Whitney from Mamalyga

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the village that I’ll call home for the next two years. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few days, but adjusting back to training has given me a pretty busy couple of days.

My future home is named after food, so if you google it that’s what you’ll see. It’s easy to explain its location though: when you’re looking at a map of Ukraine, look for the corner where Moldova, Romania and Ukraine intersect, that’s Mamalyga.

It’s a village full of contradictions. It has a minuscule population, but it has not one, but two pizza places. I can see Romania from my house and Moldova is just few short minutes away. My school is a hub school, which you can read more about here. It basically means that USAID and other organizations and governments are investing in one school in each oblast in Ukraine. Parts of my school are under construction right now, like the gym and the canteen.

Mamalyga is the sweetest little village. I got to meet all my future students and I was greeted with “Hello!” from all of them as I walked through the halls. They were all curious and inquisitive and I am so excited to be able to help teach them in a few short weeks.

I loved getting to sit in on a few classes and even help teach some while I was there. My counterpart’s name is Chezara and I’ll be coteaching with her for the next two years. She is wonderful. She showed me around the village and introduced me to everyone. I got to meet her family and pretty much everyone else in the village.

She calls me “Whitney from Mamalyga” and I love it.

I got to meet my 10-year-old neighbor. We talked in English for a bit and he taught me some words in Ukrainian, Russian and Romanian. He likes fruit, chocolate and soccer. I showed him some pictures of my family and made sure to show him my pictures of me skydiving so the whole school thinks I’m a badass.

The best part of my short visit was that everyone asked me when I was coming back. I know the word for December in Ukrainian and Russian now because I repeated it often during that visit. This is a short post and I’ll try to have a more detailed one soon, but it’s enough to say that I cannot wait to be done with PST and head to my new home.  I’m very excited to see what the next two years has in store for me.

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