Friday, September 29, 2006

Flying tomorrow

Ok, so you thought the last post was goodbye, but this is really goodbye . . . It's only been a day and a half of staging but already I feel like it's been two weeks. The Assistant Director (think I got that right?) of PC came to speak to us, and will visit Ukraine in a week - and said that by that time we'll be essentially a year older. I believe it (so much to absorb, so overwhelming) - and yet, the country director (also visiting our staging, both visits are unusual and special) said that on the plane ride over, somewhere between Frankfurt and Kiev we transform from functioning "adults" to two-year-olds. And I believe that too. Partially because we'll have about that ability in terms of language, partially because the next 12 weeks will be meticulously planned out for us by the PC, and partially because we'll be living in host families who, no matter what the volunteer's age (even if it's 60) will carefully supervise us and make sure we are warmly dressed and very well fed.

We have 110 people in our group, which is HUGE for a PC group, but I gather not completely out of the ordinary for Ukraine. We'll spend the next twelve weeks in "clusters" of five, learning the language and culture and participating in "internships" (I opted for no-English immersion classes, we'll see how that goes) . . . and I'm not sure about internet access, which is part of why I decided to go ahead and pay the high hotel cost for wireless tonight and get my internet fix one more time. We'll be taught in our language facilitator's home, and meet with another cluster every Saturday to discuss how everything's going. All this concrete detail is making things v. real for me, and I try not to miss too much of the lectures by staring off into space thinking Holy crap I am actually leaving and doing this and aaah. Sometimes the details make me incredibly excited (I may work in summer camps!! I've always wanted to be a camp counselor!!) . . and sometimes anxious (hadn't worried about a whole host of things until we all listed our fears today) . . and sometimes inexplicably emotional (it's like I'm pregnant, every stupid video we watch, and every cute story about our Staging facilitator's life in Paraguay sets me off). But overall, especially after calling home after the incredibly long day, I'm feeling ok about things.

I also heard from Katie A., my PC twin starting off in Mozambique, and despite a general absence of giraffes in her life so far, she is doing well. So we'll all be fine. So thank you all for the calls, visits, e-mails and blog comments in these last weeks before I leave . . I think I'm ready. And, along with the feeling that I've been here for two weeks, I do miss you all a lot already, so we'll have to keep in touch as much as possible. Ok. Goodbye for real, now. And as my baby neighbor Owen will say (when prompted), take care!!


At September 30, 2006 6:53 PM, Blogger Louisa said...

I miss you already!!!!! You're flying right now, and hopefully drinking plenty of liquids, because you're supposed to do that on a plane. Anyways, I love you, and the blogs are great, I hope you have internet access once you're there! Stay safe, happy, and know we're thinking of you!!!


At October 02, 2006 3:48 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

VA! You've been in Ukraine for 2 days now... I miss you a lot, but am very excited for the next time you post. I start my job tomorrow... and I got a retainer today, so I have a slight lisp - I am definitely not wearing it to my first day of work, I don't care what my orthodontist says! Anyways... hope you are having a good time and aren't too overwhelmed! Talk to you soon!!


At October 02, 2006 7:08 PM, Blogger Alyssa said...

Virginia! you are in the ukraine! that is so exciting! i am pretty jealous....i am going to attempt to mail you something soon. does it take a REALLY long time for things to get there? because i was going to make you cookies, but i don't really want to be sending you some nasty stale cookies in the mail. maybe the government doesn't like cookies anyway... in any case, i hope that you are enjoying yourself and aren't entirely overwhelmed.

At October 03, 2006 6:39 AM, Anonymous Ellen said...

Hi Virginia! I hope you arrived safely in Ukraine. Every Russian class I go to I think about you. AVA is just not the same without you here. But then again, you are quite possibly my only friend! :)

Until the next post!

At October 11, 2006 10:00 PM, Blogger Kristen said...

Virginia! I hope you're having a great time and learning Ukrainian like a pro. Your hair looks so cute in your picture! I hope everything is going well...I'm looking forward to some interesting "blogs" about life in Ukraine! Stay safe! Have fun!

At October 19, 2006 7:06 AM, Anonymous Ellen said...

Hey Virginia,

You probably already know this but, last week the State Department officially changed the spelling of Kiev to Kyiv. I noticed on your business card you spell it Kyiv. Hope all is well in Ukraine!

At October 21, 2006 5:26 AM, Blogger Virginia said...

Hi all!!! First time on internet, I am so excited - and feel loved to see the comments. To answer all of them:
Louisa - they don't drink liquids during meals really, actually, but I still end up having about four cups of tea a day, hurrah
Kimmy: Good luck with your job!!! And you'll have much better teeth than me
Alyssa: Hi!! It takes between a week and three weeks, I think, it just depends - I got a letter in a week, but some packages took two and a half (for other people) . . but you can vacuum seal them :)
Ellen: Moya podruga (is that right) I am learning Ukrainian, but I think of you too! and I was only your only friend in Alexandria, don't confuse people
Kristen: I'm assuming Camacho?? Again - if there's doubt (all Katies), clarify. Miss you!


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