Friday, July 6, 2012


forreal even I (capital i) forgot i had a blog for a little bit.

but then i remembered that nobody even got to hear about my italy trip. me leaving the great ukraine. OR. my return to the u. s. of A!

i do apologize, and i will make it up to you by telling you...lots of things :)

short update:

italy: there are no words to describe. it was crazy. it was stressful. it was hot. it was full of gelato. there were tears and laughs. and tons more laughing. but mostly a shiztonload of walking. i literally walked like i had nails poking into my feet by the end of the trip. because, felt WORSE. but it was the most amazing trip of my life. i got to spend it with my 4 best friends in the world and have never been happier.

leaving ukraine: sad. stressful.

i got picked up from my apartment at 2 o'clock in the morninnn and i was literally heartsick. i didnt know what to expect in going home. i was excited to get back to reality. see my family. my friends. all that jazz. but i had NO idea what i was going to do. and i learned to love ukraine more than anything in the world. my family there. my friends. my life style. it was a dream, and i couldnt believe it was ending so quickly. after i had finished packing (i procrastinated. i think i was in denial) and i just sat on my bed...looking around and how familiar it had become to me. the room. the bed. the neighborhood. the inability to communicate. and as much as i complained. as how depressed and lonely i got. i was sad to leave.

i guess what was even more frustrating for me was the fact that i didnt even get a chance to say goodbye to my host brother and sister..they were out of hugs from them :( i regret that every day, honestly.
and then the fact that i couldnt truly express my gratitude and love for my host parents. and how sad i was for leaving...mehh. i'm getting teary eyes just typing this :(

so anyways, on to the stressful part.
so 2 rolls around and they call me and tell me they are here to pick me up. so i roll my three abnormally large suitcases out of my room, say my goodbyes to my parents and make my way down to the elevator and down the stairs. 1. 3 suitcases was a bad idea. 2. they were heavy. 3. i was tired and awkward. 4. 3 suitcases was a bad idea :)

so i get to the van and we get to the airport. mind you, i get there by 2:30. we dont fly out until 6:40. UGH. so we said our goodbyes to people going their different directions and that was sad. and then the madness began.
we finally got to check in. the line is 3 miles long. we have problems because we have so many bags. we had to check in at one desk, walk and pay for our bags at another desk. and then go back to the first desk and give the lady our receipt (gosh, i can never figure out how to spell that stupid word on my own!). so blah blah blah. we get done with that step. then we have to go through security--i dominated and made it through like a champion of security. but then comes the drama. we got stopped at the boarder.

aka we were in ukraine illegally and they were pisssssed.
so i'm running around like a crazy woman because at this point in time its getting closer and closer to our departure time, and everyone was stressing out hard. so this is what happened. since we were in a big group together, they called us to the front of the line. some guy at the back of the line (not a part of the group) was mad that we were getting "special treatment" and so he followed me. i tried to tell him we were in trouble and to go away, but he wouldnt listen. and i was already on edge. so my actions after this point are not to be accounted for.

but this is what happened. he followed us, and we were in a group handing the guy our passports so he could get us in trouble. so the guy that followed me kept hitting me with his passport to hand up to the boarder control man and i was getting more and more irritated. and so i turned around and took his passport and waved my hands around telling him that this isnt his problem and to get back in line. pretttttty sure everyone was petrified of me. i had rage in my soul. i dont know why, i just was tired and overly emotional.

so anyways, this is awkward by this point. this boy i was with took the passport from me and calmly talked to the guy and he was all like oh...and walked away. and i was just mad still.

the end.

that was a stupid story, i guess you had to be there. and you had to be as tired and emotional as i was.
because i look back and lauuuuuuugh.

anyways, now being home. i'll try and keep this short because i know i can ramble and it's ANNOYING.
so here's whats up.
i had a life realization of what i want. where i'm going. who i want to do it with. and just...everything that life was REALLY about. so i changed.....everything.
literally everything. i guess i'm still going through the process, and it's a stupidly sucky hard thing to do..but i'm SO excited about it.

i look forward to moving back down to school, and being the person that i want to be, and meeting people that help me be that person, and that make me excited about life.
wahooo! :)

i know, this is the most annoying words you've ever heard. but honestly, this is HUGE for me. and i'm proud of myself, so i'm going to proclaim it to the world. :)

so mostly, that's the redirection of my life. and i love every second of it. i'm excited for it. and i'm nervous...and i'm really reallllly happy.

trust me, it's had its hard times. changing my friends (ehm..boyfriends..) and just focusing on myself...SUCKS.

so i 've lost all sense of what i was saying, and i'm bugging myself.
so enjoy this hilarious picture...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

budapest.vienna.prague. :)

so since you are reading this. and i am pretty thankful that you are. i am going to let you in on a little secret of mine. 

i a little bit fell in love this past week. with budapest, vienna, and prague. i dont know how it happened, but it was AWESOME. 
dispite two 30 hour bus rides and two 7 hour bus rides...i loved every second of it. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.

the bus ride to budapest was long and painful. and we made it there, but the bus refused to take us to the hotel so we could shower and feel a little bit better about ourselves. so what did we do? we took a million zillion nasty pictures :) yaaay.

the worlds largest hourglass! i'm trying to spin it...

but forreal, budapest ws beautiful. the arcitecture. the weather. the people. i felt so at home and happy there. i didnt feel like people were judging me (ukraine is SO guilty of that) and i felt like i was actually safe! i had such a blast. unfortunately we only had the day there, so we went to a square, and then we left the group and went and found a castle and walked around there, and it was very beautiful! and it had this wonderful cathedral that was so awesome! and the flowers were out, and there were a lot of people out on walks, and playing at the park...and having a grand old time! and i didnt even feel super dorky to be a tourist...because practically every single person there WAS  a tourist! it was wonderful. and even if they werent a tourist...i didnt feel like i was being judged. 

