Now that I’ve had a few days to digest the news of where I will be living for the next 27 months, I have had time to think about my future life in Ukraine. As I excitedly tell friends/family aboout my country location, some seem shocked to hear how ecstatic I am about living here: “You’re going to…. Ukraine? Why?” This caused me to pause and look at the the big picture.
Originally I had wanted to go to a Latin American country because this is what I had studied in school, I knew a little Spanish and I had a lot of interest in these regions. Knowing pretty early on that this option was off the table, I was thinking about where else I would really be excited to live.
Asia: I have already lived in China for a while. It was a great experience, but I feel like I defidently had my fill of this cutlure/region. It’s not really my cup of tea (although I had a GREAT time while it lasted, the prospect of returning to Asia wasn’t thrilling)
Africa: I feel pretty neutral about this region. Nothing turns me off, but nothing really peaks my interst. In my opinion, some people just tend to gravitate towards certain countries/cultries, and there just really isn’t any calling for me here.
Central Asia: My opinions of these nations are based on heresay. Unfortunately, I think I have let the opinions of others influence my outlook on this region. I commend all of the volunteers serving/about to serve here but I am glad I am not going here.
Eastern Europe: For an English Teacher, this really leaves only Eastern Europe. I don’t know very much about this region, and I like that. I have no pre-concieved notions/opinions about this region other than Eastern Europe (in the general sense) is a little more modern then a lot of other regions (sometimes nicknamed the Posh Corps). I also think its a nice jumping off point for travel. I can’t wait to try a lot of Ukrainian/Russian cuisine. I just ordered a Lonely Planet book and another book about cultures/customs in Ukraine so I can become oriented with this nation. All things considered, I REALLY am happy to be serving in Ukraine. I really look forward to the aculturation process :)