Just in case anyone has been curious to know what has been going on since the invite...not a lot. I had to complete am updated resume and aspiration statement for Peace Corps (does anyone have any interest in seeing what I wrote??) and get my photo taken for my "special" passport and visa. I got the information Peace Corps put on my "invitee toolkit" (no longer "applicant" toolkit) on the Peace Corps web site. I've looked through the five hundred different suggestions for packing. No, I have not packed anything yet - I still have three months to go! But there are many items on these packing lists where I wonder if I REALLY need them. After all, I have run out of unemployment, so funds are not exactly plentiful right now.
I've been doing a lot of volunteering. It is nice to do something that helps others and helps pass the time.
I've also gotten approval for the sale of the house (at long last), but still have something to work out there. A bit concerned but trusting that things will work out. If they don't, well, I am worried. The house is almost all packed up - just a few things left. It is easier to do it slowly. I still am not sure where I am going after closing on the house - I may end up with my parents for the duration, but that would basically end my volunteer activities, as they live an hour and a half outside of the Twin Cities. On the other hand, I would not have to worry about paying any sort of rent to anyone. And it would only be for a couple of months. A couple of long months.
The kitties are still with me - Joe, their new daddy, is letting me keep them until I close on the house and move out. As it is REALLY cold here lately, they have been spending a lot of time in front of heat vents or snuggled up with me. I am enjoying them while I can, and dread the day I have to say goodbye to them.
Been reading the blogs of current PCVs in Ukraine, but I really wish I could talk to some people who are currently working in the same area as I will be.
Been learning Ukrainian - PC sent us "survival Ukrainian", I bought a book and CD set called "teach yourself Ukrainian", and found a web site called livemocha where I can learn it for free. BUT. NONE of them teaches any grammar, which is not as straightforward as one might think, so I am frustrated. I am also running into people asking "why aren't you learning Russian too?" Well, I am going to Ukraine, and Ukrainian is the national language. However, apparently Russian is also very widely spoken. So now I am confused about whether I should continue learning Ukrainian since I already have quite a base, or stop, and start a whole new language. Learning both at the same time would be kind of confusing, as they as pretty similar to each other. Apparently which language a person will actually speak depends on where a person is assigned. Since I don't know where I will be assigned, it is hard to know which one to learn. So I am at a bit of a crossroads right now.
So there is the update. Not a whole lot of exciting news right now. It is going to be a long three months to wait. Let's see - how many days until I leave? 28 days left in January + 28 days in February + 29 days in March (until my departure date of March 29)=85 days. Why does it feel like it is still an eternity away? Perhaps because it is -2F (-18C) in St. Paul right now?