Peace Corps Ukraine: Getting Our Luggage to Our New Site!
It is our last week here in this training city. I can't believe training is almost over. It feels like it flew by yet I feel like I have been gone from America for eons.
A question that has plagued me since the beginning ( totally melodramatic) was how all of my things would get to my site. Well apparently they used to just buy a whole coupe on the train car for you, your counter part and your luggage. I can tell you right now that would have been a disaster. First of all I shipped three boxes ( which if you were keeping count means I added one since America) So that means if I had to get that on my 17 hour train ride (look forward to a blog post about that) I would have probably had a break down. A suitcase, a hiking pack, a backpack, a weekender, and a giant box. I would have burst into tears in front of my counterpart which would have been a great way to get to know each other.
Thankfully they have tried a new system the past few training groups. They have us ship it though a company in Ukraine called нова пошта (nova poshta). This makes the process so much easier. We just brought all of our bags to the post office, then they will somehow end up at the house we are staying at.
The day I had to take my bags to the post office, I woke up and it was pouring. Thankfully I had packed my rain coat on top of a suitcase. I took it out and switched it with a different jacket from my weekender because Ukrainian weather is literally insane. ( in the membrane (Okay sorry I'll stop))
My host mom thankfully took up the mantle on hailing a cab and told me it would be there at 9:00. Between the two of us, we lugged all of my junk down stairs and waiting outside under the awning... 45 mins later, still no taxi. She ended up having to get someone else to call and just order another one. I have no idea where our original Taxi went but it never showed up to our stoop. No matter how many times she called and they said they were pulling in.
I loaded my bags into the station wagon and we headed out to the post office, my and my Russian driver. I totally thought it was going to be closer to the center of town, but we drove straight through that. When we did pull in to a parking lot my eyes got extremely wide. In the moment I was 75% convinced I was about to get murdered. The other 25% was like great this guy is at the wrong location and I'm going to have to use the language skills I have now to some how get us to the right place. We pulled into this warehouse district and there were no visable signs for a nova poshta. We turned a corner in the parking lot, still no sign, finally turned another corner and were now in the loading area of all the other warehouses. Then I saw the sign and I relaxed. Look at the pictures and decided for yourself how sketch it looked at first with no prior warning.
The actual process of shipping our bags was pretty simple. We put them on a scale. They took the measurements and asked if we wanted them wrapped. Then we went into the office and gave the receiving information to the attendant. Our LCF was there to handle that part just to help with the language barrier.
We used a Peace Corp given stipend to pay for the shipping and took our tags into the warehouse to have the men put them on our bags.
Then that was it. I shipped my bags Friday and I've heard that some people's families have already received them ( It's Sunday).
I can't believe how fast this training flew by, I can't wait for the next adventure at my new site!