Tuesday, Megan and I went exploring around the Универсам и рынок (supermarket and market) around my house. We got a cake pan from a little vendor in the market. The Универсам is almost American in it's selection and it's cleanliness. I made whirly gigs with the kids. It was way fun. I played with Styopa who is getting better at my name. He's so cute. Я люблю моего Украинского брата.
Wednesday, I played with Styopa and studied Russian. Then I went to school On the way I stopped at the Фора and got milk, sour cream, and butter. I stuffed it all in my coat pockets and looked like a total dork but was having a lot of fun. We made flag poles in class. I did the American flag on one side and the Ukrainian flag on the other side. The kids really got into that. Arina (one of my kindergartner's was way excited to tell me her flag wasn't either of those her flag was blue, white, and red. Apparently, she's Russian. I'm not sure I always understand how you decide here where you are from. My host family has Russian parents but Vanya says he's Ukrainian and Sasha seems to think she's Russian. With Maintenance I did a ring toss kind of game where they had to throw the ball into one of the bowls with a vocab card on it and they had to tell me before which bowl they were going to throw it into. When I got off the bus I was think ing about class and didn't think about the fact that I was walking through the bus stop and totally turfed it on the nasty dog poop covered asphalt. I can now say from the experience of having my face smeared through the ground that there is a reason we trade our boots for tapochki when we go inside. But it was still really funny so I started laughing. Vanya was just staring at me until I started to laugh and then he started cracking up. He made me jump across puddles and walk along on the bike rack bar. I felt so ridiculous that I couldn't stop giggling. This guy in a car parked by us asked Vanya what was wrong with me. He answered, "Она американка." (She's an American.)
Thursday, I had oladi for breakfast. Yum. They are my favorite. Megan and I went to find the post office. We wandered all over. Finally we crossed the street and right as we were about to give up we saw the sign that said Пошта up above the building. It was right where we had started. We went in and tried to figure out where to go. There were people standing front of all the signs so we just got in the longest line. We were getting all these crusties from the babooshki and we didn't know why. We started wondering why so we started watching what was going on. The people would go up. Show the people their passport and get money. All of a sudden we realized there was no one under 70 in our line. We were totally in the pension line. We went to another line and I handed them my letters they looked at them like "What the heck is this?" Fortunately I had written США in big letters on them so they finally figured it out and asked me if they were going to America. I said yes and they got out the stamps and stamped them and told me where to put them. Hopefully they get to the right places. After that we wandered in the direction we thought the the metro was. We were totally off. We walked for forever. I thought I had gotten my excersize for the week but I was wrong! We made women's day cards. Kindergarten got really confused because I wrote "To: Mom" on it. They thought I had two moms. Kostya claimed he had 999 moms. That is some serious polygamy but Prince Volodymir had 3,000 wives so maybe Ukrainians are down with the whole thing. Megan and I got Шашлик (like kabobs) from a little stand. It was way fun and the guy we ordered from was way cool. Then we went to Russian class. I was kind of bored. When I came home Styopa dressed up as me in my boots and scarf and took pictures of Everyone. He and I played kashoo (his favorite game) until dinner when I had plemeni (like meat filled pirogies) They were way good.
Thursday, Megan and I found a material store and art supplies. I bought oranges at the market. We ate potato wrapped around meat and shashliki ketchup. YUM!!! Megan and I figured out we are totally related which is funny since our host families are related. We got flowers and chocolates for Women's day. Tasia gave me a dafodil and Leonid gave me a tulip. And we got cake and more chocolates. With maintenance, I did fortunately-unfortunately with a pig drawing on the white board. They would tell me what happened to the pig and I would draw it. The best part was when he met an evil sexy pig. And I did fortune telling with the Kings game. I wore my headscarf as a gypsy scarf. They thought it was hilarious. I stayed late at the school and had some bonding time with the cleaning lady. She liked our flowers. She taught me how to say 'Happy Woman's Day' in Russian. When I got on bus I had lots of stuff and some guy gave me his seat. Sasha asked me how my day was and I said, "Awesome. I like this holiday." She helped me find a vase for my strange bouquet, a rose, a tulip, and a dafodil. I sang songs with Styopa and played Uno with Vanya and Sasha.
