I've met some people on the other CWY exchange (the Core Youth Program), and they seem like pretty cool guys. Among other locales, there's a guy from Yellowknife, and a guy from Cape Breton. As soon as I heard that, I just knew that all was well. I'm not a Cape Bretoner myself, but I cherish that particular brand of sanity more than almost any other. My mother's side of the family are all from North Sydney.
I've also met a lot of the people that we've met in Edmonton and some of the people who are going on the NetCorps exchange to Regina soon. Again, innumerable cool people everywhere.
Last night I went out with Роман (Roman) and his buddies again; Алексі (Alexi) shared some freshwater lobster with us. He caught them himself on the big lake near here (the one with the long concrete dam). The taste kind of reminded me of home, although it's nice to know that Atlantic Canada and Maine don't have a monopoly on the little critters. Apparently they have sea lobster in Russian waters.
We're still applying the inventory stickers at the ELRC library; after that, we'll be making some textual modifications to the new catalouge interface, as it seems likely to be in Engrish. After that we'll have to sort the books by category, add catalouge stickers, and then we'll enhance the catalouge by adding additional information about each book (when printed, where published, a short summary, etc..). It just occoured to me; maybe there's a standardized list of books we can tap into without having to reinvent the wheel?
I had a long talk with Lee about how sketchy things were concerning our program in general; he agreed, but he told me that I shouldn't be looking at this project from an on-paper perspective. Sure, the project is supposed to be about e-governance, and the last project was supposed to be about IT. That's what CWY and Ostroh say so that they can get funding. Instead of being cynical about that, I should cherish the fact that they're able to send people here, and recognize that this experience will greatly improve my ability to contribute to the economy. In that sense, the taxpayer's investment is somewhat justified. It's just something that can't be described in numbers - therefore the need for some well-intentioned BS to get the ball rolling.
I just wish they'd have told us this before we started the NetCorps exchange, so as not to have ridiculous expectations. I thought I'd be saving the world with my IT legerdemain. Instead, I was actually getting a more-or-less "typical" CWY experience. It wasn't what I bargained for, but I'm glad that's what I got, because I needed it much more than I realized.
I spend a lot of time reading these days; perhaps too much. At the moment I'm consumed by the question of what I'm going to do when the program's over. Not having to go back to Canada leaves me with a truly dreadful number of options for January 7th. Apparently it's possible to teach English in Київ (Kyiv), which doesn't sound like a bad idea, and it would be relatively easy to get there since that's where the program ends. But my heart lies elsewhere at the moment. We'll see what happens.
Oh, I almost forgot; I got a GSM/GPRS cell phone! It's a maroon LG C1100 with a serious case of Korean cutes. It's similar to my Canadian CDMA phone (a blue LG 6070), but a lot sexier, if that can be said about a cell phone. My number is +380973888159 if anyone's brave enough to call me. (To call from North America, dial 011-38-097-3888159.) I'll try to set up text messaging through my LJ profile today.
Well, maybe it's a good time to go look for some breakfast. Take care, everyone! I'll get cracking on the letters and/or postcards soon.