in ukraine...everyone looks at you like a crazy person if you arent wearing a black or brown fur coat (even when it's warm out) and heels. it's a joke! i feel like i'm like walking around and everyone is just laughing at me. 
but nut-uh not in budapest. everyone just did their own thing..and it was beautiful. so then we got tired and layed on a patch of grass (how long had it been since i've been able to do that!?) it was wonderful. we were just soaking up the sun, waiting to meet the rest of our group <3 

so then we met the rest of the group and we toured a few other places around the bus...the national museum..another castle..and another church. it was kinda frustrating because there were only 7 of us that were americans..and then 40-something ukrainians. so of course all the tours were in was frustrating. luckily there were a few really nice girls in the group that were nice enough to come tell us "this is a church" or "this is a museum" but that's all we got. it was kinda frustrating. and the rest of the group HATED us. they were so mean! and the old people would always just glare at us. 

so then we loaded onto the bus and went to this other castle (again, i have no idea what it was...i need to do a little research and actually figure out what i saw..hahaaa) 

so then we broke off from the tour group and walked around and explored the beauty and found the most amazing view of the city...and then we went back to where they said we were supposed to meet...but guess what? the group never showed up! we were scared they left us. so after like 20 minutes of waiting, the tour guide found us and he was PISSED so we followed him to the bus and all the evil old ukranian people were mad too. so we gave them the stink eye.

so thennnn we finally went to the hotel...except the stupid bus got lost and we ended up taking 3 hours to go on a 30 minute drive. and yes, we stayed IN THE MOUNTAINS. at least 7 hours away from the city. and the hotel was gheetoooooo. but it was fun :) we laughed our heads off, and played cards. listened to drunk spring breakers sing, and attempted to sleep. it felt so amazing actually sleeeping in a bed! <3 i've never been so happy to sleep in a gross bed covered in semen! (that was a joke..i hope. we dont know what the stains were. but we just pretended like they werent there and closed our eyes and turned the lights off) 

so then we left bright and early the next morning to head to VIENNA! 

since vienna is so expensive, we werent able to sleep there..only spend the day. so we left super early so we could get enough touring time. 

we thought the bus ride was only two hours....but two hours passed and we still hadn't even reached the boarder. 
so then we thought it was 5 hours.. and then hour 5 passed and we were getting PISSED. i swore they were driving us back to america. after being on a bus for so long, you go crazy. your body shuts down. your mind does weird things to you. and you are just not a happy camper. especially when it's freezingcold and they refuse to turn the AC on. or when there are smells you wish didnt even exist. 

but we had fun :)

i was frolicking around at one of the stops on the way..singing the hills are alive, of course. 

because wanna know what? when we finally made it to the city, it made the whole 7 hour bus ride worth it. 
it was amazingly beautiful <3 i had never been so happy to be somewhere. it was warm. people spoke english. everyone had a smile on their face. it was CLEAN. and again, we werent the only tourists! :) 

(sidenote: i am kinda excited for the eurocup..because then maybe i can be the cool person that speaks english and will help my fellow english speakers to navigate the awful public transportation of ukraine. and give them tips on where *NOT* to eat. and the two cool things that there are to do in ukraine.) 

(sidenote #2: when me and my friends were sitting ona bench in prague eating an apple, some guy came up and talked to us and he was from new york..moved to prague like 11 years ago..blah blah blah. wellllll i guess he lived in kiev for a while. the was like...yeah. i've traveled all around the world. kiev is THE ugliest most awfulest place on the planet earth. those are his words, not mine. but it was comforting to know that it wasnt just me that was wildly disappointed in this country.) 

anyways, vienna. :) 
it was so much fun! we toured a lot of information (in ENGLISH!) and walked around like we were on top of the world. we saw the national library..and some other stuff. i dont feel like blabbing about. but it was really cool :) then we found some really cool churches and what not. it was exciting. 

again, our tour group was set up with a russian tour guide...and so we followed them around for a little while hoping some good would come from it. we followed them for a while. walked around a square...and then around a bunch of buildings and statues (i really wish i could tell you what they were) and followed them until we got in trouble for talking too loud (and we spotted we made a run for it) 

we walked around a while longer, embracing the beauty and the wonder of the city. wishing we had more time...and making plans to come back someday when we are rich :) 

then we met back at the bus, and made our way to prague. 
again, what we thought was a 2 hour bus ride turned into a 5 and then into a 7. i was so sad that it was night time when we got into the city because i was SO excited to see the beauty of the city...but i was also exhausted to i was just mostly ready to snuggle into my bed and have a wonderful night sleep. 
....and to rest my feet! 

so we pulled up to our hotel...hotel golf. aka hotel GHETTO. it was like super nice in the pictures, and even in lobby it was nice. then they gave us our keys and said "follow me" we went outside, around the back of the main hotel..and into the freaking forest....where our building was. at let me tell you. if any of you are familiar with "trefoil ranch" before they did all the renovations...the ghettoness of it...yeah. that was our building. it was HILARIOUS. i couldnt stop laughing. there were 3 beds in the room, so i shared with becki and lisa, and we had a HOOT. we unpacked and snuggled up for a nice sleep, excited for the adventures of the next day. 

so the next day the group was leaving at 7, so we woke up, got ready, ate breakfast (stole food) and then met some of the group in the hotel lobby. the tour made us find our way to the city, and buy our own transportation (those jerks) so we took the tram, but the stupid lady that was trying to guide us all there had NO idea where she was going. and we had a map. and she didnt. and she wouldnt listen to us, and i was getting PISSED. so once we got into the city we ran away from them and did our own thing, and boy oh boy did we find so many adventures. the city is such a wonder! it was so beautiful! luckily we got there pretty early, too...because we had the whole city to ourselves for a while. we got to walk charles bridge with nobody to bother us...and to explore the streets. it was so much fun :) 

we kinda used our first day to scope out the city and see what there was, and what we wanted to do. but we walked our socks off. it was awesome! we found the coolest look outs and what not..and found this square with people playing music. we had so much fun dancing around :) it was just a good time. 
the mass amount of people 
me, becki, lisa, mallory, and rachel 

the john lennon wall 

me and lisa

so thennn we walked around more..found the clock tower...scoped out some museums and churches..and went back to the hotel to make the plan for our next few days in prague. 

