Friday, January 11, 2013


I just want to say thank you.
To everyone who made all of this possible
To everyone who supported me
To all my Ukrainian people who made my experience wonderful
To everyone who stuck with me through my experiences
To everyone who followed along
To the awesome ILP folks
Heck, to anyone who even chanced upon this blog and spent a minute looking at a picture or reading two sentences!

Thank you so much.
спасибо большое.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I just wanted to tell you.

I would hope that EVERYONE would try to have an experience like I did in Ukraine.
I am a firm believer in traveling.
(A huge reason why I even want a career is so that I have lots o' cash to spend on plane tickets and obscure hostels in faraway places.)
It just teaches you so much, and you learn about all these things you never even knew existed and all of a sudden you have this wonderful new state of mind and you grow grow grow.
And volunteering while you're traveling isn't too bad either.
It was definitely the best thing I ever did. So do it. Travel. Do what I did - do ILP! I recommend it to ANYONE. I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kiev quotes.

These are a mere fraction of the gems we concocted on our four month adventure. ENJOY.

Erika: "Maybe you should try these mushrooms?"
Kylie: "Maybe you should go die in a hole?"

Kylie: "Please quote me. I love to be quoted."

Kylie: "These legings are making me sick."

Kylie: "DANGIT!!! I forgot to suck in."

Kylie: "I need a scribe to write all this down and tell me how funny I am at the end of each day."

Mallory: "What are you saying? Speak English."
Elementary 6 boy: "He......wants to know why your hands smell so good."

(Afton, Kylie and I talking about the weather)
Kylie: "Yeah and at my host family's house all the trees are bending over because I don't know why."

"NBD. We'll be going to Mickey D's."

Kylie: "You be judgin', I be slappin'."

Kylie: "GIVE ME YOUR WALLET! I love profiling!"

Jenna: "I could suitcase through Europe, probably not backpack through Europe."

Kylie: "I creep hard. I go big or go home."

"You take a bite, and then baby Jesus is in your mouth."

Kylie: "How do you say more than one duck?"

Primary kid: "My dad is a sit-down crocodile."

Erika: "They're catacombs."
Kylie: "I don't want to see no captain's cones!"

"I could go for some fun."

Cherish: "I'm becoming a Ukrainian dinosaur."

Alexis: "You can't use the bathroom down here because it's like the strobe light from the exorcism."

Cherish: "Petting a lion. Feeding a bear. Jesus."

Mallory: "Holy crap. He is like a movie douche."

Cherish: "Don't play anything romantic. But upbeat. Play Katy Perry!!"

Jenna: "I wonder if we think we're funny and everyone else thinks we're weird."

Cherish: "That's what disappointment feels like. Melted ice cream."

Jenna: "Are you PMSing? Because we're PMSing. That was a serious question!!!!"

Alexis: "Did you just watch a cat explode?"
Jenna: "On accident."

Kylie: "This is warm. That's awkward."

Kylie: "It's a ball. Do you know how easily I could shove that in your mouth?"

Afton, looking at a craft: "Wow, did you guys draw chromosomes today?"
Kylie: "AFTON! Get your mind out of the gutter!!"

"I feel like I could eat the world right now."

"What if we went bowling with hedgehogs?"

Samantha: "Maybe I wanna wear THIS" *hip thrust*

Jenna: "Here comes Hottie McHotHot film: Neville!!"

Taia: "Yeah it's a movie for blind people."
Jenna, in condescending tone: "So it's in SIGN LANGUAGE?"

Jenna: "Sometimes I forget that blind people can talk."

Jenna: "I have too many -ology classes."

Samantha: "We've got the F-word here, feeling right at home."

"Kylie, what seat are you in?"
Kylie: "I don't know. I'm trying to look but my butt is too big."

Cherish: "You BETTER not look at me! You BETTER turn into a cockroach!!"

Random Ukrainian man to Cherish: "Take off your clothes! I MEAN YOUR SHOES!!! TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES!!!! I'M SO SORRY!!!"

"My butt is a problem."

Kylie: "All of a sudden we got mobbed by a bunch of chilis!!!!"
Mallory: "Chilis?"
Kylie: "Yeah, you know, people from Chile."

Kylie: "Dimples wanna pret-zel?"

Jenna: "He got your Skype name?! That's like getting your number in international, modern times!"

Jenna: "I want an edible spoon!!.......I guess that would be a chip."

Jenna: "Hey! Don't joke on my tractor!"

Samantha: "I can slither like a snake."
(20 seconds later)
Samantha: "I have no idea why I said that. I can't slither like a snake."

Erika: "Ugh, I have to pull money out."
Samantha: "Tomorrow?"
Erika: "No, out of my wallet."

Jenna: "On the count of three! Five....four....THREE!"

Alexis: "Did you go potty?"
Kylie: "Nah. I went in there, splashed around a little, looked at myself in the mirror, sang a Taylor Swift song..."

