Peace Corps Ukraine: A Sunny Saturday
I am so thankful for this training time when all of us PCTs (Peace Corps Trainees) are together in one place. This past Saturday was a much needed day of relaxation in the park. I felt so "Peace Corps" as we played Frisbee in a park with foreign kids.
We woke up Saturday to a surprisingly warm day. ( As I write this it is in the 40s and rainy outside.) Like most Saturdays, I spent the morning studying.
To get downtown I have to take a mashutka. If you've read my blog at any other point until now you've probably heard me complain about how hot the marshutkas can get in the warm times. There is this Ukrainian wives tale that states if you get a cross wind on the back of your neck you will die a horrible death or something. That being said a lot of times people won't open windows on the buses and they don't have air conditioning and they are packed like sardines.
Knowing this, and knowing that the temperature would get up into the 70s I made the decision to wear shorts. Now you may be sitting at your computer or on your phone wondering why it is an important detail for me to inform you of, my wearing of shorts. Well, I can tell you I got so many looks from people walking through the city in shorts and a sweater. Thankfully when I sat down at the restaurant Jacob had on shorts and a tank and I felt a lot more at ease not being the only person who would be judged.
We started out with 6 people at lunch and as the day went on just acquired more people as we made our way to the park. We got side tracked at a cotton candy cart once we saw they made cotton candy bigger than your head.
I can say with certainty that I have lost weight while I have been in Ukraine and I can say with certainty that my diet has gotten worse since I have been in Ukraine. Sweets and bread make up a good 75% of my diet. After cotton candy we went to get ice cream.
We acquired a few more volunteers and headed to a nice sunny spot in the park ( In Chernihiv it this park is known as "The Val". I don't know what people's park habits are here in Ukraine but I can assume from the stares we got that plopping people down on bed sheets in the middle of a field and playing Frisbee is not normal.
I felt so Peace Corps during that moment. I learned how to properly throw a Frisbee and maybe played the first real game of Frisbee I ever have in my life. We had soft acoustic music pumping out of a small speaker and some foreign kids joined us. I don't know if you could get more Peace Corps that.
I feel like a broken record for how often I say this but the people in my training group are what make all the hard days of PST totally worth it. It is Saturdays like this one.