the next day we set out and there was a MASS amount of people. forreal, i dont know who decided to get the whole population of italy and go to prague...but there were so many people there. it was like a wall of people...i wanted to crawl in a hole and DIE. but it was interesting...seeing alll those people. we would kinda latch on to tour groups that spoke english and listen for a minute to figure out what things were, and then move on to our next thing. it was so fun! and such a beauty! 

i was so bummed out we didnt have a tour group to take us around so we could actually know what we were looking at. and the hidden mysteries about prague. but it was still fun. we made up our own stories...and talked about how when we got home we were going to look up all these things ( i still havent had time to do that...shame on me.) 

so we made our way to the toy museum! it was so much fun. they had the greatest things! they had an entire FLOOR of barbies. i didnt even know that many barbies existed in the world...but it was so much fun! they had a BYU barbie, which cracked me up...and practiclly everything you could ever think of. it was a hoot. 
then on the other floor they had toys from like 700 years ago. 

okay, maybe that was an april fools joke. but they had reallly old toys, and all we kept saying was "why didnt we have this cool of toys when we were growing up!" it was so cool! they had a lot of creepy dolls though, that wasnt cool. they coulda left that part out. but it was interesting! they had the worlds tinyest doll..that was smaller than my pinky fingernail. and its arms and legs moved..WHAT THE HECK! it was wild. we had so much fun there, looking at all the awesome train sets and what not. it was a hoot! 

then we went to another city look out, took some pictures, rested..drank some water...hung out at the cathedral. told eachother our thoughts on what the history of prague was. all of which were wrong, but we had some awesome theories. including aliens. because they're real 
 also, did you know that prague was the only city not bombed in WWII? it's 100% untouched..and the same from a millionzillion years ago. 
cool, huh? and i'm pretty sure that fact is a real fact too! 

so after that we went to the city center and i got a FALAFEL. and yum yum yum it was good, but i'm gunna say the ones at o'falafel in the grand SLC still win over these falafels! <3 i miss them 
i also miss cafe rio. 
and...delicious food in general :) dont worry..i have an entire book full of food that i cant wait to eat when i come back. i'm going to eat until i get sick. and then get sick, and eat more. 

so then we decided it was a good idea to go to the torture museum...we dont quite know who's awesome idea that was...but it was a BAD idea. 
verryyy bad idea. 

the first floor, we were kinda just laughing at everything..getting a hoot out of it all. and then we went to the second floor. third four. fourth floor. and by the fifth floor we were all getting sick. we were dizzy and all of us felt like we were going to pass out or throw up. it was awful. i didnt think reading about it and looking at the machines would make me so sick! but i was dying. so by the end we  all looked at eachother and we were like "umm can we PLEASE leave?!" with desperation in our eyes. so we all agreed and RAN down the stairs to get out of there, and to get some fresh air. we sat on the stairs and ate some lunch and tried to forget about the horror. 
those people were ruthless! 
it made me sick. i cant think about it makes me sick 
but just in case you're interested... 

yes. you would sit on that. and they would put weights on your arms and legs to make it hurt more. can you just feel the pain? OWWWWW! 

this get tied to a post and they would rake and your back until it was bloody..and they reached the bones. and you died. 

yuck yuck yuck. this one is the worst. i dont know if you can see the picture...but they would hang you upside down (so the blood would go to your keep you alive longer) and then they would saw you in half. this is the one that threw me over the edge. 

so then the day was pretty much over and we just chilled in the city and walked around (we're really good at walking around) 
then we were tired and hungry so we headed back to the hotel and ate some dinner and sat there. wrote in our journals. laid in our beds. slept a lots 

day 3 in prague was COLD and rainy. we kinda got a late start, because we were tired and our feet hurt. so we slept in a bit, and just went slow to get ready. and then we went to the dancing house...which was cool. 
not was just a funky looking building. the pictures look a lot cooler than it was in real life haha. maybe it was because i was freezing cold and tired, or..i dont know what. but i was ill impressed.

so then we walked and walked and walked trying to find all this other stuff we wanted to see...and found this cool/weird communist was weird. so we took pictures, and laughed, 

then tried to find our way back to the center. i dont even remember what we wanted to do, but we got lost and i got pissed and cold and it wasnt that great. but it was fun :) we always have fun. because it's me and i'm awesome..remember? 

and also i'm really funny. 

so blah blah blah. a lot of other things happened, but my fingers are sick of typing. practically, that was the end. and we loaded onto the bus and made the 30 hour bus ride back to kiev. BOOOOOOOO.
i slept most of the time :) 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

time goes by

i cant believe how long it's been since i've last updated. i guess like i said in my last blog post...the days go by like normal. nothing is out of the ordinary for me anymore. riding the smelly bus. cramming on the metro. or walking miles and miles to reach a destination, and then still not be able to find it. it's just all part of my every day life...and i'm loving it.

so a  lot (actually, a TON) has happened since i last posted..and i'm trying to think of where to even start. i guess i'll go with the most entertaining, just to keep your attention for a bit..because i feel like this is going to be one long post! so buckle up, and get ready for me to knock your socks off. :)

so. let's talk romania.
i dont even know when, i think it was the weekend of march 8-11 we had a break from teaching (finally) so we decided that we were going to go on a tour...of romania. it was kind of decided for me...i had 20 minutes to decide if i wanted to go. everyone else was going, and i didnt want to be stuck in kiev by my lonesome with nothing to do and nobody to hang out with for four looong days (and trust me, when you are alone and have no money, and nothing to do..those days are LONG). so i agreed to go on this vacation.

time went by. i paid all my money for the trip. and i was ready to go! once i had decided and paid, i talked to locals here..and every time i told them i was going to romania i would always get the same exact response. a disgustingly baffled look on their face, and just continuously asking why i choose THERE. i didnt have an answer. i still dont...and i am right there with them with the disgusting look and baffled brains. worst decision of my life. ('ll see why) luckily, for you all, i kept up on my journal writing on this trip..making sure i recorded every painful experience and memory of this trip, so i would never forget..and be able to warn others to NEVER do what i did on that weekend from hell.

