Yes, as I write this, I am sitting in a lovely apartment in the beautiful city of Odessa, Ukraine!
This is my 3rd day in Ukraine, and I’m starting to recover from jet lag!
My first international flight EVER went very well! I was so fortunate not to have any delays or mess-ups! The toughest thing was just navigating though some confusing airports and waiting in lots of lines. The number of times I went through security during my travels definitely outnumbered the number of hours of sleep I got (the number of minutes actually..:P)….But I made it through customs, and my luggage arrived on time!
When we were driving from the airport to the apartment I’m staying in, Odessa almost seemed like it could be another city in America…until I noticed that everything is written in Russian–all of the signs, billboards, etc! It’s so crazy to actually experience a real language barrier–it’s something professors have tried to simulate in the classroom, but nothing compares to experiencing it in real life.
Another difference here is that there are dogs and cats EVERYWHERE! They sit on the roads, on the sidewalks, in parking lots, outside our apartment… So many animals that I want to pet but can’t!
Another cool thing here is the markets. There are rows and rows and rows of stands, each one selling their specialty–from meats to breads, to toys to candy! A lot of people also set up tables to sell fresh vegetables, fruits, cheese, and fish. Something new for me was seeing fresh shrimp that still had their eyes! :)
Tomorrow we have training, and then it’s off to family camp! I’m excited to meet the families and to get into the camp schedule. And the nerdy grammar-lover and future-teacher in me is so excited to start teaching English!
Hopefully I’ll soon conquer my fear of looking too touristy and work up the courage to take some pictures around the city and at the market!