Today is our last day in Kyiv before heading to Simferopol (in Crimea). Last night we had delicious Georgian food (as in the country, not the U.S. state).  It was delicious.  I had lamb chops.  I’m tired and the days are starting to run together.  We’ve learned a ton! Here’s what we’ve done so far:

Saturday, June 12

We visited St. Sofia, St. Michael’s and rode the Funicular and saw the riverside.  Interesting things that happened on Saturday:

  • Natalie had some guys at the riverside put a large bird on her shoulder and then try and charge her for it.
  • We got charged for a woman to sing to us at a restaurant.
  • We have about a million O-H-I-O pictures
  • We saw an amazing mosaic made out of the beautiful painted eggs.
  • We had lots of older women followed us around and told us repeatedly told us not to take pictures.
  • We climbed to the top of the bell tower at St. Sofia.  It was also like a million degrees
  • We discovered that McDonald’s here has deep fried breaded brie with raspberry sauce.

I’ll have to add more more about Sunday later.  I’ve run out of time.

Kyiv – Day 3

Welcome to day three of my trip to Ukraine. I’m still in Kyiv and feeling totally exhausted today. I had to have green tea and black tea today to give me enough of a jump start to feel human.

Interesting things so far:

  • The hair dryer looks like a vacuum cleaner (I’ll try to post a picture at some point). Picture Gypsy from Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (props to Josie for this comparison)
  • Cars park wherever they feel like including the middle of the street and the sidewalk.
  • There seem to be a lot of Japanese restaurants.  The only reason for this, as far as we can tell, must be that there are lots of Asian tourists.
  • The beds are hard and the pillows square and flat like most of Europe.
  • So far we haven’t seen anyone wearing tennis shoes or flip flops (observation from a group member).
  • We have seen lots of people (both men and women) wearing all white.  This seems unusual even though it has been really hot (it’s supposed to be 95 today).

Yesterday we had lectures on defense from Hannah Shelest and on development of local self government from Anatoliy Tkachuk (pronounced Cat-chuk) who helped draft the Ukrainian Declaration of Independence.

So far I have tried Kefir soup, Borscht and some random chicken skewers that were delicious.  Last night we had Italian food and I tried Georgian water which is supposed to be good for your health. It tasted like extra mineral-y mineral water (yes with bubbles!).

Hopefully I’ll be able to check in again soon!


The official countdown is 17 days until my travel day.  I have now reached the point where I am actively trying not to panic about all the things I need to do prior to my trip.  My group and I are currently working on our paper on democracy in Ukraine.  That’s due Wednesday.  Not to mention my other papers and finals and all the work I have to completely.  But what am I really worried about? What am I going to wear!  I know it’s so shallow, but at the same time, it’s the details of packing clothes that are making me panic.  Especially since I don’t know exactly what meetings I’ll have and my general lack of spring professional clothes.  I guess I’m risking it and taking dry clean only stuff.  What choice do I have?

I hope I’m going to have time to update here.  I also have password for the Glenn School facebook account and will be updating there.

In case you missed the news, an all out fist fight broke out in the Ukrainian Parliament yesterday over the renewal of the Russian naval base lease.

There’s a story on the Huffington Post with some really dramatic pictures.  I guess it’s definitely going to be an interesting trip. I can’t get the video to embed, but there’s video at Huffington Post as well.

Let the Games Begin…

So it is now just over a month before I leave for my big trip and midterm week at school. Next week starts my super busy season at work.  I’m not sure what I was thinking that this wouldn’t be crazy busy, but it is.  My first paper for my class prepping for the big trip was due today.  In some ways this made me feel better, in other ways I’m now insanely nervous.

My brain has now gone into overdrive about all the stuff I have to do. I have to make the rest of my travel arrangements, I have to do the checklist that school gave me, I have to go to the doctor and make sure everything is ok, I have to shop, I have to pack, I have to buy a bathing suit (ick!), I have to…., I have to…. and I have to continue to live my life normally.

So, the verdict so far: I’m super excited but I can’t think about that right now because I’m busy studying (or avoiding studying) for a midterm, being busy at work and planting my garden.  But I’ll get back to you.

I’ve been sitting on this blog place for a while now. It didn’t evolve the way I thought it might, but maybe it wasn’t time yet.  Good things are happening in my life and soon I will be going to the Ukraine with my graduate school program.  I hope to post about my preparations and the trip here so I don’t have to tell the story a million times to everyone who wants to know.  Not that I mind that, but I forget who I’ve told and who I haven’t.  So, stay tuned.


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