The Real faces of EuroMaidan

This video:

 

This is the Ukraine I know.

These are the Ukrainians- who invited me to their kitchen tables, taught me how to make Borscht, found my American accent charming (rather than annoying), and made sure that I never forgot to wear a hat during the winter…

These are the real faces of EuroMaidan and their hopeful faces, will change Ukraine – forever.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

-Margaret Mead

Cлава Україні! (Glory To Ukraine)

Stay strong Ukraine.

We are with you.

The first of so many “lasts” and my message to America

I still have some posts to make from my adventurous summer. But I don’t want to give the wrong impression a majority of Peace Corps. service- you simply stay at your site and do your job.

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And that’s what I’m doing now.

September 1st. historically marks the beginning of the school so even though it was Sunday – schools across Ukraine had their First Bell (aka “Day Of Knowledge”) ceremonies.

Since it had been rainy the last couple of days – my school moved the ceremony to our town’s palace of culture.

For me, it marked the beginning of so many ‘lasts.’ Continue reading

The world as I see it

To be honest, I have never really been one for adventure. I’m an introvert by nature who’d much rather sit at home and watch re-runs of The Office, and The Big Bang Theory with a bag of potato chips by myself.

But somehow in this crazy life adventure always seems to find me- whether I’m ready for it or not.

That’s the crazy thing about life~ you can make one ordinary decision and it changes everything…

That’s what led me here. To a country the rest of the world rarely thinks about… Albania.

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A country that my life was changed by… long before I ever set foot in it.

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There’s a phrase in the non-profit field called “compassion apathy” and I admit I suffered from that for a long time.

Sometimes you really do, need to be crazy in order to be hopeful in a suffering world. Continue reading

Love In The Mail

So March has been a pretty stressful month- I’m in the process of re-registaring which involves a lot of paperwork in a foreign language… Thankfully my counterpart has been awesome and doing a lot of additional work on my behalf- without complaint.

Have I mentioned how awesome my co-workers are?

Besides, that I’ve trying desperately to fundraise money for Camp MAKE.

Why?

Because, we are all born to make a difference and the kids of Ukraine deserve to know that.

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Thankfully it seems mail always comes to Ukraine when I need it the most to cheer me up… and I have gotten some pretty wonderful things in the mail recently. Continue reading

My Crazy Valentine

Once again, I’m seriously behind on blog entries! But there’s something good about that… because, well if I’m not updating it means I’m busy in a crazyily good/insane sort of way!

I’m slowly realizing that I have less-than a year left of service (9 months to be exact!). Which is crazy… time really does fly when you’re in your second-year of service. A few other things have been going on at my site.

Many multi-cultural activities/projects.

I’ve kind of been going through a holiday kick-lately my students have learned about everything from President’s Day where we did various worksheets related to Honest Abe & good ol’ George (and changed the game Simon Says to “Obama Says“), to Valentine’s Day.

I love talking about holidays and traditions with my younger students. Why?

Because, anything out of the ordinary of our regular English lessons is really exciting for them. Last month we spent an entire week focused on Valentine’s Day-

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We learned new vocabulary… talked about holiday traditions.

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And then, made Valentines. Continue reading

I Always Thought We Were Irish With A Weird Last Name…

The title of this post is sort of a running joke in my family… I really had no idea that we were Polish until our family had one weird conversation in our car, while we were discussing a school project I needed to do about my family’s ancestry

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I’ve always had an unusual last name by American standards. Definitely not O’Donnell or Sullivan.

My Dad: Kim what did you think we were?

Me: I just always thought we were Irish with a weird last name…

My grandmother ‘Busia’ always held a special place in her heart for Poland and the Poles. The town our ancestors came from is not far from Krakow. So when we had the opportunity to visit Poland. We made sure to visit Krakow. Continue reading

Never Helpless

Whenever, I’m sad… or feeling gloomy about the state of the world. I always open up my iPhoto program and try to find some familiar faces- that somehow always make me smile :).IMG_2472

Like most Americans, my heart is broken by the news I heard from Connecticut. The distance between Ukraine and the USA doesn’t change that.  After all, America has always been a country that has stood together in tragedy.

Instead the distance only makes me feel helpless.

Helpless to help- a community going through some pretty unspeakable pain.

Helpless to help- parents that lost children during what should be the most wonderful time of the year.

Helpless to help- some pretty scared children, who are probably having nightmares at night.

But, you know what? I’m no longer hopeless about the state of our country… why? Continue reading