thusday, march 7. i have a passage from my journal stating "honestly i dont know what day it is, where i am, or where i'm going. i might have been sold into sex slavery for all i know. that's how horrible i feel. that might even be better than what i'm going through right now"

wednesday...we boarded a sleeper train at 4 in the morning. being told that we would have our own cabins..and something somewhat sanitary...we were sorely disappointed when we boarded the train only to realize, we were not in our own cabin, but in the open train from the 1800's that hasnt been cleaned since. it was the dirtyest nastiest thing i've ever seen. the set up was four beds (bunckbed style) all in an area, with a table in between...and then on the other side of the 1 foot aisle was two beds (bunkbeds..yet again) so we were in for a treat. everyone in our group was spread around the train, but luckily i had becki and lisa and john in my little we sat there in awe of our situation for a minute. i examined the table and i'm pretty sure there was left over cocaine from the people before us...and the beds in jail would have been more sanitary and comfortable than these.

but dont worry, i survived. i braved those disgusting beasts and actually got good sleep (shout out to ibuprofen pm.....thanks for working wonders!!)

so our 11 hour train ride left at 4 in the morning, so we were able to sit there for a while and laugh about the situation we were in, and then we made our flea infested beds..and then slept. i slept for a good 9 hours...woke up just in time to want to DIE from feeling so disgusting..and to take down my bed and pack everything back up.

our train dropped us off in lyviv (ukraine) and it's such a cute little city! it was much more friendly and euopean.and a lot more low key than kiev. i really enjoyed it there. so we had about 2 hours until we needed to be back at the train station to board our bus to head on over to romania! so me and lisa and becki ate our snacks and found the tourist center, so we asked the girl for free things we could do to see the city....and she gave us a few booklets and maps to do some self guided walking tours of the city.  it was PERFECT! we got to walk around the city, see all the cool things the city had to offer, and actually get out and stretch our legs for a minute. it was a good time.

while walking around, we stumbled upon this huge group of people standing in this little area singing, and people were passing out papers and was weird. so we stood there with the group of people just trying to figure out what in the world was going on. then we walked around, and saw that there were nun's leading the group..and they were protesting...something. i wish i could tell you what...but we protested with the nun's for a while....then we got scared and ran away.

so after we were done, we had to rush back and meet the rest of the group at the train station to board our bus. there were about 25 of us, and so we all got on and were ready to take on romania! we were sooo excited...because we were only "6 hours" away from our destination! so we thought. our tour guide was evil. she hated us, and refused to tell us how long the bus ride REALLY was. so we were all under the impression t hat it was only going to take 6 hours to get there. WELLLL...funny story. we sit on the bus for 6 hours. and let me tell you, they dont have freeways here. no fast cut through roads. nope. we were hitting up all the neighborhoods and city streets, it was AWFUL. so 6 hours into it we were READY to get off that bus and sleep in an actual bed...but no. that wasnt the case at.all.

six hours later, wanna know where we were? the ukraine romania boarder. not even IN romania yet. i was going to flip out. and i mean, you are probably all thinking the same thing "who is this crazy girl..six hours on a bus is NOT that big of a deal...get over it!" but dont you all forget that i just spent 11 hours on a train. and that sucked. and then i'm sitting on this bus? no. not cool. i was not happy. i guess mostly all i wanted was an answer "WHAT TIME AM I GOING TO GET TO THE HOTEL IN ROMAINA!?!?!?!!??!?!"
that's all i wanted to know. but by this time, i'm PISSED beyond belief.

i think at one point i stood on my chair, ripped all my clothes off, and yelled "GET ME A DAMN AIRPLANE BEFORE I JUMP OUT OF THE WINDOW!!"
that was a joke. i did that. but all my clothes stayed on. :)

but seriously, i was going crazy. so then we continued on our merry way, because we HAD to be close. i mean, we've been traveling for seven zillion hours...romania couldnt be THAT far away...right?

we sat on that bus. and we sat. and sat. and sat. six hours turned into 17. SEVENTEEN. i dont think you understand the pain that comes with sitting on a bus for 17 hours. i wanted to die. literally. i didnt care how much money it was, i wanted to get on an airplane and fly home. i refused to get on that bus for one more second.
so. we left thursday morning. got there friday afternoon...and got to spend the rest of friday, and half of saturday, then we had to be back on the road to get back to the great ukraine. but i dont want to focus any more of my feelings towards that bus ride. i just want you all to understand the pain i went through...but i'm over it (even thought i'm still kinda bitter about it)

so friday...ROMANIA! we had assigned rooms from the evil tour guide..and she put me with one of the ukranian women that was on the our with us and i was like..umm you have GOT to be kidding me. the last thing i need right now is to be in an awkward hotel room. NO. let me stay with who I want to stay with. you will not tell me what to do! and i was so tired and so just over the whole trip, that tears started welling up in my eyes. but i got over it, and headed up to the room with the girl. so we got to the room, and i started opening my bad, and a girl came in and said "if you wanna go with lisa, i'll take your spot in here" so i was like YES PRAISE JESUS I LOVE YOU! so i got to room with lisa, which was perfect !

but we had an hour to shower and get ready before we were going to head out on our excursions. so lisa  hopped in, and i hurried and got in and we got ready and were feelin good! we finally got to shower after 32 hours of traveling, so it was perfect! then we all met and hopped on the bus to head to our first castle. it was preeettttyyyy cool. i mean, it was a castle. how can you go wrong with a castle?

where we were staying was so reminded me a lot of park city. it was a small town in the mountains...and i feel like it was mostly just a ski destination..nothing else much to it.

so we headed to this castle...which was awesome. it was the castle of the first king of romania...and it had a ton of really cool weapons from all the different centuries. it still trips me out that people lived that long ago! it was from like the 1300's! CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE!? it still freaks me out. the castle reminded  me a lot of the castle in beauty and the beast. i loved it! i wanted to move there and sing and dance aroundand live my secret fairytale life :)

also, i cant help but wonder what in the world people were thinking living in those mountains. 1. it was impossible to get to 2. it was cold 3. the massive amounts of snow
but i will give them the beauty. it was amazing <3 i just couldnt get enough!!

