Culture Archive

  • It’s that time of year again: quarantine in Ukraine. Of course, this is no ordinary closure of schools. Generally, there are isolated outbreaks of the seasonal flu in January or February, causing individual regions and towns to shut down for a week or two. In addition to arriving in fall, this round of quarantine is nationwide for three weeks and affects all schools, universities, and public gatherings.

    All Quarantined-up and Nowhere To Go

    It’s that time of year again: quarantine in Ukraine. Of course, this is no ordinary closure of schools. Generally, there are isolated outbreaks of the seasonal flu in January or February, causing individual regions and towns to shut down for a week or two. In addition to arriving in fall, this round of quarantine is nationwide for three weeks and affects all schools, universities, and public gatherings.

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  • I’ve officially been in Ukraine for a year. In a way, it’s not hard to believe. Practically every time I met another volunteer the subject of time came up. “So […]

    The Year of Borshch

    I’ve officially been in Ukraine for a year. In a way, it’s not hard to believe. Practically every time I met another volunteer the subject of time came up. “So […]

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  • In Ukraine, I wear a lot of hats. And not just in winter. I’m an English teacher, an American culture expert, a Mexican food chef, a basketball coach, a yoga instructor, a journalist, a travel agent, and a decent day laborer.  I’m also a novice economist.

    When time isn't money

    In Ukraine, I wear a lot of hats. And not just in winter. I’m an English teacher, an American culture expert, a Mexican food chef, a basketball coach, a yoga instructor, a journalist, a travel agent, and a decent day laborer. I’m also a novice economist.

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  • I made a pact with myself when school started. I was going to run everyday during September. I’ve always been good at daily exercising, but I’ve never had to do it on my own before. It’s a lot easier when you have a team or a gym waiting for you. Hitting up the local soccer stadium where more people are smoking cigarettes than burning up the track is less than inviting. But people are surprisingly friendly there.

    Running Into New Friends

    I made a pact with myself when school started. I was going to run everyday during September. I’ve always been good at daily exercising, but I’ve never had to do it on my own before. It’s a lot easier when you have a team or a gym waiting for you. Hitting up the local soccer stadium where more people are smoking cigarettes than burning up the track is less than inviting. But people are surprisingly friendly there.

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  • This is my moment of zen. I hesitated to share it with you. In a culture as public and communal as Ukraine, I get territorial about my precious private moments. I took this photo on the coast of the Black Sea, after the rest of my party departed for a nap. It was pretty bold of me to stay behind.

    Sweet Solitude

    This is my moment of zen. I hesitated to share it with you. In a culture as public and communal as Ukraine, I get territorial about my precious private moments. I took this photo on the coast of the Black Sea, after the rest of my party departed for a nap. It was pretty bold of me to stay behind.

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  • I'm fond of saying that I've learned a lot in my short time in Peace Corps Ukraine. And one of the more tangible things is a proverb: краше пізно ніж ніколі. It means

    Grapes have seeds and other revelations

    I'm fond of saying that I've learned a lot in my short time in Peace Corps Ukraine. And one of the more tangible things is a proverb: краше пізно ніж ніколі. It means "better late than never."

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  • I'm really not that American who travels abroad and eats at McDonalds.  OK, up until my trip to Prague last week, that was a true statement.

    Would you like fries with that?

    I'm really not that American who travels abroad and eats at McDonalds. OK, up until my trip to Prague last week, that was a true statement.

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  • Today was a good day. After many failed attempts and half-starts, I had my very first English Club.

    The Unofficial English Club

    Today was a good day. After many failed attempts and half-starts, I had my very first English Club.

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  • After 10 weeks of training, it was time yet again to leave a family, a community, and in my case an entire region of a country. Since graduation, it seems as if I’m in a constant state of motion. First, I left Waco for Katy, then Katy for Ukraine.

    Home Sweet Home

    After 10 weeks of training, it was time yet again to leave a family, a community, and in my case an entire region of a country. Since graduation, it seems as if I’m in a constant state of motion. First, I left Waco for Katy, then Katy for Ukraine.

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  • Before I found out I was moving to Ukraine, I probably couldn’t have found it on a map. Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Poland, and Belarus all blended together in my mind when I pictured Eastern Europe and Russia.

    A Cross-Cultural Open Gym Experience

    Before I found out I was moving to Ukraine, I probably couldn’t have found it on a map. Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Poland, and Belarus all blended together in my mind when I pictured Eastern Europe and Russia.

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