The Circus

A couple of weeks ago, the opportunity to purchase tickets to the National Circus of Ukraine came up through the Embassy, so my husband and I decided to go. Some of my husband’s coworkers and their families ended up purchasing tickets as well, which we were super excited about to see them outside of the work environment.

When we mentioned to some of our friends at the dog park that we were going, they told us they were not impressed with the circus here. Thus, my expectations were very low. I ended up being very impressed with the circus and had the best time. Adults and children alike were entertained. There were dogs, birds, tigers, horses, acrobats, contortionists, gymnasts, and of course clowns. In addition, there was a live band that played during the show.

The animals all looked very healthy and well taken care of, and the choreography was impressive. One of my husband’s coworkers commented that there were moves in the acts he had not seen before, and he had been to quite a few circus performances prior to this one.

I can’t write about the circus without mentioning that there were the squat toilets in the bathroom. It was not my first time encountering them, but it was my first time using one. What can I say, sometimes you just have to suck it up and put your big girl pants on.

Other than the toilet situation, I highly recommend going to the circus here. It was such a wonderful experience and a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend an afternoon!!

EFM Employment

When my husband accepted his position a little over a year ago, we both knew there would be a period of time that I would be unemployed. We have been able to manage living off of one paycheck thus far, but we have not been able to save money or make extra payments towards debt. Thus, I made it a point to look for employment prior to moving here so I would be a working woman again as soon as possible after arriving at post.

My goal was to work at the Embassy, since they have great benefits and the pay is better than what I would make here on the local job market in Kyiv. An added benefit is I would be able to carpool to work with my husband:) However, positions do not always open up right away that a person would be qualified or interested in, and if you accept a position, it can take months to receive the required security clearance.

Earlier this year, a position opened up that was a perfect fit for me. I applied and was quickly selected for an interview. Within a week or two, I was offered that position. One caviat- the position was contingent on me obtaining security clearance. I knew from my husband’s application process for his job that the security clearance process can take a while. Most people told me that the process can take three to six months. A few weeks ago, I received a phone call that my background check came through and I was cleared to start my position!! After a little over six months of unemployment I am now officially a working woman again – I am so excited!!

I must say it has been extremely useful for me to be at home to take care of everything house related, and I can’t imagine someone living this life alone without someone home at least in the first few months of moving to post. There needed to be somebody at home to let in technicians, handymen, and movers at least a dozen times in the first few months.

Not to seem ungrateful for the job of housewife (or house manager, as my husband jokingly refers to me), but it has been as far from a relaxing and unstressful experience as you can get. For those who think that an unemployed EFM sits around all day eating bon bons and drinking wine, I beg to differ. The past six months I have been a housekeeper, the sole cook, errand runner, daytime dog walker (most days twice per day), financial planner, accountant, personal assistant and professional organizer for our household. I have also been a language student and blog writer on top of those responsibilities. Those tasks alone accounted for a good 30-40 hours per week of my time!!!

To prepare for me going back to work, we have recently hired a part time housekeeper and a dog walker to take care of some of the responsibilities I have taken care of while unemployed. My husband and I will split cooking duties again (yay!!!), and he will have to help with some errands, however I will most likely have to continue the never ending tasks of laundry and picking up after my husband.

I will hopefully also be able to continue Russian lessons a couple times a week and will continue with this blog, as it is an outlet for me. Working will give me a sense of purpose again, and a chance to use my college degrees and previous work experience. I will be able to continue contributing to my retirement account again and make extra payments toward debt. I am beyond grateful and excited for this new chapter in my career!!