Alex and I arrived in Sofiyivka on Friday morning, June 19th.We were very tired after traveling from Kiev, but we were very excited to see our new town and meet everyone.We put our many belongings in our apartment, had a short break, and then went to the school.We were greeted by many students and teachers with a gift of the fancy, traditional Ukrainian bread.On Monday morning, we were greeted in a similar way by students and teachers at the lyceum.
Those first few days and weeks were very busy, and I was very tired, but we enjoyed learning our way around town.Olya and Jenya were very helpful – they gave us a tour of town and introduced us to a lot of people.We visited people’s homes, drank tea, ate barbeque and shashlik, had a picnic, and went camping!We had to buy a lot of supplies for our apartment, but we got to cook for ourselves at home for the first time in a long time.We went to our schools’ graduation ceremonies (Alex gave another speech!), and we started Russian tutoring lessons.We also went to nearby Krivoi Rog and met some other PC volunteers who live there.
I liked living in Sofiyivka from our first day here.Everyone has been very, very nice to us.They want to talk to us; they are interested in who we are and why we’re here.The biggest problem, of course, is that we have trouble understanding and communicating with people!We always remind them to speak Russian, very slowly (and clearly!), but it is hard for them.There are many things I want to understand and say, but I can’t!I need to be patient; I’ll learn!
The strangest thing about Sofiyivka is that everyone knew who we were before we even arrived!Sometimes I tell someone my name, or tell them what I’m doing here, and they say, “I know!”It’s hard, because they know who I am, but I don’t know who they are.I have to meet a whole town, and they just have to meet the 2 new Americans.I know I just have to wait and give it some time.
So, my first impressions of Sofiyivka have been very positive.It’s a cute little town, full of very friendly and welcoming people.I feel like we’ve already made some good friends.I’m excited about getting to know more people and eventually feeling like we’re really part of the community!
Being greeted at the lyceum!
Enjoying an afternoon with Yulia, Jenya, and Olya!
Dear Emma and Alex! Thank you! We are glad that you came to our little town. You are very interesting for us. We really knew about you before you came. We were waiting for your arrival. We are very glad you're here. You really become part of our "little" family:-)) we love you!:-) P.S.: sorry for mistakes