so after that, we piled back into the bus to go to the one and only dracula's castle!!! pretty much, that was the only reason i went to romania. so i was so excited.
it took about an hour to get there, so i passed out asleep on our way there. and then i woke up right on time to open my eyes and see the beauty! the castle was so pretty! i mean, it was a normal stone castle..but it was in between the two mountains, and it was just a wonderful sight :)

so we went right up to the castle to go get our tour, and i was super stoked. i had watched the movie about the impailer guy...and i wanted to learn lots and see tons of super cool things. but guess what? it was a DISAPPOINTMENT. i mean, dont get me wrong it was beautiful..outside. but inside alll the walls were painted white..and there was little to nothing inside the castle. i was sorely disappointed. but we got a kick out of our tour guide. he told us a bit of the history, some stories, and then just let us roam around the castle. it was bigger than it looked. and they had this secret stairwell that "dracula" used all the time i guesss. it kinda gave me the heebeejebies. but it was cool!

so we took TONS of pictures, and had a lot of fun there, and then we had about an hour to hang out, look at all the souvenirs, and just kinda do whatever we wanted. so we walked around the shops, bought some postcards and what not...and ate our dinner and then went back to the hotel. we had big plans to go out and walk around the city and do whatever..all this fun stuff. but then once we got to the hotel..and sat in our comfortable beds..we were soo tired we just passed out. me and lisa found an english channel on the t.v. that was playing SNL and we were in HEAVEN!

so the next day..we had big big plans.
you better be ready for this, because i am about to blow you away with what happened.

it was me, becki, lisa, and denay. we didnt just wanna sit around all day, or walk around the town. we wanted to DO something with our time in romania. so..what's better than renting some skis and heading up the mountain for a little fun? and honestly, i cant think of anything more perfect to do than that!

the gondala tram thing was only a 5 minute walk from our hotel to take us up the mountain to the ski resort, so we grabbed our skis, and hopped right on...and then it started to settle in. the wind was blowing the gondala from the 50's back and forth, and we were elevated literally one million miles in the air. and then lets not mention the fact that i remembered how terrified i was of skiing. i was NOT ready to take this on. and actually out of all honestly, i wanted to jump straight out of that gondala and never look back. but we just laughed it off and made it to the top.

to our dismay, the gondala ride only took us up to the ski resort, and we had to continue to buy lift tickets to actually get to the hill to ride down.
now, i am not going to actually disclose any information on what happened on that mountain. but just know that i am NOT a skier. and i should not have ever thought that was a good idea.

lots of drama went down on that mountain. and then getting down was worse. we ran out of money, but still had to pay for the gondala ride going DOWN. becki, lisa, and denay had made it...but they used all the money...and I WAS GOING TO BE STUCK ON THAT MOUNTAIN FOREVER AND EVER!! or hike down...or even worse..SKI! tears started swelling in my eyes as i stood at the gate thinking of all the awful things that were going to happen to me....and then this cute old man let me go through the gate without paying. i wanted to give him the biggest hug in the entire world!

so we rode the gondala down, stressing out because it was 12 and checkout at the hotel was at 12. and I WANTED TO SHOWER BEFORE WE GOT ON THAT STUPID BUS!
so we ran ran ran and returned our skis and ran ran ran to the hotel to try and beat out the cleaning ladies...and WE MADE IT!

praise jesus hallelujah! so i lickity split hopped in the shower and got ready before the cleaning lady came back (for the third time...hehe) and we walked downstairs to the SPA to get our MASSAGES
yum. :)
so we got our was WONDERFUL and got me all relaxed for the next 17 hours worth of bus rides we had ahead of us...killlll me!

so we got on the bus, rode for a bit, i took my sleeping pill and passed out. full on i couldnt even open my eyes. we go to the romania ukraine boarder and the guy came to take our passports. people woke me up when he was getting on the bus, i tried to keep my eyes open for him to make it to me..and  i passed out and when i tried to hand it to him i probably looked a drugged fool...i was NOT coherent at alll! but i was happy that i was able to sleep so much, that was REALLY nice. so i slept and slept until we made it to lyviv...and that was awesome. i just woke right up, and had a few hours..then we would get on the train an BAM in 8 hours finally be homeeee!

blah blah blah. mostly this whole trip was a blur..and i probably made it sound extremely boring. maybe i'll add some pictures to jazz it up a bit....
that sounds good.

all in was an exciting trip.
i interesting time. :) you all better be ready because wanna know what? saturday i leave for budapest, vienna, and prague!!! for ten whole days! what what!


Sunday, March 4, 2012


okay, so i know i dont post as often as i should.
but i was thinking about it, and this is the thing...this is my normal life. i dont feel like walking to school every day...teaching...riding the bus or the metro...buying cookies from a random person on the side of the road...
none of that is really "new" to me anymore. it's just life..and i've become adapted to it.

woof. words i never thought i'd say. i have become adapted to this life...weird.

but i guess that's what happens when you're thrown into a new just kinda have to figure it out...and hope for the best.

so let's see. i've been here for a month and a half...and so much has already's crazy to think about. sometimes i feel like i have been here for twelvemillionandahalf years, but other days i feel like the weeks are wizzing by.
i have ten weeks left of teaching (HALLELUJAH!)
and twelve weeks until i come home (not so hallelujah...but only a little bit)
not gunna lie, some days that feels like it will never come, and others i feel like it's coming a little too quickly.

but here's the thing.
i have things to be excited about because...

i am going to romania on thursday.
then i will be there for a weekend.

and then i teach for a week.

and then i am going to budapest, vienna, progue..alll the cool places in the world!
and then wanna know my biggest news of all?

italy. for 8 days. heaven on earth.
yes, at the end of my teaching excursion i have planned a vacation to italy. and i couldnt even be more excited!
i kinda just wanna fast forward until then. can i, please?

april is going to drag on foreevvvvverrrrr i feel like.

so that's the happiness factor of my life right now.

and on to a more interesting topic for you guys..updates!

1. so i guess this weekend has been a little say the least. my head teacher (and friend) had an unfortunate experience of having her feet go numb, and then it was crawling up her legs and so she did the smart thing and went to the doctors.
and after a tons of tests and doctor alien things, and concluded that it would be best for her if she goes home :(
so just like that, she made a call and got a flight to the U S of A for the next morning, and left.
not gunna lie, it's not going to be the same without her. i'm really sad.

