Our last couple of weeks have been a little out of control, not in a bad sense, but probably much like yours have been out of control. With the holiday season beginning and more than our fair share of things to accomplish between now and then, we have been feeling a little overwhelmed. However, our ‘overwhelmedness’ this year does not revolve around buying gifts, where to spend the holidays or making an obnoxious amount of cookies…
Two weeks ago, David woke up sick. He stayed in bed for four days, with an 102-degree temperature (I think) most of the time. I thought this would be a good time to test out our local pharmacies. I went first with a student and she helped me buy some flu medicine and a thermometer. When I asked if I put the thermometer under his tongue, it looked just like an American thermometer, the pharmacist AND the lady behind me both immediately said “NO! You put it under his arm.” They looked at me like I was trying to kill my husband.
I brought the medicine home and tried to look it up on the Internet to get directions. Apparently, it is a German medicine so most websites were in German, Ukrainian or Russian. When I finally found a website in English I discovered that the directions were significantly different than those given to me by the pharmacist. Three days later, with all the medicine taken, he was still not better. So, I went to the pharmacy again, this time alone, to get him some additional medicine. How did I do this in my limited Ukrainian? Well, let me tell you that acting out a fever, upset stomach and diarrhea is a very humbling experience in front of a bunch of Ukrainians. Especially after I finished my one man show and the pharmacist said in Ukrainian…”diarrhea.” Apparently the word is the same in Ukrainian.
David finally recovered, but not until after Thanksgiving. We were planning to celebrate with two other American missionary families. David thought it best he stay home and insisted I should still go and celebrate. I went and brought him back a hearty amount of leftovers. In our Thanksgiving recreation were able to find turkeys; we made mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (from scratch), gravy and sweet potatoes. There were even a couple of pumpkin and apple pies. We ended Thanksgiving by watching the previous Sunday’s 49’s vs. Cowboys game. It’s a little weird watching a game were you already know the final score.
Last weekend we were able to buy ourselves our first fake Christmas tree. Ukrainians do not celebrate Christmas until January 7th and so their natural trees do not come out until December 23rd or so. I couldn’t wait that long. David kindly and without complaining carried the tree home on a Marshutka (the little mini-buses). We weren’t the only ones on the little bus with a big item. One other guy had a bunch of large random car parts tied together.
This last Wednesday was David’s birthday. He had heard about a Chinese restaurant and decided this was how he wanted to celebrate. Yes, you heard that correctly – there is only one Chinese Restaurant (that we know of) in a city of almost 1,000,000 people. Sushi, on the other had, is everywhere. I haven’t quite figured that out yet. The chicken appetizer was a little scary, but his Gung Pao Chicken (yes, gung pao is correct) and my sweet and sour pork were quite delicious.
David has also recently decided since he can’t hunt, he needs to find a new hobby. He has decided to start painting. I don’t know how those relate exactly, but for his birthday we bought him an easel, canvas, paint and some brushes. I’ll let you know how that goes…
Saturday we had a small get together with our students to play a new board game we have discovered and to decorate our tree. The boys played Settlers and we girls strung together popcorn and cranberries as well as made ornaments for the tree. It was a lot of fun. We’ll let you know what they rest of this season holds for us as it unfolds. I hope y’all had a Happy Thanksgiving.