Samantha: "You guys, I really think my shoulders get tired from holding my arms."

Samantha: "Don't you think your neck gets tired holding your head up all day??"

Afton: "There's something about being spooned in the back, squished in the front, pressed against a window, screaming Backstreet Boys and bouncing up and down that just makes you say PARTY!"

Cherish: "Can I be your chair?"

Alexis: "Rejoice in the pus."

Erika: "I can't help that I think about dogs all the time."

Tourguide: "What do you think of when I say dungeon?"
Mallory: "Dragons."

Erika: "You can cross the street. If you have a lollipop."

Mallory: "Totes def not a chick."

Mallory in sassy black woman voice: "HEY AUSTRALIAN BOY! Don't tell me you don't miss that Vegemite!!"

Australian boy: "Do you know what bus it is?"
Jenna, in a British accent: "I think it's that one!"

"I NEED to eat a carrot."

Afton: "We're all going to hell."
Kylie: "At least we're going together."

Erika: "That's a damn good question."

Erika: "We're going on three days. My pants are a little baggy."

Kylie: "We were not a 'THING'. I ran into his truck."

"Afton is a walrus."
Cherish: "I rode a smurf."

"There ARE occasions to wear leather fringe pants."
Erika: "Like, we're heading out to Wendy's at 2 AM."

Erika: "I'm still thinking about those leather fringe pants."

"If we pull out this deoderant, all the Ukrainians are going to be like 'What is that????'"

Cherish: "I was focused on Scabbers over here!!"

Erika: "I like when I look bald in pictures."

Cherish: "MOODY!!!!......................TURKEY!!!!!!!!!!!"

"People just like hitting my rear end."

"I haven't noticed."
"What else..........haven't you noticed?"

Erika: "Pretty time to go back to America."

Afton looking at delicious food on Pinterest: "I don't know if this sounds good or not."

Kylie: "Why would you spell Alan like that?!!?!"
Erika: "That's.....the normal way to spell Alan."

Kylie: "I'm glad I fell out of a train for you."

"Your butt's what's keeping me warm."

Jenna: "YAY!"
Alexis: "What?"
Jenna: "I dunno."

Samantha: "It hurts down in my groins."

Jenna, in a super condescending tone: "Erika, have you moved this morning?"

"My boob popped up in the Black Sea."

Samantha: "I'm sorry you saw it but I'm not sorry that I was naked."

Alisha: "Suction cuppy."

"I feel like I'm living the thug life."

Monday, December 24, 2012


I'm not quite done here, friends. There are just a few more photos, memories and bits for me to share.

First off, I can't believe I've been HOME for 5 days.
I can accurately describe my feelings about it by saying I feel like I'm going through culture shock all over again.
I am baffled by people speaking English around me, and my food having lots of flavors, and by the open spaciousness of not living in a huge city.
It's so odd to be able to walk up to a person and communicate with them.
I still haven't gotten used to being able to use my phone again.
It's also so strange hanging out with people who are not the same 11 ladies I saw pretty much constantly for four months.
And people's lives have been progressing for four months but it mostly just feels like Ukraine was just some marvelous dream. Really like I was asleep for the past four months and I woke up and everyone else's lives were magically four months ahead.

It's so so good to be home; I missed my family and friends and cats and dog and Cafe Rio and big fluffy bed and car and America. But I miss the heck out of Ukraine. It's weird going back to the real world and I miss all my Ukrainian people and that whole other life. I hope everyone has braced themselves for my constant talking about it for a while, because it's happening.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pass the Kleenex.

Tanya, Andre and Maria have gone to Zhytomyr for the weekend. 
The girls are hanging out with their families/going to operas today.
I suppose you could say that today was my most solitary day here in Ukraine. And of all the days I could be all alone...I would not have chosen this day to be it.
It seems I simply cannot stop myself from listening to stupidly emotional/nostalgic music and looking at adorable pictures like this

And this

And this

And wishing and wishing so badly that I could just go to the school Monday morning and pick up the routine right where I left off.

My heart has been completely stolen by this place and everyone and everything in it. 
Saying goodbye is the absolute worst. I just don't know how to do it.

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." - A A Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Friday, December 14, 2012

The last day.

Today was one of the worst and the happiest days of my entire life.
I just can't even fathom that I'll never see these faces again, yet I could not be more proud of them, like unto a mother with 45 children.
I can't even tell you how many times today I heard "Please don't go to America!" and other such heartbreaking phrases while having my legs latched onto by tiny arms.
My poor little heart.

Here are all these glorious beings at our Christmas program, which was completely spectacular. More about that later. I just need to go to bed before I explode.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Today was a watch-Ratatouille-eat-popcorn-take-pictures day.

I've decided Masha is pretty much a miniature me. She looks a heck of a lot like I did when I was a wee lass with her cute front teeth and blondie braids and she is just as crazy.

I am absolutely DREADING TOMORROW.
I have to say goodbye to all these little miracles and I can't stand it.
Can't I just stay?