2. then the snow started melting...and this country is starting to show it's true colors of garbage and mud. but i have found some new treasures of this country while the snow has been disappearing...SIDEWALKS. i didnt know they existed..and if they did i thought they were very narrow and...tiny. but i have discovered this: they in fact have rather large sidewalks. and what i used to use as a pathway of ice, is now a pathway of mud..and i have to re-route my daily walks just so i dont get stuck in the mud. it's an exciting life to say the least.

3. this one time i didnt know any other way to get home from the metro except take bus 249 to the very end ( a 40 minute bus ride) and then walk 20 minutes. i would always make this excursion at night where i couldnt recognize anything, and so i would just happily do this awful route every day's all i knew.  and i never had time during the day to figure it out. until one day, i took a leap of faith and got off on the bus stop i thought was maybe near my home (i only know this because i know i live across the river from the statue..and that stop was..across the river from the statue.)

4. i still cant love teaching. is this a sign? i think so. me trying to have enough energy to be with kids all day is kind of a joke. i guess it's better i learn now...

5. i changed my major (again) communications..public relations emphasis.
i'm having identity issues with my major. i feel like if i switch it every semester, i wont ever really have to decide...and only take the fun/easy classes of the major..not the awful difficult ones :)

6. the sun never comes out. it gets a bit depressing. i dont understand how the snow melts when the sun never shines..but i wont ask any questions

7. it's woman's day on may 8th. i expect to be showered in gifts (or at least words of love and happiness

8. last weekend..we went to this village celebration. let me tell you, it was the most miserable thing on the planet earth. it was freezing cold, and all the snow had turned in to slush. and it was raining. and it was all outside. in a big open field. it's one thing to be cold. it's another to be wet and cold.

the celebration was for them to wish away winter, and welcome spring. they had food everywhere, people dressed up, accordions, singers, horses, chanting, dancing, scarecrows to be lit on fire. all that jazz. but all we could think about was how miserably cold we were. it was upsetting. it was cool, but i'm sorry...i'm not even going to lie and tell you that i had the time of my life, because i didnt. i enjoyed it...but nothing more.

9. i realized recently that the only swimming suite i brought was a bikini. and my diet does not ensure me of the fact that i will 1. fit into it and 2. look good in it. so i've started to do my exercises every day. MWF, i lock myself in a classroom at school and do zumba and p90x workouts. T/TH i do squats, lunges, abs, and all the other awful things in my bedroom. i REFUSE to look like a beached whale in italy.
except the fact that i'm still white...that's never going to change.

10. nobody talks to me anymore!! care to update me on life (ESPECIALLY YOU, FAMILY)

:) please and thank you

anyways, i am running out of things to think of to say, and my back hurts. so i am sick of typing.

adios muchachos.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

a few things

so i think a lot about all the quirky things about this silly little country i like to call ukraine, and i realized..
1. i wanna share these with my friends and family..and all the other cool people that read my blog
2. i wanna remember these things forever and ever!
and since i am far too lazy to stand up and get my journal off my desk, i am typing them for the world to see.

1. the streamer toilet paper. i literally thought they were decorations left over from a birthday party. nope. the toilet paper is, in fact, made out of the same thing streamers are.

2. the cookies at the osokorky metro station from the lady that speaks barely english, some spanish...but mostly russian. we're already best friends

3. the fact that people are secretly very nice and friendly. dont let the all black wardrobes and stone faces scare you away. the second you crack them, you'll be giggling together in no time. i've had so many people come up to me when they hear me speaking english, and they're so excited to say the one thing they know in english! (which is usually nothing that makes any sense).

the other day i was at the bus stop, and it was soooo cold! and so i was walking around in circles just singing to myself (yeah, i probably looked a little on the handicapped side). but this old lady was pacing back and forth waiting for the bus too. finally she came up to me and started talking, and so i flashed her a grin and said "sorry, i only speak english!" so she giggled and walked away a little bit. and then she turned back around and hugged me and held my hand and did some sort of motion...either telling me i need high heels..or telling me to rock back and forth on my toes to my heels. and we just stood there and laughed until the bus finally came.

4. the sunshine is coming! yes folks, it is a balming 32 degrees outside! in utah, this is ridiculous temperature. nobody goes outside. we scream and cry having to walk from our house to our car. and then it takes 5 minutes to warm up the car!? what?! that is just unacceptable.

but in ukraine, that is springtime calling. people start chipping away at the ice on the sidewalks. (LITERALLY 6 inches thick). you shed layers. you stop wearing gloves. you stop dreading the thought of going anywhere. you stop eating so much.
the world becomes an exciting place again.

5. food with taste. it doesnt come often..but when it does, it adds a little extra color to your life

6. i think i am living the movie 'the birds.' i sometimes fear for my life because there are so many freak stinkin crows everywhere! they're gross and scary and i dont love them.

7. i love riding the metro. i understand the system now. totally 100% confident, and good at riding it!

8. buses are satan's children. i hate them. i like that they get me places. i hate that they change routes unexpectedly. i hate when people yell at you for no good reason. i hate looking like a fool when everyone is looking at you. i hate everything about them.

9. i love the architecture. i think the buildings are beautiful. i love walking down the streets in the city and just imagining going back in time..what it was like to live here so long ago. it just puts a smile on my face..and it makes me realize how rich the culture is here, and how..somewhat bland america is. dont get me wrong..i love/miss america more than the next person. but i love learning about other countries..and the history OH THE HISTORY. so interesting.

10. this one, i'm pretty sure it's not something i love about this place, but it definitely is a characteristic of ukraine that you cannot get anywhere else.
the smell.
yes, other places smell. but i am convinced that everywhere has their own very distinct smell. and ukraine DEFINITELY has a smell. i just love how BO radiates from every armpit. and how greasy hair is praised. i just want to bottle up the smell and take it home with me. i ESPECIALLY cant wait until it gets hot and humid here. i'm going to jump for joy because the smell will be sure to singe my nose hairs. mmmm!
not only the smell of the people gets me...there is more.

the meat stands in the metro.
the never ending sausage stench.
the fish that are laying there for days. in no ice. just sitting there, rotting away.
i want to marinate in it.

