Well, after three months of neglect, here's a brief rundown of what's been keeping me busy this summer.
In general, my life in the summer consists of long periods of boredom punctuated by periods of intense action. Right now I'm in the doldrums of a boring period. It's gotten to the point where I am even anxious for classes to start just to give some structure to my day. Thankfully I will be leaving for a camp on the Black Sea coast in a little over a week, and shortly after that our group will have our close of service conference out west.
Two of my brothers, Sam and Zack, came to visit. I met then in Kyiv and we spent a couple days there before coming to my village. We also saw Yalta and Lviv. Zack sustained some minor head trauma. It was great.
My friend Mike married his longtime girlfriend, Alina, and I was asked to be best man. Sam and Zack's visit coincided with the ceremony, so they got to witness firsthand the chaos of a Ukrainian wedding.
My host sister Masha graduated from high school as a "gold medalist," the Ukrainian equivalent to our valedictorian. She wants to study at Shevchenko University in Kyiv, like her brother Vova, and will most likely enroll in the fall.
I went to a three-day folk music festival with some other volunteers a few weeks ago, which was awesome. We camped out and everything, just like real hippies. Unfortunately I don't have any pics, but there are some posted on the festival's website: www.sheshory.org
I've been taking some pictures around my village. It gives me an excuse to leave the apartment. I like it; I might take up landscape photography as a hobby when I get back.
I still can't get rid of the kittens. They're great, but at least one of them refuses to use the litter boxes, which is a nuisance to say the least. Paying my students to feed them when I'm gone is adding up, too. Most of all I'm just worried about finding them a home before winter comes and I have to abandon them.
So that's my summer in a nutshell. To those of you who were looking for a more detailed update, I'm sorry, but I'm lazy. I should get a few more updates posted before my term is up, which is not too long from now. I don't find out for sure until August, but it looks like mid-November I will be saying goodbye to Ukraine.