Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Week in Ukraine!

So here is what's happened this week, mixed in with some fun facts about Ukraine. 

Food: I've been eating a lot of healthy food. Can you believe that? My diet consists of lots of veggies and bread (I don't know if I said this or not, but you can get a loaf of homemade bread for just under 40 cents. Potatoes are dirt cheap too) The milk...well, the milk isn't that good. It tastes like you're sucking it right out of the utter. I try to stay away from milk. ;)

This week we've been teaching a lot of people, so we haven't had too much time for contacting on the street. I never thought I'd like talking to random people so much, but I do! I guess part of it is because I don't really understand when they're swearing at me or making fun of me. I went up to one guy to talk to him, and he started yelling and waving his hands, kicking his legs out and just throwing an all around fit. It was funny! I started to laugh and nod, then said "Very nice to meet you! Goodbye!" The guy was left with a blank stare on his face. Nothing really to say. Some people know English, but the extent of it is "Hello America!" or "(expletive America!), so that kinds of leaves out any chance of them picking up what I'm saying in English.

 I don't know if you noticed, but we don't have a dryer. We have to hang our clothes all of our apartment to dry them. Normally I wouldn't care, but for some reason when we wash them here the water makes them smell like they've been rotting in some smokers apartment for 3 1/2 years. When we went shopping today, I dropped some money on the best Tide clothes smelling stuff they had.

Fun fact: 81% of senior missionaries who get called to Europe East reject it. Hahaha

This Sunday I gave a talk in sacrament. Of course it was the week that the AP's showed up. It wasn't too long, and I was happy to get it over with. Afterwards people told me it was good, and someone thought I'd been here for 6 months because apparently I have a good accent? Needless to say, it felt good knowing people can see that I'm trying. I've been talking to people on public transportation lately. Everyone looks at us funny because we stand out as Americans so much, and on transports every looks at me because I"m too tall and I have to duck forward. That's why I always have my goofy looking smile plastered on my face. If people are always watching, I might as well look happy. You wouldn't believe how many people give me the strangest looks because I Look happy! Haha.

Another fun fact: A lot of the men around here work in a local coal mine. You can tell they're miners because it looks like they have eyeliner on 24/7. At first I thought it was some weird Gothic movement, until Smith told me what was going on. It reminds me of the movie October skies, where they all go down into the shaft. It's tough work, and a lot of people get sick from it. I doubt the mine would be open if it had to follow American health regulations. Actually, I know it wouldn't be open. 

This goes back to contacting, but I don't think I've ever smelled so much alcohol in the morning, let alone the whole day as I do when I'm contacting around here. People are drunk 24/7! It reeks. We go out at 7Am to talk to people, and we see them walking to work holding a bottle of vodka. Welcome to Ukraine.

Oh! Here's something that will make you be grateful for the roads back home. So next time you see a pothole and complain, be grateful! The potholes here at several feet deep! And man holes that lead into the sewer, they just leave open! I saw a poor old babooska almost fall into one. Some are so deep that they plant trees in them to try and prevent people from falling into them. I swear, if this city was in America there would be sooooooo much money to be made in lawsuits. It's ridiculous! Every where I go I think "Liability! Liability! Liability!" 

Thank you for all of the support back home. I love you all! I hope that your lives are all going well, I've been thinking about you all. Even though I make fun of Ukraine, I love it here. The people here are....special. They hold a special place in my heart! Sorry this is short, but once again we're short on time. I'll send some pictures now.


"The best buy since I've been in Ukraine: A new toilet seat. We couldn't find any that didn't have dolphins or dragons on them. I guess they like dolphins?"
"When the sun hits the air right here, it lets off the most gorgeous reflection ever, regardless if it's a dumpy apartment complex."
"Our church building! It's a lot nicer than I ever thought it'd be."
"Enchanted forest from Winnie the Pooh right next to the church"
"Statue of Stalin (tons of them around here)"