Pryvit! (Prih VEET!)
This is Ukrainian for "hi," and we have officially started our language classes at Ternopil's Pedagogical University.
Yesterday, Ira (Iryna) met me at Slava's in order to help me out with Ternopil's bus system... she is a professor at the university, so it was convenient for her to show me the ropes. The ride to the university (or 'universitat') is about 25 minutes, and to ride any bus it costs H 1, 50 (one and a half hrivnya... equal to about 30 cents or so Canadian?).
At 12, we met with the rest of the professors and staff who are involved with us Canadians, as well as our tutors. After announcements and orientation, we had a larrrrrge lunch in the cafeteria and our tutors spent the rest of the afternoon with us, showing us the sights of Ternopil.
One highlight was a boat ride around Ternopil's man made lake... it was H 6 (6 hrivnya, or about a buck Cdn!)... If any of you know the Lonely Island hit song, "I'm On A Boat" well, I was enjoying myself... wearing my flippie floppies while you all be flippin' copies. Haha (Carly, I know you're reading this). We also went downtown, where there are plenty of shops, bars, cafes, etc. as well as a theater. The churches here are incredibly beautiful, from what I've seen so far - it is quite a different landscape than those back home.
Olga, one of our tutors, took the bus home with us and helped us find our apartments (they all look the same!). Ira had written my address down for me, but as my luck would have it, I left it at home. In my room. On my dresser. Thankfully, she had been on the bus already earlier that morning so she remembered where I had gotten on... and I arrived home to Slava with no problems at all, along with Jessica.
Slava's sister was visiting with her grandson, I think that his name is Nazarycik (they each called him something different... so it's kinda hard to play the name game just yet). He's four, and we're buddies now... He looooves soccer, and found a small toy soccer ball that I had packed, which provided us with a solid two or three hours of entertainment.
Another favourite of his was my note for the day (aka the 96 Notes Project). Today I opened a card from Trevor, and it featured Mr. Rogers... Nazarycik kept asking "Tato? Tato?" From what I've gathered this far, 'Tato' is the Ukrainian word for father. I pressed the buttons on the outside of the card, and Mr. Rogers says things like "If you are a human being, you are fancy too" and "Where ever you are in the world, know that you are very special."
Nazarycik runs to get his grandmother and Slava, and all three of them admire the card of my 'tato' ... Mr. Rogers.
I tried to explain that no, this was not my tato! But gave up after they seemed to like this idea, and that I couldn't argue in Ukrainian yet anyways.
Anyways - I must sign off, it is about 2:10 here in Ternopil and we are supposed to meet our tutors at 2:15. I will post more as I am able... again, thanks for your thoughts and prayers, they are hugely appreciated. Much love!