I got my first Ukrainian haircut today! Surprising, my choppy Russian did not lead to any choppy cuts of hair. Maybe I’ll look a little more Ukrainian now.

My counterpart Lesia and I in the new primary school building

Two actors in the school musical: Father Frost, me and his granddaughter

No big news at school. This week, the teachers are filling in their register with grades, topics and homework they covered over the past semester. Since I have nothing to fill out, I’ve been sitting at my desk bonding with the other teachers over tea breaks, forcing myself to review Russian, procrastinating from learning Ukrainian, and reading my Ukrainian history book for the second time (its the only real, hard copy of a book I brought to Ukraine).

Two of the cutest dancers in the musical

The students have been busy decorating the school for the holidays, performing and attending their End of the Year/New Year musical and parties. Each day the musical is performed for different grade levels. Afterwards those same grade levels have a party in the gymnasium where they sing and dance around a giant christmas tree.

The school Christmas tree in the gymnasium/disco club

My new apartment is starting to feel like home. Lesia gave me some new crimson curtains that brighten up the room significantly and I have proudly hung my Michigan flag, USA flag and photos about the room. Monday and Tuesday I spent vacuuming and scrubbing down the bathroom and I even managed to wash my old curtains and drape them over my couch to make it look like new.

My living room. Check out my amazing black & white TV and sweet balcony entrance.

Bedroom. As you can see, there is lots of room for guests...hint hint. Soon there will be a huge map of the USA and Ukraine side by side on the left wall.

Kitchen. That white box above the table is my hot water heater that I have to light whenever I want hot water.

Bathroom, I also have a clothes line on the ceiling where I can hang my clothes to dry. Notice the brilliant use of the same faucet for both the tub and sink. Why don't we do these things in the US?

My cupboard full of classy tea cups, books and photos.

Other half of the living room

Safety first!

Other random things in my life: Somehow, over the past three and a half months I’ve have lost two belt buckles on my waist. I am not sure how this happened, but I’m sure my body has compensated in some way. I’m in a pickle though because none of my pants fit me any more and I don’t have enough money to buy new ones. I guess I just won’t be in the highest of fashion. I also forgot to mention earlier that I scored an ‘Intermediate-Mid’ on my Russian proficiency test. This is exactly the level the peace corps wants us to be at after our three month training period, so I am very happy with my results.

Tomorrow I will go to the city of Kremenchug (Кременчугto visit Lauren and Sarah for the New Year. It will be my first time traveling alone in Ukraine as well as my first time tackling the infamous and extremely popular Ukrainian night train.