Saturday, I got up early and made cinnamon rolls. They loved them. I think Natasha ate 8 by herself. The dedooshka came over and invited us all to go on an adventure on monday. I played with Styopa until Megan called. Then I went to the store for presents for Women's day. I got flowers for Natasha and watercolor pencils for Sasha. I went to the material store several times trying to figure out how to make a baby blanket for Natasha. Finally I mustered the courage to face the people. They were laughing at me. I didn't know how to say a meter and a half so I had to act it out. I now feel really bad for the Mexicans living in America. They are so brave. Then I went back and watched the Russian Three Musketeers with Vanya and Sasha. Then we had плоф dinner. Vanya said "Мне ненравится плоф." (I don't like this plof). But I loved it, when Natasha asked if I wanted more, I said, "Да, мне нравится" (yes, to me it is very pleasing (direct translation is awesome)). Natasha totally cuffed Vanya. After dinner Vanya and I listened to his CD player. He translated the Russian songs for me. I was way impressed. Then he made me try to translate an English CD. The first song was about magic, elves, and the shadow of the moon so I couldn't do it. He got fed up with me and left but then the next song was about season and I totally could do it. I wanted to call him back. A little later h said he wanted to teach me all his tricks. I said "Okay." He proceeded to try to teach me to jump up, do pull-ups, and do those Russian kicks. I totally failed at all of it. So then he started making me do "Практик" (excersizes). The little sadist had me doing excercizes and making a fool of myself for 2 hours. I couldn't tell him no because he'd flash me that heartbreaker smile and say "Aнналин, you must praktik or you will no be amazing in America." He told me he was my trainer and I should call him 'ninja' "Only not when mama or papa are here!" When I didn't hold myself straight enough for excersizes, he would smack me with a stick. Fortunately Styopa wandered in an would give me hugs and stroke my hair in a comforting manner. Finally, Styopa came in and brought my camera which distracted Vanya. He decided to take pictures and try to make it look like I was awesome at doing push-up so he made me drop to the ground. My whole body is totally bruised.
Sunday, I woke up and was getting ready for church when there was a little knock at my door. It was Vanya with a potted tulip and a big smile. Then Sasha came in with a picture she painted for me. It's way cool. They had all woken up early to wish me happy Women's Day. When I got home Vanya made me kakoa and I had a piece of torte. Then he and I played Uno and дурак (an awesome Russian game). Then he made me do praktik again. Ouch! I got the idea to distract him with chocolate that I'd gotten from the school for Women's Day. It worked for a total of 2 minutes then he got the idea of putting the chocolate on the floor and I had to do a push up and eat it. I couldn't do it so then he put a couple of books under it. He left the room and I ate the chocolate. When he came back he said, "Анналин, you do it?" I said, "Yes." He gave me the look. I said, "I kissed Gulliver! See how happy he is." He totally didn't believe me. Then we went to the store. Vanya discovered we have the same size feet so I can wear his roller skates. I skated around the apartment. Then we had dinner. The dedooshka made me eat salted fish he'd made. It was actually way good but I couldn't eat as much as he wanted. We actually had a whole feast. I had cutlets, egg salad, califlower, salat iz pomedora, bananas, stuffed peppers, and 2 kinds of salted fish. Apparently I wasn't eating enough so Vova took the plate of salted fish and scapped half of it onto my plate. I freaked because that is the only thing I really can't eat and it gave me a huge amount. I started choking it down. They gave me a piece of rye bread and it wasn't actually to bad until I got an eyeball half way through. Then it started being really really nasty. Finally I finished. I felt totally bloated. But Vova pulled out the torte, chocolates, and tea. He also gave me a bunch of magic flowers that opened up when I put them in water.
Monday was a day off for everyone but ILP teachers. So we went to роллики (ROLLERSKATING!) It was totally the dedooska's idea and he was way excited. We all got in the новая машина (we got a new car on Sunday!!!) We drove all through Kiev which was way cool. I videoed Lavra and Big Mama as we went across the river. It was way cool But then we had to catch up with Yuva and we sped up and were weaving through traffic and I thought I was going to die. Then we got there and we had a great time skating even though I'm way sore. I was way impressed that Yoova can skate. The man is over 70 and was way good. Vanya causes so many accidents because he was crazy and unaware. Misha was a total wuss. It was way fun though.
So that's the news from Kiev!~ Hope you all are doing well!