11. sometimes, i think i'm really REALLY funny and by sometimes, i mean all the time. especially when i'm by myself for the whole day, and i'm walking around looking at really funny things, and watching funny people. i crack myself UP!

so..since about the first day i got here..i have been wandering around this country with two feet of ice underneath my feet, and a winter wonderland of delicious snow surrounding my every step.
welllll. since that same day that i got here, something else has happened.

i have seen yellow snow EVERYWHERE. and i dont know why i think it's so funny. maybe because i imagine people walking around peeing in the snow, and sometimes i secretly want to because they have no public restrooms, so i am forced to painfully hold it. or worse. but i dont want to talk about it.

anyways, my funniness. every time i walk by yellow snow i think of the words "dont eat the yellow snow!!!" and kinda giggle to myself..or out loud. whichever one i feel like doing at that moment in time.

and then today..i did something i thought was so funny. maybe i'm going crazy (and that's probably a yes) but i cracked up while i was doing it.

for some reason i kept seeing news reporters EVERYWHERE. and so i would loom around until they were on camera. and then i would walk back and forth behind the reporter. i didnt do anything weird or anything. but i just walked. i rather enjoyed a good laugh with myself.

12. so. massive amounts of snow melting = mega puddles. bigger than you would imagine. this would be fun..if i would remember my rain boots! but it mostly ends in cars splashing me and being kinda cold. but luckily the weather has been warming i've been in HEAVEN!

okay, i'm tired of this list. i was thinking about it while i was eating lunch today (alone, yet again) and i made a list on my napkin of all the ideas i had. and i have more..but i cant read them. i think i smeared my boogers on the napkin over the words or something

enjoy your burrito..because i cant.  :(

Friday, February 17, 2012

Вы упали ваши перчатки

being here, i have learned more than ever that you just gotta work it.
people yell at you. you smile.
it happens quite a bit. i'm not sure if people are real yelling, or if that's how they talk. everyone talks in their yell voices all the time, and sometimes they start laughing after, and sometimes someone gets thrown into the wall. you never know.
i kinda find it entertaining until it is directed at me, and then i get stressed out.

so the other day me and carly were going to go adventuring, we didnt know we hopped on the bus and we were going to ride the metro into town...but the moment we got on the bus, everyone turned and looked at us and pointed at the door and started yelling, and we had no idea what people were saying. we stood there awkwardly looking around saying "english? english?" but nobody responded in one english word that i knew. so we felt so awkward we jumped off the bus laughing our heads off. then i looked in the bus while it was driving away, and i saw a man point out the window to the snow, and i wondered what he was trying to tell me.
so i walked right on over to where he pointed, and carly had dropped her glove in the snow and everyone was trying to tell us!
how nice of them, right?!

if only i knew what they had been saying, i wouldnt have felt as awkward as i did. but i just couldnt stop laughing.

so that was like the highlight of my day.

so then we rode the metro into the city, and got off on a random stop. then we walked around, and saw everyone eating these delicious looking hot dogs, and wanted to know what in the world they were!
so we found the stand where they were selling them..and guess what? i have good news.
1. they were scones. with hot dogs inside. YUM.
2. it only costs $0.75
so i ate the entire thing in about 14 seconds, and let out the biggest burp of my entire life.
and then we walked around more. took a lot of pictures of stuff...
and then i found an art museum! so i made her go in there with me.
it was fun and all (and free) but i have this problem with museums. i get really bored...REALLY fast. and i just want to lay on the floor and take a nap. and i start to sweat. and i can start to feel the tumor in my brain start to grow and a headache arising. and then i just cant take it anymore. i dont see art. i dont even breathe. i just get ANGRY.

so by the time we reached the 5th floor i was more then done, and we left.
i found a falafel shop (booyaah!)

uhm what else..i think that's all...we were both tired so we went home earlyyy. but it was a good day i felt like.

wanna know one of the best parts of my day?
when i got off the metro to go home, i walked out to where the bus picks me up, and IT WAS THERE WAITING FOR ME! i had never been so happy in my whole life. it was a good moment.

so that was that.

and then today...i taught. teaching is a struggle for me..still. i feel like i'll never get the hang of our method of teaching..UGH. i just cant 100% grasp it.

but then after there was an INSTITUTE DANCE! hahaaa. so me and carly went on our merry way towards the city. we were gunna meet becki and lisa and john for food. aka our favorite thing. so me and carly got there, but we exited the metro on the wrong side. so instead of walking back down and around, we insisted on walking all the way around the entire block to get to where we needed to be. mind you, this was probably a good mile of walking. i was tiiired.
so we finally made it to the pizza place, and we ate. it was okay, nothing fancy or special. just pizza.

THEN we went to the dance. this is the best part of the night. it was WILD.
okay, that was wildly sarcastic. it was okay. there were a lot of people there, though. so that was fun. most of them smelled like disgusting body i hid in the corner and did my thing. (and by thing i mean dance until my feet fell off.) it was tons o'fun

everyone was so crazy. i just couldnt stop laughing. but to tell you the honest truth, it was just like any other church dance.
you know, the awkward jump dancing.
the awkward boys.
the silly girls.

the whole shabang.

then i was tired, so i stopped dancing. and i sat down and talked to my friends. and then i got tired even more so i went home. and now here i am...eyes half open....attempting to stay awake to finish writing this.

because i need to tell you about the man that saved my life.

i was walking down a hill, and some man was walking up. right as we were crossing paths, i slipped. and like a ninja he reached out and caught me, returned me to my feet, and ran away. it was wonderful. i'm convinced he was a real life ninja. forreals.

okay, i'm going to bed now.

i love america.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

valentines day's a trip.

so yesterday was valentines day ♥

i want you all to know how much i love and adore you! and especially that i am so thankful that i have all your love and support in my life..especially when i'm 6,000 miles away from home! it means a lot to me! :)

okay, so anyways..this is how my valentines day went down.

woke up and skyped with ryan for our valentines day love date. aaand that was wonderful! as always ;)

and then i got up and got ready for the day...and i definitely did NOT want to go out and do anything. i wanted to sleep all day and never go to school to teach.


