Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Welcome to the city of Odessa

Nathan hates looking like a tourist. And Tom & I needed to look at the map to figure out where we were in the city and which direction we needed to go. Well, as soon as we pulled out the map on the busy street some teens walked by and said "welcome to the city of Odessa, it was founded in...." I started to laugh. Nathan says that only encourages them. I still thought it was funny. He turned around because he was being a smart aleck and didn't realise that we speak Russian! When he heard me laughing he blushed!

OK... Nathan and I have been talking each night about new words and what we are learning. Well our cook, Lita, keeps using words we are not familiar with and some of which I can find in the dictionary and some I cannot. I thought it was because I only brought the 10,000 word dictionary not the 120,000 word one. It was too heavy to pack. Believe me, I debated with myself long and hard over the value of having that dictionary here with us for two weeks! Anyway, we found out today when our contact person arrived that the cook is not speaking Russian.

Lita is speaking Ukrainian.

Spencer and Tom are off in search of a bank to get American dollars. We have tried several bankomats and one currnecy exchange and no luck. All we can get are grivens. Grivens are going about 5g=1 dollar. So it is a sign of a stable economy for Ukraine....but for us prices have gone up in comparison from Russia.

We did purchase a new keyboard here for our computer. It was only 29 griven. About 4.18 USD. It has Russian and English letters which will make it easier to type in Russian. We can each do it now but it is hunt and peck.

Last night for dessert we had bliny, Russian pancakes! She (Lita) put apples inside and topped them with blueberry sauce. She is working hard to fatten Nathan up. She is always trying to get him to eat more. She is very concerned. But then most babushkas are like that!

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