Thursday, April 25, 2013

School Visits

I visited six schools and a university in Ukraine.  From a small village school of only nine students to a private school with an indoor pool in Kyiv, the educational system in Ukraine varies greatly from school to school, and it's not always equitable.

Ukraine's Got Talent

Ukraine has a proud musical heritage, and we were privileged to witness several performances.Whether it was an assembly of students welcoming us into their school or a group of retirees at a luncheon, it was clear that Ukraine's got talent.

 What a talent! Click on the video.

Free time? What free time?

Schedules were fairly crammed, but we did manage to see some wonderful sights in the evenings and on weekends.

Museum and memorial in Kaniv for Taras Shevchenko, Ukrainian poet, artist, and all-around rock star.

Relics from the Great Patriotic War (WWII) and the Afghan War in and around the base of the Mother Motherland statue.

Monastery of the Caves, a beautiful and sprawling compound overlooking the Dnieper River

Presidential Administration Building, Kyiv 

   National Philharmonic                              
The World's Strongest Man...wait, who is who? 

Memorial to the Holodomor (forced famine) Victims


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Go Southwestern Rebels!

Food, Food, Food

Ukrainian meals are always large, and they can be heavy; however, ingredients are natural, and the people are active.  From the famous borscht to the chewy pig ear, I've been eating my way through Ukraine.


Dumplings stuffed with meat or potatoes is a typical side dish.

Some of the non-purple variety of borscht.  
Tastes a lot like vegetable soup reallly. 

Smoked, sliced pig ears.  Even my Ukrainian host gave me a strange look when I ordered this one.

 We ate lunch with a local farmer. This is what farm-to-table is all about!  The best sausage ever made.
Bread and salt is a welcome ceremony
in Ukraine. Guests are presented with a loaf of bread
as part of the traditional greeting.

Who doesn't enjoy lard and onions?                                                   

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Welcome to Chornobai!

Chornobai is a small village approximately three hours southeast of Kiev.  After arriving on Wednesday night, we've been busy working in the school, walking around town, and visiting neighboring areas.

As you can see, students are required to wear uniforms.  They were very interested in our dress code policy.

A student assembly welcoming us to the school.

After school many students go to the community center to take dance and art classes.  Some students competed in a sketch comedy routine against other schools.