Archive for the ‘Kyiv’ Category

I Made It!!!

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

After a tearful good-bye with the parents, I boarded the plane to Munich for the long flight over the Atlantic, enjoyed a 5 hour layover in one of the weirdest airports I’ve ever been in, boarded a second plane to Kyiv and landed in my new city!

Kaley (my roommate)’s and my apartment is fantastic!!! It’s even better than the pictures our landlord sent us. We each have our own room (and the beds are mighty comfy) and there is plenty of storage for all of our stuff (probably a good thing since we’re both girls with 2 big suitcases full of clothes and shoes).

We explored the city some after I got in and it really is gorgeous! Within one night: we saw/heard a protest, found a great 50′s style restaurant, went to a drug store, crossed streets underground, got hit on by a weird guy and figured out how to get back home without getting lost. Pretty productive night if you ask me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we are both still adjusting to the jetlag (I couldn’t stay awake, she couldn’t stay asleep) and went to the park across the street from our apartment building. We got breakfast from a vendor there (crepes with apples mmmm) and I even got complimented by the woman in line in front of me for pronouncing my order right! The people here so far are really nice – they can tell I’m trying at Ukrainian and smile when I get something right :) Most of the people we’ve come across don’t know English or only know a few phrases but they try to help us (ie: lots of pointing at the pictures on the menu at dinner last night) and are really patient with us which is good. I’m already picking up a few phrases, so hopefully within 10 months, I will be practically fluent…haha we’ll see.

After breakfast in the park, we went to the grocery store and everything is so cheap! Only downer is we ended up buying Kaffir (a sour, milk drink) instead of regular milk, so, sadly, I will not be having cereal for breakfast tomorrow. The rest of today we spent unpacking and making our apartment feel like home.

Tomorrow we’re going to go by the Fulbright office and to our university (Kaley went on Monday, I need to check in) and back to the grocery store to buy actual milk this time! I can’t wait to spend days exploring the city with just me, my camera and a map though! Exploration day 1 will probably happen sometime this week – pics to come!

I have been orientated!!

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Sorry for not posting the past few days! I was at the DC Orientation for Fulbright, meeting everyone else who is going to Eastern Europe and Eurasia and getting tons and tons of information about the next 10 months!

Things I learned at orientation:

1) It’s Kyiv, not Kiev and it’s pronounced Keev, not Key-ev. Who knew?

2) I am not the only one going who doesn’t speak a lick of Ukrainian. Phew.

3) The Fulbrighters going to Ukraine rock! We all got along really well and have some really cool projects (one of the scholars is studying nationality through sports and is focusing on Euro 2012 – I want to get paid to study soccer!!).

4) Electronics are cheap and clothes are expensive. And be very, very careful about which ATM you use (ones connected to a bank: good. Free-standing ones: bad and most likely to be hacked).

5) Tons of us are going to be in Kyiv and 3 of us are at the same university, all studying political science! So, I will not be alone in my field, university and city – thank God.

6) Out of those 3, I found a roommate and travel buddy! Her name is Kaley and from the looks of it, we have found an apartment to call our own – fingers crossed that it works out – we’ll know within the week if it’s ours! Number one clue as to how I knew we were going to become fast friends: she looked at me and asked if it was bad that she already made a Google map pinpointing all of the museums she wants to visit in Kyiv. It was meant to be.

With the orientation answering almost all of my questions (such as what’s the best phone plan: Skype – $7 a month with unlimited calls to the USA), I finally felt prepared to buy my plane tickets and make it official!

So, I depart from Washington, DC on September 4: look out Kyiv, HERE I COME!!