Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Social Butterflies

Our dance card has been full lately, with invitations to visit the homes of many friends and colleagues. In addition to our lunch at the vice rector's home on Sunday, we had events on Monday and Tuesday evenings.

On Monday, we traveled to Ewa's apartment to celebrate her birthday. Ewa is another Fulbright scholar who is teaching at Ivan Franko National University. She studies gender and politics as well as film. She is teaching courses related to these areas at the university. Our trip began inauspiciously. We thought that Ewa's apartment was on a trolleybus route, and since we hate riding on marshrutkas, we took a tram to the trolley and settled in for the ride. Lea realized that we were not going the right way, however, so we got out in the cold, windy, wet streets of L'viv to find a cab. We finally hailed one and made our way to Ewa's, late and freezing. Several guests had already arrived and were enjoying a delicious nut cake from Tsukernya. We chatted with some American students in L'viv for the semester, students from the university (one of whom took classes from Erik's colleague Dennis when he was here two years ago on a Fulbright), and some of Ewa's departmental colleagues. Carter was very happy because he was able to snack on cookies and grapes.

Yesterday evening, we visited Lyuda, a journalism faculty member who has been meeting regularly with Erik to chat about various things. Lyuda was a Fulbright scholar in the US a few years ago and worked with one of Erik's former students in Washington, DC. Her husband, a well-known poet, was in Kyiv where he works at a literature institute, but her daughters were at home. Nadia (16) and Olesya (13) fell in love with Carter and immediately whisked him away to play. Carter is usually a bit reticent with new people, but he took to them on the spot and enjoyed talking to them and doing various activities. Lyuda had prepared a lovely meal of borshch, potatoes with a Georgian hot sauce, pelmeny, meat cutlets, and salad. We had a wonderful evening at Lyuda's as well!

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