| Блог Gail

I arrived in Ukraine on April 1, 2013 with 45 other Peace Corps volunteers. For 2.5 months we lived with host families in Chernigov where we had daily language lessons in Ukrainian or Russian and learned about Ukraine’s history and culture.



Figure 1 Chernigov Host family Nikolai and Galina with Gail, April 2013

After completing training, Peace Corps volunteers were sent to towns and villages throughout Ukraine to work with schools, libraries, and social service organizations. I was so fortunate that I was sent to Kirovograd to work with NGO Flora. During the 8 months I lived in Kirovograd, I met many people and worked on many interesting projects with NGO Flora, Mama-86, the Third School, and the English Club at the Kirovograd Library named after D.Chizhevsky.



Figure 2: Gail and Liudmyla Sheshtakova in Kyiv, June 2013

Then in February 2014, Peace Corps volunteers were withdrawn from Ukraine due to concerns over political unrest in the country. On February 24, 2014 I returned to the USA feeling very sad at leaving my friends and “family” in Kirovograd.
Every day since I returned to the USA, I hope to receive Peace Corps approval to return to Ukraine. Every day I read the newspaper and hope for good news from Ukraine. But until I can return, I communication with my “family” at NGO Flora by email and by Skype. I also enjoy telling my friends and acquaintances in the USA about my stay in Ukraine and the kindness and friendliness of the Ukrainian people. In March 2014 I talked about Ukraine to the Mariemont, Ohio Kiwanis Club. About 20 people attended the talk and they were very interested in learning about Ukraine. This week I hope to meet and talk with a woman from Lviv who moved to the USA several years ago and now lives in Chautauqua, New York state. So although I physically am in the USA, a part of me remains in Kirovograd.Fi