Sunday, May 6, 2012

Kharkiv American English Club, Ice Skating and Going to the Theater!

I seem to be getting more and more behind in my blog posts. April was a really busy month for me, so here are a few updates on what extracurricular activities I've been up to besides just working in my school...

For the past few months, the Peace Corps Volunteers in Kharkiv Oblast have been organizing free English clubs at the Kharkiv American Center. We meet once monthly and usually we have about an hour of general speaking club, then we show an American movie and discuss different themes from the movie. This English club has been pretty successful, we started out in December with about 10 people and its grown to about 30 attendees.
February English club. 

In March, our English club theme was St.Patrick's Day! I told everyone to wear something green ahead of time, but some of the Ukrainians thought this was strange (because they didn't know the tradition of wearing green). We presented about the history and traditions of St. Patrick's day and then we watched the movie "Leap Year". Afterwards, we went to an Irish restaurant in downtown Kharkiv to celebrate.
March English club group. 
with my sitemate Sam, Byron and our friend Artom. 
Laura, Erika and Anton. 
 While hanging out in downtown Kharkiv, I've discovered a few cool things to do and places to see that I didn't know about last year... this is the advantage of making friends with more locals who know more about their hometown! I went ice skating with a few friends and some students in a huge shopping mall called Karavan which is located near the metro station Heroiv Truda (the last stop on the blue line). It cost only 30 UAH (about $3) for an hour of ice skating, which really surprised me because things are usually very expensive in the city.

with the ice skating group. 
Ty and Ira together. 
with Liza, Yulia, and Stas. 
I found another giant Adidas soccer ball in the Karavan mall! These things are oversized versions of the official EuroCup match balls and they are popping up everywhere now that EuroCup is approaching soon... I saw one of these first inside the Globos mall in Kyiv (located under Independence Square) and I've also seen one in Kharkiv near the main train station.

Just kickin' it. 
I also discovered a small Vietnamese restaurant very close to the center. Its called Fanzi Pan and located right down the hill from Pushinskaya Street, near the metro station Architectora Beketova (on the green line).  I ordered their Pho and some rice crackers, and it was great being able to eat some asian food! I hadn't had Pho since I left Atlanta about 2 years ago.
They also had some great floor-to-ceiling wallpaper so I couldn't resist taking a photo with it. 
my Pho and rice crackers! mmmmm.... 


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