Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful Ukrainian Christmas. For those of you who missed it, I’m having mine when I come back so you can most likely join me. I’ve officially been gone for four months, meaning I’m more than 40% done. On my 20% done day, I was told that the contract had been cancelled. On my 40% done day, I was asked to stay a year longer so faced with that opportunity, I gladly accepted. But not really, I just said that I needed to start university so I couldn’t stay. I’m glad that it’s working out so well with this family though! So many people said to me that it’s more important to start university and it’s not a good idea to waste an entire year travelling. I however don’t think that you need schooling to be able to learn. Going to a different country for a year won’t help you go far in life? I think this year will probably be the most important year of my life, making the most impact and making me learn significantly not only about a whole different culture, but about myself as well. Oh yeah, it’s so easy to just have the opportunity to go into Paris every weekend and not have to worry about exams and only have to colour pictures every day. But that’s not the case at all. I don’t think many people realize how difficult it is to not only move to a different country but to live with a family that you don’t know who speaks a whole different language. You’re living with your boss. It’s not, “Okay, my day’s over. I’m going home to see my family and I’ll see you tomorrow, boss.” It’s “Okay, my day’s over. Let’s all eat dinner together and I’ll help you clean up. See you first thing in the morning, boss.” It’s not “Okay, I’m done working. I’m going home, have a nice day.” It’s “Okay, I’m done working but if you need me for something, I’ll be upstairs.” It’s a whole new level of respect; it’s not only being their employee but also being a part of their family. It’s not just babysitting three kids and then continuing on with your day but finding a way into each child’s heart and getting them to look up to you and respect you. It’s not just a job but it’s basically your life.
On Monday, it snowed the entire day! Anne said that it hasn’t been so cold for years. I asked the kids if they wanted to make a snowman after school and they were so excited, but Alice paused, “…but do you know how?” Turns out these kids have never made a snowman in their lives. Alice went on and on, “And I’m going to tell ALL of my friends that I got to make a snowman,” she was very excited. That day, I went to pick the kids up from school and as we were walking home, Alice just quietly said, “Listen.” I realized that we were not listening to some distant sound or a bird in the tree but simply the crunching of snow beneath our feet. That familiar sound was just what I needed and we walked the rest of the way in complete silence. Once we got to the house, we each put on our three pairs of gloves, three pairs of socks, etc. and we started to build our snowman. The snow was absolutely perfect for snowman making. We finally finished once it started getting dark so we went back inside and I made them some Tim Horton’s hot chocolate. On Tuesday, I went into Saint-Quentin with Adriana and Caitlin for lunch and we also checked out some of the stores in preparation for the big one-month winter sale that started on Wednesday. When I went back home, the kids were ready to make another snowman. Not just one, but a family of them. We went outside to find out that the snow didn’t stick at all so I just showed them how to make snow angels. And that’s when I got another familiar feeling, although not a feeling that I really missed that much. When I stood up after showing them how to make a snow angel, I felt all of the snow go (of course) down my pants. And that’s when I remembered why I never made snow angels back at home. Wednesday was the big sale day and luckily I got the afternoon off. It was so busy and it was only the first day! Everything will probably be completely sold out by February so I’m glad I got to get a little bit of shopping in. I made a few purchases, which will hopefully hold me for a couple weeks.
Thursday and Friday were just normal days and then on Saturday after I was done work, I went into Saint-Quentin where Adriana and I went to the movie Burn After Reading, which was quite entertaining. On Sunday, I went to church to find out that the building had been double-booked so it was cancelled. Everyone just ended up going upstairs to chat over coffee and then me and about 15 other girls went to a nearby restaurant for brunch. It’s fun doing that because I only knew one other person there who was sitting on the complete opposite side of the table so I really got to know a lot of the other girls. After that, I met up with Adriana and we just walked around until we couldn’t feel our fingers anymore. We took that as our sign to head back home and when I came down for supper, both kids wanted to play with me. I guess that’s a good sign ☺. This week, it’ll have been two months that I’ve been with this family but it seems to have gone by so fast! I hope everyone has a great week! Love always
Meaning (piano version) – Gavin DeGraw