Brit club anyone? Ukrainian times.

Saturday started off wanting to hide under my blankets wearing my biggest hoodie and not speak to anyone. Teaching does, however, normally require putting on some kind of clothing other than pyjamas and frankly bringing a blanket to class would just be impractical.  What you really need is one of these: the absence of a blanket with sleeves, I somewhat begrudgingly made my 2 minute commute to work.
Have a little faith, girl.
Revelation: teaching cover lessons is pretty fun, especially when the students are much wiser than you and can tell better jokes in English than you can.
I finally made it to English club at church which involved an obstacle course… I feel like this will definitely become a regular part of my lessons.
Afterwards we headed out to Bible study (girls only!). I have to admit to being just a little nervous beforehand. This sounds ridiculous- what on earth is scary about drinking tea, eating biscuits and talking about God with some amazing women? But the truth is that as I am pretty new to the whole church thing, I was (stupidly) worried that my knowledge would not be up to scratch and that somehow my cover would be blown. WHAT? She doesn’t know the order of all the books of the Bible? You thought Malachi was in the New Testament? Disgraceful.
Again, have a little faith. 
Even if my view of Pilate did get tarnished a little, it was so interesting and useful to hear other perspectives on the Bible. And meeting great new people never gets old.
Amanda recently gave me an important task. My mission at the weekend was to get her to like some kind of alcoholic drink… can’t think why I would have been chosen for such a task. Whilst the red wine was a fail, plum cider and coffee liqueur were more successful. Putting her off wine for life may have been a tactical ploy (more for me).
Late on Saturday night a visiting church group from Iowa arrived. We met them all on Sunday at church, had pizza all together and played some hilarious games. Usually organised fun is not quite my cup of tea, but this was too funny not to love.

Next we went for a walk around the centre of town. The week before they arrived was absolutely beautiful, but of course their first day in Odessa was miserable, rainy and grey. We still had fun 🙂 although Amanda was upset that we didn’t wait for her…

This week is full of fun things with the group, including bowling tomorrow (game on) and a movie night. Every night so far there has been a somewhat mysteriously named ‘American Club’. Much to my disappointment this was not about eating hotdogs and learning about rodeos. It’s English club with some added US flare from the Iowa crew 🙂 It was suggested that I start my own one-woman ‘British Club’, but as much as it’s great to have no problems with arguments or punctuality, I “left my culture at the door” (Amanda’s words) and entered the lion’s den, met with exclaims of “What are you doing here?!” and “Traitor!”. I only got to stay because I agreed to say words on demand, the favourites being “water”, “flask” and “glass”. Apparently they sound good in British. I kid (not about saying the words), we had fun doing some crazy skits and of course classic charades.

(full of life on a Tuesday night)
Looking forward to the rest of the week with these guys.
Here are a couple of pictures from an afternoon we spent with our favourite guy in Odessa.
(He for some reason couldn’t be bothered to make it into that shot)
ALSO- it is pancake week!
This girl looks pretty happy about that, wouldn’t you say?
Just wanted to write about one more thing. Red Nose Day is coming up in the UK, an amazing charity event. They are one of the main funders of Time to Change, a mental health initiative. When I was reading about Red Nose Day I came across this video for TTC, and I would urge you to watch it and support this cause. The video is accompanied by this shocking statistic: One in ten young people will experience a mental health problem and, out of those, nine in ten will experience discrimination because of it. It surely is Time to Change.
I love this video. Most people I know who dismiss mental illness as something phoney and pathetic have never had any experience of it. This video might make people think- what if it was your brother? Your friend? Or your child? What if your fun-loving, smiley daughter or son phoned you, terrified because they don’t understand what is wrong with them and why they are feeling this way? Nice work from TTC.
Here’s a song to enjoy:
Because the pain that you’ve been feeling, it’s just the hurt before the healing.  🙂  Cheesy to the max! But cheese is tasty.
Thank you Amanda for letting me steal some photos 🙂 

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