After 40 days of traveling – Ukraine- Russia- Estonia-Latvia-Germany-Hungary-Romania – Ukraine—NYC. I’m finally home. Back in Charlotte, NC. More later on the travels. I know it’s been a long long time since I’ve sent out any updates on the blog. … Continue reading →
Let the transition begin… Crap. Its started. No matter how much people tell you, no matter how much you prepare- the actual process still feels – uncomfortable. We all know it is coming, and even what to expect. I personally … Continue reading →
I can’t believe that exactly 2 years ago today – I left my home, my family, and my friends, to join the Peace Corps. Two Years!! In honor of such… I guess I should tell part of my story… I … Continue reading →
This past week I spent five days at an HIV/AIDS conference/training in Kiev. The conference was sponsored by the President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (PEPFAR) – a global US government funded program to help save the lives of those … Continue reading →
The last few weeks have been a little crazy. I’ve barely had time to simply ‘reflect’ on recent events. In March I spent much time travelling. Perhaps a bit too much. However, given the amount of time I have left- … Continue reading →
The quote was made famous by former first lady Hilary Clinton, in 1995 at a speech she gave at the UN Conference. Prior to Peace Corps, better said, prior to this year, I never gave much thought to women’s rights, … Continue reading →
According to Ukranians, March 1st marks the beginning of spring. In the days leading up to it and the day of people are constantly saying, “Spring is here!”. I remember last year when this happened and I thought to … Continue reading →
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here almost 2 years. It’s hard to believe that the time has flown by, and is winding down. The last few weeks I’ve had more time than I care for, to reflect. … Continue reading →
A fellow volunteer and friend’s blog is entitled “Livin’ the Dream”. In a recent post, he makes a promise to write more, for we truly are living the dream, and don’t want to forget it. I have to agree. I’ve … Continue reading →
Happy New Year! С Новым Годом! WOW! Can’t believe its 2013 already! I plan to keep this post short and sweet. I hope everyone’s had a great end to another year. I know I did! Because this year, I spent Christmas … Continue reading →
Project Energy Efficient Homes – HAS BEEN FULLY FUNDED!! Praise the Lord! And what a testimony it is to his goodness too! Now we officially have -$3,535 to be used toward creating energy efficient homes, and increasing organizational sustainability. When I … Continue reading →
Like the rain that can’t be stopped from falling, God’s love and blessing keep on pouring The quote pretty much sums up October in one sentence! Although, I think I owe you some specifics… It had been a long time … Continue reading →
As I write this I’m on a 10+ hour bus ride from Kiev. So much going on, not sure even where to begin this post! Nevertheless updates on life in Ukraine are overdue! Project EEH: As of today Project EEH … Continue reading →
According to Ukranians, March 1st marks the beginning of spring. In the days leading up to it and the day of people are constantly saying, “Spring is here!”. I remember last year when this happened and I thought to myself ‘um… spring doesn’t officially start until March 21st, and how can you see snow on the ground and say its ‘spring’’. Not in my book, and especially not where I come from.
This year, I’m thinking, and processing things a little differently. First off, the weather hasn’t been half as bad as it was last year this time. It’s still cold, but bearable. Secondly, I view and understand seasons much differently than I used to. Living in Ukraine, I’ve learned to take notice and even appreciate the change of seasons. Most of life’s activities, especially for those living in small towns and villages, revolve around the change of seasons.
Warm weather, flowers, and green grass are key indicators of the season- at least for me. However, towards the end of February, by the beginning of March, many Ukrainians start planting. Today my tutor told me that if I waited until the weather was warmer, and the grass is green to start planting… that it would be too late. I guess I never noticed when exactly a season ends or begins. I just wake up and it’s here in its fullness!
For example, today one of my co-workers is at home planting radishes, which is typically the first vegetable you can get a hold of come April/May. As a matter of fact, there are many people in their gardens today planting. Yesterday, I was told of a flower called ‘подснежник’ or ‘snowdrop’. In actuality it literally translates to ‘under snow’. It’s one of the first flowers to bloom, and considered a sign of spring, and capable of growing while there is still snow on the ground. Wow!
I love how our bodies know and adapt to the season we are. Living on a limited budget, purchasing food that is out of season is not affordable. So my diet in the winter is ‘sparse’ to say the least. Lots of cabbage, carrots, potatoes, but when spring, summer and -my goodness- fall gets here… it’s a paradise! The bazaar is full of whatever fruits and vegetables are in season! What’s cool is that each product has its own time, and within several weeks, that product becomes less and less available. I recall last spring when I went to the bazaar to purchase a type of squash, but then a dish I wanted to make required squash and eggplant, but, eggplant doesn’t come out for a few weeks!
I also noticed that – when a certain product is in season, say cucumbers and tomatoes (which is typically July/Aug) I can seriously eat endless amounts of it and not tire of it. It tastes so good, and given how cheap it becomes – you can’t beat it. However – outside of the season, I don’t really care for it, and well, it just doesn’t taste the same, and when I purchase it (from the local supermarket), I can taste the difference. At first, it looks so appetizing, the roundest prettiest tomatoes or peppers that I’m used to seeing back in the states. However compared to the small peppers and tomatoes that I get from the local gardens here… they just don’t compare.
Having lived in a city all my life, and surrounded by supermarkets, getting a certain product out of its season or at least a frozen variation of its form– is a norm. I get to have what I want when I want, even if it costs me more. But living here has taught me – that certain things are not available or even desirable outside of its season.
Every season, has its purpose- and we often try to ‘fight’ the season we’re in, resist it. We’ve created so many artificial substitutes, or distractions that we don’t even realize that our problems, challenges, moods, and come from the time that we’re in, what we are going through, and that perhaps, we should surrender and let nature take its course. Naturally.
I can best describe my time here, as a series of ‘seasons’ both physically and emotionally. Much of it has even coincided with the weather. Though normally eager for winter to end, for once, I’m not. It’s been long, it’s definitely not my favorite season, but, it has its purpose. Some of which I may not understand at this moment. Lots of what I want to know- will come in its time.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven
A friend of mine this week forwarded me a powerful imagery of what we go through when we go through the seasons of life- I especially liked the advice on spring.
When in spring periods (again – times of growth opportunity and planting seeds) you need discipline, effort, patience and belief. This is a time of waiting and planning. It’s a time for confidence, action and consistency. When your actions and behaviors embrace these mindsets you are setting yourself up for future success in the coming seasons. Without them you will fail to realize the hopes, dreams and results you desired.