Volunteer: Amanda Moderson-Kox
Contributions from Amanda Moderson-Kox
What constitutes a youth summer camp in Ukraine? Five PCVs, two showers, one electric burner, and 28 Ukrainian girls. Mice, mosquitoes, bed bugs and filthy dorm rooms. A week before the camp began, we had to cancel the camping component because our equipment fell through and rearrange responsibilities because two volunteers unexpectedly left the country. Upon discovery of the single working burner, the first camp meal (spaghetti dinner) was a complete disaster. That night, the five exhau...
My host brother Ilya (age 7) and sister Vika (age 6), here on Day 1, were my favorite and most valuable Russian teachers. They never lost patience and always took the greatest delight in my language blunders. My first breakthrough moment came with Vika who was (as usual) sitting with me at my desk as I did my homework. She asked me something I did not understand (again, as usual) and in trying to ask her to repeat I must have said something unintelligible. She stared at me for a few seco...
Babushki, with their quintessential headscarves and frumpy skirts, are a practically a national symbol. Most have lived through times tougher that any PCV can imagine and a great deal can be learned from sharing a cup of chai with one and listening to a few of her stories.