Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lifeguard Shortage in the USA

Is there per chance a shortage of lifeguards in the US? This sign in the Kiev metro got me to wondering. . . more about that in just a minute.

You see, earlier this week, I headed to Kiev's international airport to reconnect with friend Cindy from Virginia and her group who had been in nearby Zhitomer for 10 days. Back during our college years, the two of us lived in the same dorm (Yeah McKenzie!) but hadn't seen each other for ten years. So I wanted to catch up on with Cindy and hear about their Zhitomer adventures.

Besides that I wanted to practice getting to the airport on my own. From here to the train station takes an hour by metro and then the shuttle bus to the airport takes 50 minutes. That's no small feat especially during rush hour. Which makes it all the more exciting.

When I was on the metro escalator, this advertisement grabbed my attention. Something about the USA. And immediately you, dear blog readers, you came to mind. I knew that you would want to see this for yourself. Camera, camera, camera, where is that camera. Hurry, hurry.  Work in the USA as a lifeguard. Let's try for another shot. . . 

Come on camera, come on. You know with these digital cameras, there's a lag time between the pressing of the button and the lens action. An absolute eternity at a critical moment. I need to get closer for a better picture. Maybe on the way back from the airport. 

Well, here we are, quick as a wink at the airport. This a waiting area at Borispol, Kiev's international airport.  

These nylon bags are common luggage in Russia. The neat thing about them, they're nearly weightless. And that is a major plus, is it not. Oops, we're  not in Russia at the moment. I forget because so many folks in central Ukaine and on eastward are Russian and speak Russian. Anyway, I expect that these nylon bags are popular throughout the whole area.

One thing to love about Russian and Ukrainian folks, the average person is low maintainance, has few requirements for comfort, for food and is easily comfortable at the airport, at train stations. These folks travel light and, as I like to say, seems as though a Russian person can live for a week out of what fits in an envelope. That in mind, the owners of the matching luggage set, above, might well be moving overseas. You'll forgive me for not inquiring about that, right?  

Oh yeah! Found Cindy and her group. Learned that they kept busy in Zhitomer teaching Bible classes, crafts lessons, visiting orphanages and senior citizen centers. Over the years, this bunch and others from their usual group have made so many trips from the US to Ukraine, maybe 15 trips. 

And here's the fine folks from Zhitomer who brought them the 2 hrs by van. Vitalik is the preacher and Natasha coordiates the children's program for the church there.


As we head out the door, one more look at bags. Of course one negative is that they aren't wheeled. Also they're far too easily opened. Still there's always a plastic wrap station where, after customs inspection, a person can have their bag wrapped around a few times with plastic film. Now that will keep a thief out. For about 10 seconds. But surprisingly, doesn't seem to be much of a problem.

Back to the metro and I'm determined to get close to the lifeguard signs. Oh look, here's another sign about working in the US. There's a website there if you want more information. Oh - of course you might already work in the US. . .

Okay, here we go. Went up and down the escalator an extra time to get nice and close - especially for you. Here we go: 

Work in the USA as a lifeguard.Summer of 2009 for students. Pay is 8 - 15$ an hour. Recruiting is limited - hurry! 

Imagine training a Russian-speaking lifeguard to work at a beach in the US, assuming of course that it's a beach where people speak English - or, more accurately, a beach where people do not speak Russian. That could make some interesting scenarios. Just trying to imagine training these new lifeguards. Phrases to know: 1) I can not swim. He, she, it can not swim. 2) Help me! Help him, help her, help it! 3) I am drowning. He, she, or it is drowning. We are drowning! You are drowning! They are drowning!

Believe it or not, back in the previous millenium I worked as a lifeguard myself. And two classic questions for my memoirs: 4) Can you find my dentures? I must have lost them in the lake. 5) Can you find my glasses? I had them on when I went off the diving board. . .

I managed to retrieve the glasses, amazingly, off the lake bottom. But the dentures . . .they're probably still out there at the bottom of Akron's Turkeyfoot Lake. 


cindyb said...

It was so special of you to come to meet us at the airport coming and going! I enjoyed so much the time we could be together - - so much visiting yet to do! Well, internet helps, but there's nothing like the sound of a friend's voice and their hugs!!
God bless for all you do in His name, Eileen!
Love you, cindy

Nicole said...

This is hilarious.
I remember those bags from Korea and I think I've seen them in Kuwait too.
Must be international :)

Can you find my dentures, I'm still giggling :D

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your photos and story so much - oh, the escalators - reminds me of my trips to St. Pete!! And thank you for the posting and photo of
Cindy - I had not seen her since our days of carpooling to Caldwell to teach. Eileen, please continue the great work and great stories. I really want to hear more about the Thanksgiving meal!!
God be with you - Carol