Ukraine: Things I’ll Miss

  • (or already do): Viktor Mykolaiovych and Tetiana Petrivna
  • Coffee and hilarity at Natalia’s shop with her, Ilona, Tanya, Petro, and Nina
  • My pupils at school, especially the 11A, 8A, and 4b classes (yeah I know I’m not supposed to have “favorite” classes or pupils, but I totally do and I’m pretty sure every teacher does. Some are just better at hiding it).
  • My wonderful English-teacher colleagues, who have been great to work in parallel to and teach with: Diana Dmytrivna, Nadia, Natalia Mykhailivna, Halya.
  • Other Ukrainian teachers at my school, who have been so welcoming, kind, patient with my Ukrainian language, and just willing to stop and chat with me once in a while. Especially: Yulia Petrivna, Anya Vasylivna, Nadia Mykhailivna, Natalia Mykhailivna (a different one), Natalia Volodymyrivna, Anatoliy Oleksiyovych, Viktoria Liubomyrivna, Liudmyla Mykhailivna, Valentyna Volodymyrivna…
  • Running along the Prut River/canal. Doing speed workouts at the stadium on the jacked-up 350m asphalt track while the morning walkers walk. Running on my absolute favorite road, atop a hill a mile or so away from the center of town — I think the official name of the street is Hohols’koho, but I call it “the high road” or “up top” in my head.
  • My English clubbers, especially the older pupils and adults who have been attending from the very beginning and who have brought so much energy and have grown so much in creativity and critical thinking: Iryna, Katya, Yulia, Andriy, Oleh K., Oleh S., Tanya, Mykhailo…
  • Weekly food morsel exchanges with Iryna — she or I bring something we’ve picked or made for the other person. The exchange usually happens at the end of English club on Wednesday evenings.
  • Being invited to help Iryna in her garden or field, and/or to join her on an excursion in the spring and summer.
  • Being 2-7 minutes away from pretty much anything I might need to buy.
  • Sniatyn’s fantastic bakery — especially their horishky and trubochky cookies and buying still-warm loaves of bread.
  • My apple (and walnut and pear) man at the bazaar, who always gave me discounts.
  • Watching adorable Ukrainian children recite rhyming “greetings” on holidays.
  • Being able to tune out conversations because they’re in another language and I will only understand if I listen carefully.

…and more. But I also have many things to look forward to, and to paraphrase my friend and fellow PCV Kate, I’m lucky to have had something that makes it so hard to say goodbye.

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6 thoughts on “Ukraine: Things I’ll Miss

  1. Mary Van Nortwick says:

    I’m so glad to know that your experience in Ukraine has been such a good one. I hope that if you return to Oberlin for a visit, we can have a chance to chat in person and I can show you my mother’s beautiful embroideries and Easter eggs.

    • taplatt says:

      Mary, that would be wonderful. I am planning to be in the Oberlin area in early December — I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for all your support!

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