Reflections from Kyiv
Chernihiv and Odessa gallery (coming when i return from Russia)
My contact information
20/22 ul Shulyavska
for anyone who wants to call me:
phone cards purchased at Costco, Wal-Mart, or some other American paradise
of capitalism, will work fine and cost about $.15/minute. (much cheaper
than the $.45/min it costs me to call). Alternatively, here is a good
website where you can order a calling card that will cost only 9 cents
a minute. The link is the site is www.uniontelecard.com
the blue Europe card is pretty good, without a maintenance fee, but
I think the “O Phone Card” is better for longer conversations,
which I would rather have than short, more frequent ones.
A Word from Me:
I have traveled across the globe to spend a year in the chaotically beautiful city of Kyiv, Ukraine. Here I am encountering challenges I have never before faced in my life, along with and responsible for, experiences of more value than any amount of silver or gold. I am undertaking an obstacle course, a steeplechase of sorts, riding on and lifted by an untold number of people. Along the way are so many faces, emotions, discomforts, tears, smiles, dreams, memories and pictures that I yearn to share with everyone. Like Zarathustra, I do not believe I can contain the experience of this year within myself. The sun is rising, filling me with its warmth, and I must speak.
However, phone calls to the United States run about $0.40 a minute, so I will not be speaking through those wires. Emails are wonderful, and I relish them (my address is on the left– hint, hint); however, they are also extremely limited by time, megabyte limits and so forth. Therefore, I decided to create this site. Here I hope to enable someone sitting at a computer anywhere in the world to share in my experience. As God reveals himself, his absolute grace, beauty and universality to me here in Kyiv, I hope I can reveal a bit of Him to you also, wherever you may be.
The links on the left lead to my photo galleries, which involve my work here and the people with whom I am working. Also, the “official” newsletters link will allow you to read my monthly correspondences with the people back home who supports my work, as well as the Ukrainian Education Center itself. These writings detail and pursue my work here and my reflections upon it. Finally, the third link, the more personal one, will take you to galleries of pictures taken solely for their photographic benefit and well as various stories and writings of all sorts: non-fictional narratives, fictional, fantastical writings that were inspired here, poetry related to Kyiv or my experiences here, or whatever else I write and want to put on the website. I hope you enjoy the site, and please email me any suggestions, questions, or concerns; or, just email me.
Fun Facts, News, and Observations
I was blessed to have several visitors this past month. My older sister Nicole came on her spring break from Columbia University for a week in the middle of March, and then my mother, and her friend from church, Karen Speake, came two weeks later. As my mother came a week before my birthday, she brought me a present - one of thebest I've ever received - a new digital camera (mine was stolen during my sister's visit). Besides this generous gift, Nicole, Mom and Karen also all brought numerous videos and books for me and the center. Besides these bearings, I also now have a good supply of Reese's peanut butter eggs, Dr. Pepper, Tagalong Girl Scout cookies (oh the joy when i saw that surprise), and current magazines (Astronomy, Discover, U.S. News, and Time). Most importantly, though, I was overjoyed to see two of the people I love most in the world and share my life and friends here with them.
The university semester ended April 12th for my class, and after many days entirely spent grading, I am ready for a break from the responsibilites of a teacher for awhile. My students were incredible this semester, though, and it made me sad to finish that aspect of my time here.
In travelling news, on April 21st, my roommate Oleg and I are headed to Russia for a two week adventure. We are planning to go to Moscow and St. Petersburg and several cities in between. Needless to say, Iam somewhat excited. Also, earlier this spring I had the chance to go on two "day trips" with church members. One to Odessa, on the black sea, which meant a 12 hour train on Friday night there, a day to walk around which included "Swan Lake" in one of the ten most beautiful opera houses in the world, and then a 12 hour train back on Saturday night. High speed travel, you might call it. Secondly, I went to Chernihiv (only an hour and a half by bus), the hometown of one of our church members for a day exploring ancient churches, catacombs, and a monastery.