it was my day to go to the public school and teach those little hellions. aka...not my favorite thing in the world. but i did it anyways, very slowly. i was slow to get ready, slow to get dressed, slow to eat, slow to put on my shoes/coat/hat/gloves. just plain SLOW.

so finally i got out the door, i was already 20 minutes late, but the guy who comes to pick me up is usually that late anyways, so i figured it was okay. but i kept being slow...reeeaaaalllllly slow. i stopped to take pictures of everything i could see..and totally walked without purpose. that's now much i did NOT want to go to that school. so fiiiiinnnnnaaaaalllllllyyyyy i made it, kinda. they got bored of waiting for me so they came and found me :( busted! 

so then we went to the school, and it was just as i expected. awful. the kids are evil and i'm not even kidding. they plan evil plots during the week..and then on tuesdays they break them all out on me. they refuse to listen. they dont understand a word i'm saying and they're just plain EVIL! i cant seem to get them to even speak. they just sit there and stare at me. do i need a chicken suit and musical instruments to make them listen to me?! i think so.
i think i just found a cure to my dry teaching plans.

it needs a chicken suit!

okay, anyways, who cares about that. i dont like to think about that part of my day. so i came back to the school and ate lunch, and then made some valentines and went on my merry way!

sooo. i got on the bus. then i went and got on the metro. and then i got off the metro.
exciting, eh? well you better believe it because i swear that's what i do with 99% of my time.

but anyways, we got off and walked around..and we found the underground mall! FINALLY! so me and carly walked around there for a bit..we found a store with a lots of makeups for we looked around..and i decided "I NEED TO BUY LOTION" because my body has been DYING for moisture. so..i looked around. but then i got distracted by a loofah...and then i got mascara (my favorite kind for $ CANT pass that up!) and left with NO LOTION. i am so annoyed at my ADD. it's getting worse and worse. i see something shiny, and boom, my memory is gone...all i can focus on is the shiny stuff.

that's how i am with writing this literally takes me three days to write one post. i bet it would be better if i updated everyday buttt..sorry. that's not going to happen. because my brain does NOT function like that.

so here you are, getting my random array of brain puke in a blog post.

SO. i got off the metro with carly. we met mike, then hannah, then finally found amanda (i'm usually the last one to show up anywhere...and by last one i mean like an hour late..and by usually i mean always) so it was a miracle that i was actually on time! i feel like ukrainians need to go off kenya time (aka..say you'll be there around 4...get there around 7) because the transportation is so unpredictable! if it's 30 minutes away, it can take you 45 minutes to 2 allllll depends on destiny.

but i'm not even kidding when i say this. i have no idea how 1. i havent died on the bus yet. or 2. these buses are even still running. because they are literally from the 1960's. and they do not drive slow here. it doesnt matter about anything. laws are not followed. honestly, i dont think they have a ukrainian word for law. its just what you want and be courteous of everyone else that is doing what they want.

it's especially great being a pedestrian. it's like playing that froggy game...and guess what? i'm soo super good at it. i put my stop hand up and dart all the cars. i kinda freak everyone out, but hey..someone's gotta do it! you're not gunna get anywhere just standing on the corner waiting for everyone else to stop! you gotta take control! :)

anyways, i keep getting off on my awkward tangents.

so we're at the metro stop. we all meet together, and we continue onward to our destination.

we ride the metro a few more times, and go on our adventure of walking. we walked up this giant hill, and the road was pretty busy. also, it was snowing. and that makes it extremely slippery (but also it keeps it warmer here, so we like the snow!) so we were walking, and i got really excited about the snow so i started singing "if all the raindrops were lemon droops and gum drops" and proceeded to walk down the stairs to the underground tunnel. but i was far too focused on singing my song, and didnt even think about the fact that i was walking down the worlds most slippery stairs, covered in ice and snow. booo!

then it happened. i was that girl. the one that tumbled town the stairs in a mauled mess of things. and all i could do was laugh...and probably scream a few profanities out of confusion.

but it was funnnyyyyy! i'm not even going to lie. everyone told me it looked like it hurt, but it didnt even. all it was was HILARIOUS. i couldnt stop laughing. i swear i fell at the top of the stairs, and somehow got back up to my feet at the bottom. plus, guess what else happened? hannah stepped on my hand. i was pretty sure i was going to take her down with me with my flailing arms, but i didnt. all that happened was she called those things down my stepping on them. but hey, it least it stopped me from continuing to fall.

the best part about falling here is this: when people do, it's not a big deal. it's like a daily ritual for them! go outside, walk, fall, get up, continue. like it's one giant motion. but i cant contain my giggles every time it happens to me, or anyone around me. it's just too funny to not laugh about!

so with my wet bum (and gloves) we continued onward on our valentines day adventure.

we walked and walked and walked (just like pioneer children) and finally made it! brother and sister page's house! they had invited us over to their apartment to eat dinner, and talk and play games. it was so much fun!

they are just the nicest people. both from utah, he works here in the embassy and so they have been living here for 7 months! they have the two most adorable kids ever and are so much fun. it's so funny, all of us would talk to the kids EXACTLY how we talk to our's wildly embarrassing..but probably completely entertaining to watch.

so we had the best meal of pizza (from dominoes! they have two for tuesdays here!) and FRESH salad with RANCH DRESSING. i wanted to drink it. not even kidding.

anddd..what else did we have. mmm she made us brownies! yum yum yum! you better believe we gobbled up that whole pan!

i wrongly justify my eating habits by me walking everywhere. but my walking does not equal out to how many things i eat. it's embarrassing.

but. good news, yesterday i put my jeans on..AND THEY FIT. it was a good day.

so anyways, blah blah blah. we ate and talked a lot, and then we played apples to apples, and let me tell you we had some good laughs, that's for sure! i swear my reading abilities went down, and i mispronounced all the words possible.

so thennnn it was getting late so we left (because it takes AT LEAST an hour to get ANYWHERE)

so we went on our merry way. carly decided she needed to pee her guts out on the side of the road, so i convinced her to pee on the sidewalk behind a big pile of snow.



aannndd thennn...that's pretty much all. riding public transportation is stupid and i hate it. but i'm over it :) i've learned to survive.

okee. i am going to go adventuring now.