Well, I am now working with the International Marketer/Fundraiser at "The Way Home" and am motivated to make a difference by raising awareness for our cause through social media networks such as Facebook. My goal is to put the foundation on track to opening a shelter and clinic for HIV+ street children. Today, I drafted a proposal that requests the United Nation's Democracy Fund for funding.
Although the task at hand is extremely challenging, I am enjoying my work here because I get to constantly talk to people in Russian, it involves research about Eastern Europe and, most importantly, I am proud to say I am actually using my major in "Political Economies of Industrialized Societies"! I never thought my International and Area Studies major would come in handy, but I guess all those Soviet studies are finally paying off.
I had my first English lesson today, which basically means I found a couple of stray kids here and there and got them to sit down with me for an hour. We went over the basic introductions, so they know how to break the ice if they meet someone who speaks English. Then we played 20 Questions - I have this little electronic game I bought at Walmart that works by generating questions and within 20, it guesses what you are thinking! Needless to say, the little kids were kind of freaked out and really excited! After that, we learned some Michael Jackson lyrics and listened to "Thriller" on my iPhone. Kids here love "The King of Pop," so I figured if I was them, I would love to be able to sing along to my favorite songs.
Volunteer by day, Bar crasher by night: Random Pictures of my Ukrainian Nightlife
My two favorite bars in Odessa are Shkaf (Шкаф) and Kapitan Morgan's. We basically always start the night at Shkaf and I think I already told you about it - remember, they had the Japanese Night and served us Hiroshima shots? Shkaf always has random stuff everywhere, just like this Lenin statue and random arms coming from the ceiling. It plays good music, is chill and has cheap beer - a great combination for a volunteer like me.
|Reminds me of the Sistine Chapel|
|Your Political Economic Theories are ridiculous! Sit in the corner and think about what you've done.|
|My Hostel Peeps and me at Shkaf|
After Shkaf, we always walk to Kapitan Morgan. KP makes pomegranate drinks from fresh pomegranates and always has an eclectic mix of patrons. I am sure you remember this is where I had my Russian conversation "competition" last week.
|Dancin' with Donal Duck|
So there you go, I stress myself out during the day, trying to raise money and rebuild one of the most devastated post-Soviet states in the world, and make it up to myself by dancing it off at night. Such is my life in Ukraine.