Well, it finally happend. I had a weekend all to myself. This meant no traveling to nearby cities, no local events to attend/host, no parties to make an appearance at, or guests to entertain. This might sound silly, but I don’t think this has happened to me since early springtime! It was marvelous.
Aside from a brief celebration of Young Ukrainian Army day (Decmenber 6 in contrast to February 23 which celebrates Soviet Army day) and my day (St. Catherine‘s day) on Friday night with some buddies, I had the rest of the weekend to do as a pleased. I finished my book (the depressing yet awesome Anna Karenina, my first by Leo Tolstoy), started a new book (Atlas Shrugged), practiced my guitar, did some pilates and even prepared some hummus! Who knows when this will happen again, so I’m glad I took full advantage of it.
Last weekend I participated in a really cool event called Living Libraries. Essentially, the event aims to rationalize religious, ethnic, sexual or racial stereotypes that have formed among Ukrainians by presenting a panel of people who they think portray these stereotypes and giving them a chance to get to know who they really are, rather then blindly believing stereotypes. This panel of people are referred to as open books and therefore, together, as a Living Library. This particular event focused on racial and geographical stereotypes. Our host, a volunteer who lives in Sumy, the Oblast center of Sumska Oblast, was able to gather all sorts of people. Of course, there were plenty of PCVs representing various parts of the USA (including Alaska), in addition to three volunteers from a European Union volunteer organization from the countries of France, Norway and Slovenia as well as a bunch of University students from Syria, Iraq, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana. There were almost as many living books as Ukrainian student participants. I talked about the East Coast, specifically the cities of Boston, NYC, Philly and Washington D.C. It was a great event, and I would love to duplicate it at my site, but I doubt I’d be able to find such a diverse library in my town of Romny.
My beautiful boyfriend Breno had a birthday on Sunday. We celebrated together…thousands of miles away…on skype…with Stephen Colbert! It was great yet weird to think I’ll be home this time next year. Feliz anaversario meu pegueche.
Next weekend, my school and I will host Sumska Oblast’s traveling English Immersion Camp again, Camp EXCITE. Last spring it was a hit, so I hope it will be again.