It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. I have a little less than six months left in Ukraine. Six months to wrap up a life that I fought so diligently to create for myself. Six months to implement our grant that was just funded for a girls leadership and empowerment program at our school. Six months to somehow say goodbye to a country that has kicked me in the pants more times than I can count. Six months to try and leave my students and the friends I’ve made.
The closer I get to leaving Ukraine, the more bittersweet life here becomes. It’s like the good moments are that much better because I know there are only a limited number of them left. But it’s also as if the bad moments, the challenges, are that much more frustrating. I find myself thinking, I’ve already dealt with so much here, how much more can I actually handle?
I also catch myself reflecting on my time here more and more. I wonder what my students will remember about me. Will they remember I wouldn’t let them cheat on tests, or will they remember my Russian languages blunders? Will my English club remember learning about American traditions, or will they remember the candy and the prizes I brought weekly? Will the teachers remember me spending time with them in the teacher’s lounge trying to befriend them, or will they remember that I dressed with less glitter and sequins?
My final six months here are already looking like they’ll be a great, positive way to end my time here. School officially ended today, which means summer is here! I’m not sure who was more excited today – the students or the teachers. Either way, everyone’s spirits have been up the past few days, which has been nice. Like last summer, I’ll be busy working at different camps, hosting my own camp at my school, and visiting friends. And a pleasant addition to this summer’s itinerary is a 10-day trip to Russia! It would have been a shame to miss visiting Russia while I’m here, living so close to the border and (somewhat) speaking the language. I’m still trying to work a few remaining issues with the Russian visa, but fingers crossed all that will be worked out by the time I leave.
I hope you’re all doing well and I’ll do my best to update the blog throughout the summer!