Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I heart Europe.

My mom & I spent yesterday in Munich, Germany and now we're in Prague, CR. It all feels like a fairytale/Disneyland or something. But it's REAL. I can't believe my life right now. You bet I'm taking dozens of photos of every little thing that I will indulge you in a bit later. We're going to visit an enormous castle on a hill now, so TTFN. But here's some shots from Munich first.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I love my Illias.

(Illya Ovchar, Illia Homych, Illia Smyrnov)

These three cuties are the only ones who showed up for class yesterday. So we built bridges with popsicle sticks and listened to the Pink Panther song 1736462 times (don't ask me why they're obsessed with it). We had fun. They're my favorite.

PS. My mom is on her way here RIGHT NOW and I CAN'T WAIT

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Ukrainians do not celebrate Halloween, but GEE do they love it. We were not prepared for the holiday spirit. We had our Halloween party for the kids today. And they were DECKED OUT. Full-on witches, pirates, cowboys. It was EXCELLENT. And the party was an absolute blast.
We kicked off our Halloweeny day with making masks with Pre-k. They're the cutest. And were so proud of their craftsmanship.

Dima, Kirill, Diana and Maxim.
At 3:00 the rest of our childrens arrived. We had about 35 kids total at this party. It was hoppin, as you can imagine. We played monster mash freeze dance first.

Afton was the pirate DJ.
See! Look how awesome their costumes are! 

Oh this kid. His name is Oleg - pronounced Alec. He is a complete riot. Just watch for him through these pictures. 
This kid on the left was a mafia gangster. He came in with an enormous gun too. Hilarious. Sasha is the cowboy and Sophia's the pirate. 
And then we tied donuts (weird very un-American Ukrainian donuts) to a string and had the kids eat it without using their hands. I cannot even describe how hilarious this was. I was dying the entire time.

Annja, Masha, Gallya and Sophia. Gallya killed it this round.
Chanting "EAT IT, EAT IT"
Sasha, Masha, Veronika and Artem.
Artem was victorious.
Michelle, Nastya, Sasha and Alec. Many a knicker was flashed. Just look at that enthusiasm.
This kid!!!!! Hahaha. He won.
Then we had a relay. They had to put on these silly bear claws, reach into a bag, grab a baggie, open it, eat whatever was inside and run back. Also super funny.

They are so ready.

THEN we painted their faces and made trick or treat bags:

"Miss Mallory! I want a mustache!" Well of COURSE my dear!
Trick or treating.
Holy moley it was so fun. Next week is fall break so I get to have another Halloween party for my elementary 6 boys the Monday we get back. Yesssssss. I am going to bribe them extensively to make them dress up. I'm ridiculously excited.
After all the kids left today you bet your bottom dollar the six of us teachers laid on the floor and had a donut eating contest. We laughed so hard we cried. Cheers to Halloween.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I have nothing exciting to blog about this week (yet) so how about some cute pictues of my cute kids? Okay cool. 

Besides elementary 6, I also teach elementary 1, basic reading and pre-k. About 28 kids total. It can get cray cray up in here. Like when we're coloring and Liza brings a full cup of water into the room and spills it on the table and it mixes with the markers and all the kids' shirts get tie-dyed. And when Sasha is holding his drinkable yogurt in his mouth and Artem grabs it and rips it out and yogurt covers every surface in a two foot radius. But really. It's so much fun. In the most chaotic way possible.

Elementary 1.

Basic reading.

Cute girls cute girls cute girls
Sophia and Masha. Such cute lil' ladies.
This is Dima. He is def our favorite pre-k kid. Can't you see why?

He's so dang proud of that dolphin. 
Just look at that face. Get in my suitcase.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Andriyvskyy & Big Mama.

Basically we are trying to visit every cathedral in this city before we peace out. (Which, by the way, we have FIVE WEEKENDS LEFT here not including vacation weekends. I'm freaking out.) So we decided yesterday morn would be tip top for Saint Andrew's, or St. Andriyvskyy. It's at the top of a big hill (!!!) which is called St. Andrew's descent. Holy moley it was gorgeous. 

