Whew! It has been an intensely busy month and I'm was a bit shocked to look at the calendar and see that Halloween is this week.
We've been burning the midnight oil at Basic Grey trying to get all the product designed and out to the various manufacturers so that it will be ready for Winter CHA. Plus, we have some REALLY EXCITING things coming up in the next month...so watch for that.
I'm also teaching an on-going Photo Editing Class using Photoshop Elements at Two Peas. So between those two jobs and trying to keep up with a busy family...I seem to run out of hours to get things done.
Every day I try to carve out a little bit of time to get outside for a walk and just enjoy Fall which is by far my favorite season. It always seems to race by so much faster than Summer and Winter and I hate missing even a moment of the spectacular colors.
We have this incredible little wilderness in our backyard that I love walking through each morning. On Saturday I grabbed my camera and took it with me. There are also some shots of our neighborhood.
And we still have roses blooming in our garden!
In addition to work, I've been trying to organize my studio, basement (ugghh...way too much stuff) and get back on track with decorating the house.
We've heard several times from Ski in both e-mails and a phone call.
He is living south of Kiev about 60 miles in a little town of about 30,000 but he says it feels more like 10K because it's so spread out.
His host mother is Olga, a 50ish woman who lives alone.
He started teaching English at a high school the 2nd day he arrived.
That was a bit shocking for him...not much orientation more like immersion since his host mother speaks no English and most of his students are not very fluent.
He teaches 3 classes to the more advanced English students.
There are 5 other PC volunteers teaching at this school and all of them studied Russian in college so he is the weakest in the language, which he is working hard to correct.
Olga feeds him very large, very delicious meals, lots of fish, vegetables and kashi (a grain) ...he says he eats about 2 lbs of food at each meal.
So he walks to school every day (about a half hour walk) to try and walk off some of that food.
There is an internet cafe in town that is usually packed during the week with the kids who are ditching school. :o)
The buses are unscheduled, meaning that they only leave when they are full so you can be sitting waiting for a period of time.
He enjoys hiking in the hills above his host mother's house.
He sounds happy, healthy and excited about what he's doing.
It's been great hearing from him a couple times a week!
He'll be here until December at which time he'll be transferred to his permanent 2 year post.
I am planning on posting some pics hopefully this week of the house and our fabulous Bank front door.
So Ski has flown the coop and is hopefully in the air on his way to the Ukraine.
He left yesterday and spent the night in D.C. and was scheduled to fly out this morning with the other Peace Corps volunteers to Kiev.
Since we haven't heard from him this morning, we think that's a good thing and that he is actually on his way this time.
He will arrive 2+ weeks behind the core group that went (I think there are 7 or 8 from his T-18 Turkmenistan group that got re-assigned here) we don't know if they will have the formal 2 day training the core group got or an abbreviated version before being placed with their host families.
The core group going to the Ukraine was at least twice the size of his T-18 group of 47.
The photos I've seen of Kiev are beautiful.
It's in the Northern part of the country - so the temperatures will be similar to what we have here in Salt Lake City (highs in the 50's).
We're anxiously awaiting news of his arrival and will update this as soon as we do. From what we've read on some of the P.C. volunteers blogs that went 2 weeks ago, it could be awhile before he has internet access and can e-mail us.
For Mike's 50th Birthday, several of his family members and friends wrote letters about what they admired most about him. I took one word out of each letter and stamped it in bold print on one of these colorful envelopes that I designed for 7 Gypsies. On some of the envelopes I stamped snippets from each of the letters. I used their book board that I covered and punched everything with their Binderie Punch. I added in ephemera cards and some of the 4x6 shaped photo carousel cards.
Ski got his re-assignment call this morning and will be shipping out to the Ukraine in the next week or so, just as soon as they can secure a Visa for him.
The Peace Corps group assigned to the Ukraine left this past Monday, September 26th, so he'll only be a couple weeks behind on his training once he arrives.
He really wanted to go to Azerbaijan but that post filled up first with some of the other T-18 volunteers.
On the upside, he'll still get to use the Russian that he's studied as a good portion of the population will probably speak that as well as Ukrainian. And we'll hopefully get to go visit him, since there are no travel restrictions in that country.
I'll post more as soon as we can get some details of where he'll start out and when he'll leave.