Archive for July, 2013

  • Christmas in July

    Peace Corps Volunteers experience a special joy when they receive a package in the mail. On Monday, I experienced my first taste of that joy, and it was fantastic. I also had a taste of peanut butter, which was equally fantastic.

    The package, prior to opening, and the first glimpse of what was in store

    DSC09913                 DSC09919

    All of the goodies! Gifts for my host family, and plenty of treats for me. My grandma taught my family how to pack 10 pounds of items into a 5 pound box – I think she would have been proud.

  • Camp Excite and Being In the Nature

    I spent July 14-19 at Camp Excite, an English language camp for teenagers in my oblast (state). We had an excellent time!

    It was the most ‘real’ camping I’ve ever done. By real, I mean that there were no showers, outhouses, or permanent structures in the area. The toilet facilities consisted of a trench with wooden boards to squat on (or the second option, which was to find a nice tree to squat next to, somewhere away from the smelly trenches). We bathed and washed our dishes in the river. For those familiar with my sense of humor and my joy for showering on a non-daily basis, you can imagine how much I loved the week. The only downside to being “in the nature”  is that my tentmate and I shared our tent with many ants. Thankfully, they were not the biting kind.

  • Sunflower Dreams & My Face on Page 5

    Ukraine is the land of sunflowers, and I was waiting with great anticipation for my chance to run around a field o’ sunflowers. It did not disappoint.

    Acres and acres of beauty


    Sunflowers are tall!! I was literally looking up the whole time.


    There’s a wandering PCV in there somwehere.



    I also got coverage in a local Sumy newspaper this week. The information came from the press conference that was held a few weeks ago, which I posted about previously. But, I still love printed newspapers, and I still get excited about appearing in print.

  • In the News: English Club

    One of the partner organizations I work with is Sumy State University. My SSU counterparts are implementing an excellent project in Ukraine called  ”Family Friendly University,” where they advocate for young parents who are pursuing degrees and/or employment in higher education.

    In association with their project, I’ve started an English Club for children. They posted a write-up about it on their project website (with photos). I highly encourage you to check out all the great things they are doing here in  Sumy!

    Family Friendly University main website:

    Article about my English club: