So my original conversations with my recruiter et al. indicated I’d be going to South America. And I was like, “Sweet! I can totally get behind this. That’s right below the America I’m already on, I can deal with malaria, no big, I freaking love siestas, I’ll go learn some Spanish right the hell now to prepare myself” (which I did, and actually got pretty decent at). The point is that I was ready. Yo estaba lista.
Then my invitation came this morning and it was like, “Congratulations! It’s UKRAINE!”
And my first thought, stupidly, was “That is not South America.”
My second thought was “I am going to be cold for two years.”
I am actually quite concerned about this. See, I was born and bred in L.A., and then I made the daring climate move of relocating to San Diego, where I became unreasonably fond of tanning in January. I don’t even own a coat. I don’t even know where one might acquire a coat. I don’t think they sell coats in my part of the world - Mammoth doesn’t even have snow on it at this point, so why would they bother?
I don’t even get out of bed when it’s too cold! Just “Nope, this 50 degrees business is unacceptable, I am going to remain right here where it is warm and just not do the cold thing.”
Russian winters are the kinds of things that bring conquering nations to their knees, so what the fuck am I supposed to do?
Anyway, so after that minor climate-related freakout, I’m actually really excited about it. I’m going to be teaching English (and possibly history and literature… and working with community/youth development, the invitation letter seems to be a bit of a hodgepodge) at the high school level. No clue where in Ukraine I’m going to end up yet. My departure is September, and I’ve got a lot of things to take care of before then, but in the meantime I’m getting progressively more stoked (and progressively more concerned about hypothermia, but what can you do).
If I manage to avoid frostbite over the two years that I am there it will be nothing short of a miracle.