So life was beautiful on Friday. I played with Styopa...got peed on. Did I say life was beautiful? Beautiful and real and stinky sometimes. I actually didn't notice until he started saying "Писал..писал...".
I thought "Wait, I know what that means I think...it's to write when you put the emphasis on wrong...OH NO! "Стьопа, ты писал?"
Smiling in a silly way and sticking his tongue out he said, "Да."
Okay, let's figure out where. "Где ты писал? На полу...на деване...на мене!" (where did you pee? on the floor...on the couch...on me!)
Which yielded another very silly "Да."
So I got myself cleaned up and then left early for school. I stopped at the grocery store and picked up some juice, milk, and two treats. One was this chocolate piece of heaven called "Сонет" that was like a cross between fudge and brownies and mille feuille and who knows what else. And then I got a "Сказки на яйке" (fairytale in an egg) which is like a kinder egg (chocolate egg) with a Russian fairytale character in it. I got the tsar! I was so happy, that I had absolutely no Russian face and everyone was staring at the crazy grown up who was smiling at the child's treat. But it was worth it.
Class went really well. I made paper boxes with the kids. The greatest moment of triumph was when Olisia tried to give Ivan a candy and he just turned to me and said, "What I do?" I was like "YES!!! I am more interesting than the distraction!" But I talked so much that we didn't finish the boxes in any class so all the kids were a little mad with me.
After school, Cassidy and I went to President Hyde's house for game night. On the way we saw a fire dancer in front of the Golden Gate which was way way way cool (look for a video on facebook to be forthcoming). There, we played Apples to Apples. I left early to get home before everyone went to bed because it's a long ways back to Kharkivska (my beloved stop) on the metro and then I still had to walk home.
Saturday, I got up late with the rest of my family. I ate breakfast. Drew a picture of onion domes. Then it was time to go. Megan and I met early at our accustomed meeting place (by the Soviet tank in the park). We went and found a place for Megan to put grivna on her phone and then went to Palatz Sportu for blini!!! Я люблю блини! We both got блин с джемом. Yum yum yum. Then I bought a head scarf at a stall in the metro. It's beautiful and I love it. Then we rode the metro over to Arsenalna and met everyone else and went to Lavra. It's this really amazing cave monestary which is kind of like the Vatican of Orthodoxy. It's the place where the history of the Slavs was written so it's a really really really important place to all slavic speaking people. We all had to cover our heads and where special skirt things to be able to go in. And we had to get candles because it's really dark. It's not a place I'd suggest for anyone who's claustraphobic but it is way cool. There are all these really famous dudes mumified (naturally, it's the magic of the caves). I even got to see Ilya Muromets...he's not as big as the fairytales say. Then we went around through the area looking at different churches. It's gorgeous, all the golden domes and icon frescos, just amazing.
We were getting the beginning of the cold front so we went to this museum that was a surreal experience. It was an old Soviet exhibit (complete with the framed picture of Lenin enshrined on the wall.) of incredibly small art. Apparently there was this artist that liked designing things at impossibly small sizes. There was a chess board on the end of a pin. A camel caravan with a palm tree inside the hole of a needle. The world smallest book (of Taras Shverchenkos poems, of course, this is Ukraine). And a gazzilion other things all small enough that there was no way to see them except through a microscope. So you walked around the edges of this room in a line looking through these microscopes at these things hoping and praying that you wouldn't get pink eye and if you took too long looking at one of them the 5 minute lady would come by and yell at you in Russian about how everyone needed a chance. It was crazy.
After that, we listened to the bells calling everyone to services and then went to the refectory cathedral to watch the service. It was amazing. The churches (the ones that are still used) all smell of honey and spices from the candles so it's nice just to walk in. And they turned off the lights so the icons all glowed. Those big Byzantine faces of Christ are really incredible in the candlelight because of all the gold. And then there was all the singing between the priest and the monk choir and then the regular choir. It was incredible. I really need to study up on how the services work because aside from being amazed, I couldn't understand anything.
After that, we were all really hungry so we headed back to Khreshadik to Pazata Khata for dinner. I love that place so much. This time I had fried potatoes, cabbage, cake, and cabbage varenki (pirogies). My greatest moment was ordering the varenki because Tanya (our native coordinator) was helping everyone get what they wanted and she asked if I knew what I wanted and offered to help me but I said "No I can do it." She gave me a look like "yeah, right" which I'm sure after dealing with the 12 kids before me was entirely merited. But I went up and said "Веренки с капусту". The lady behind the counter asked me if I wanted sour cream and Tanya went to translate but I said "Да, с сметану, пожалуйста" before she could. She was amazed and I was very happy. The food was delicious and again only cost 3 dollars for a feast. After that, I went home.
The next morning I got up early to go to church. I had left my hat at the school on Friday and it was nasty cold so I was decked out in my headscarf like one of the little babushki headed off to church. I felt very Eastern European, though I think I got more stares than ever because young people don't go to church here. Church was great. I helped in Nursery for the 3rd hour. It was weird to be with English speaking children. After church we went to the Muller's house for spaghetti and had a great time there. They are so nice to let us all hang out together at their house and to feed us. After that, I went home and took a shower!!! Number 6 since being here!!!!! It's sad that I still can keep count. Then I talked to Vanya and played with Styopa though I was a little wary of letting him sit on my lap. Then I had tea and tried these little sausage and dill bun things that were really good. Volodya (yes, that is my host dad's name!!!!!!!!) invited me to go running with him Monday morning. I was way excited.
Unfortunately, I forgot to charge my phone and so it died in the night and the alarm didn't go off so I woke up 15 minutes too late. I was so bummed though I was kind of terrified of going with him since I don't really run and I'm pretty sure he is intense. But it would have been way fun. Fortunately he got back before I left for school so I was able to kind of explain to him what had happened. I learned the word for alarm clock just for the occasion.
I have learned quite a few random words being here. First off кушать (kooshet) to come eat is said to me all the time and said to Styopa even more so I now know how to conjugate it in every form. на станофки (na stanofki) is at the bus stop...it's what you should say if you want the bus to stop...Megan and I learned this after we had an adventure with a bus that didn't stop at our stop. блин (blin) like the crepe things is actually a mild swear word like shoot or dang it it took all the teachers a long time to figure out how serious a swear word it was because the first person that tried to explain it to us compared it to some really really bad words so we were all terrified to talk about pancakes but it's not that bad.
Well, I think that is enough for now...woah I wrote a lot. And I included paragraph breaks this time. I won't always because when I write it and paste it in later the computer eats them but I will try.