERFORMANCE|
CELEBRATING MEN'S DAY
|SASHA ENJOYING MEN'S DAY |
SURROUNDED BY MY STUDENT TRANSLATORS
|HAVE A блины !|
Today, as I write is "INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY" -- YES!!! AND THIS IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT HOLIDAY, THAT WE HAVE TWO DAYS OF VACATION. Almost all business offices are closed today and tomorrow!. Everyone is out buying presents - flowers, cards, and chocolate -- for their favorite women! I have decided that I will begin a one woman campaign to celebrate this holiday in the United States!
While all the festivals have been great fun, I have been working. I have been writing grant applications for funding for various projects and training seminars that my organization would like to host. In addition, I have started tutoring English for many of my young disabled students. We meet at the local children's library, which is one of the few buildings that is accessible (at least the first floor) for my disabled students. This will be quite a challenge as many of the children are challenged in different areas and their English is also at different levels. My daughter, Frances, is a 2nd grade teacher and has been really helpful in ideas on how to approach this task! I will gladly accept suggestions from everyone as I proceed with this work project.
Pictured on either side is даижа (Daisha), a delightful 15 year old, who loves to sing, and she would love to sing a song in English by the time we finish our lessons.
What makes the English tutoring extremely tough, is the textbooks my students use come from the U. K. and are dated 1990 or earlier.
No "blog report" would be complete without an update on my weather! While the East Coast and the Midwest in the US definitely have had more snow, Ukraine has had record low temperatures since January 2011. The thermometer has stayed in the MINUS category - mostly MINUS 5 to MINUS 13 -- since January. Pictured at left is an example of the sidewalks (aka my "luge" runs) that I take to work every day.
The festival that celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring, celebrated last week, came just a wee bit early. A "бабушка" creature- old winter- is burned in effigy in the hopes that spring will come soon.
I was truly hoping for a spring thaw as on Sunday, the therometer said 35F or +3 C. But then, because I put my snowboard pants away for the winter, we had 3 inches of snow. The photo below is the view from my window, this morning, Monday, March 7.
One comforting thought... fur coats are now reduced 50 to 70%! I know... what would I do with a fur coat in Hawaii!
Happy Women's Day to all my wonderful women friends!
Happy Mardi Gras to all.
And ... The Peace Corps is 50 years old this month!
Thank you all for the opportunity.