In the distance. Looks like the Taj Mahal. 
The hike up the hill.
Thar she blows!
Pictures do not do it justice. It was incredible.
Proof I was here.
The walk back down. The best tourist shopping is here. Just FYI.
I died. There are Belgian waffle stands everywhere here just putting out this heavenly smell that you can't resist. So we got one at the bottom of the hill.

The three of us met up with the rest of the group next and we made our merry way over to the same area where we saw the botanical gardens the first week cause Oksana promised she'd bring us to see the WWII museum there. 

This here is called the Old Kiev Ride. Or something. All these wonderful people dress up in vintage style clothing and ride their adorable beach cruisers and tandem bikes around Kiev. Have you ever heard of a better thing??
This lady and man were really cute.
The weather was all cloudy and foggy and so perfect for the scenery. 

Big Mama!!! The WWII museum is in the bottom of the statue. Once again. Pictures just do not do this justice.

The museum was great. It made me...I don't know if excited is a good word for it...eager? to go to Poland and see more WWII history. I love learning about it. Then we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant in city center. Cause we are all missing Mexican food bad. So check out how they spelled quesadilla.

Friday, October 19, 2012

More decor.

Just for fun.

The directors from ILP came all the way from America to see us teach yesterday and interview us about our experience. I pretty much didn't have anything negative to say. And they told us that it's very refreshing to finally see good teachers at this school. AND they brought is a giant bag of Reese's and a jar of peanut butter. So we're all very happy. 

Monday, October 15, 2012


Today in elementary 6 we did a science experiment with oil, food coloring and water. This one to be exact. I tried it before class and I even thought it was sweeeet so I knew the boys would go crazy for it. I was indeed correct. So I took some videos. Now you can see how bonkers and fantastic they are.

Illia Smyrnov on my left in red, Illia Homych next to him in stripes, then Mike with glasses, then Maxim, Illya O in the grey sweatshirt, Tyoma in the purple striped shirt, and Denn on my right in blue with the sweet mullet. 

"A great experiment! I LOVE IT!"

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Today we went to Lavra! It's the holiest site in Kiev and also happens to be the number one tourist destination here so it's about time we checked it out. Basically, it's a huge monastery with a few churches and cathedrals and there are catacombs that this guy named St. Antoniy and his followers dug underground so everyone would leave them the heck alone and they could study and worship and die in peace. And when they died they were "naturally preserved" so they weren't embalmed or anything and they just dried out and shriveled up and we saw them. We saw real monk mummies you guys!! The whole area was so beautiful. And we had to wear long skirts and headscarves out of respect.

The walk down to the caves.

The mummies in the caves were in these little glass coffins and their bodies were covered in green embroidered cloth. They were even wearing slippers. But some of the mummies had their hands sticking out so we could how they were brown and shriveled and very dead looking. We also saw this hole in the wall filled with the skull and bones of another monk. It was creeptastic. I thought it was cool. And we had these thin candles that smelled like honey that we held as we walked through the caves. It was really hot and dim and cramped and there were a million people and I just kept thinking about what a fire hazard it was down there with all these little flames. Also people were kissing the coffins and making the sign of the cross a lot. It was neat.

One of the cathedrals.

There's a bell tower here too.
This guy was the bell ringer.
A church.
Monastery cats! Oksana wouldn't let me pet them cause she said I'd get ringworm. :(
The back of the cathedral.
We lit our candles in the cathedral and put them on a stand like this in front of a painting of Jesus. This picture was sneaky.
An EGG-loo.
So beautiful. This is where all the pictures are taken for covers of the books about Kiev and stuff.
All of us ladies with our head coverings!
Gallya (one of the coordinators), Erika, Erika, Cherish, Samantha (the birthday girl!!) And I.

After Lavra we all went out to dinner for Samantha's birthday and walked around a mall and ate gelato. Superb day indeed!!