Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Back in Kyiv!

After my two day (four hours a day) Russian exam last week we had a week and a half off of classes so I decided to make the most of it and travel around to get some more interviews for my research. We started out in a snowy Kyiv where I tried to get interviews with government officials and they proceeded to brush me off...little do they know I will be calling them again next time I am in town! The one thing I have learned through my fieldwork experience is persistence does pay off eventually! I also visited the IOM and found some great sources for my research, the only problem was I had to haul all those wonderful books  around Ukraine with me for the rest of the trip!

A snowy photo looking down Kreschatik, the main street of Kyiv. 
 This is Independence Square where the main events of the Orange Revolution took place.
I visited the offices of the A21 Campaign an anti-trafficking organization working in Ukraine and we cracked open this anti-trafficking game that I wrote about in a previous post. We discovered that it is more of a migration game but they did have some trafficking information so it was worth breaking it open and having a look. 
I also was able to visit their beautiful shelter where they rehabilitate victims of trafficking. The walls were plastered with cards wishing the women well and I thought this was such a wonderful idea, to give words of encouragement to women who have been through so much. I plan on doing this with my students when I get back to the US....also I think I will try to get the first and second year Russian and Ukrainian classes to write to them in Russian/Ukrainian too! 

If you are interested in writing to the victims in Ukraine here is some information you need to know before writing and here is where you can mail the cards:
Kyiv - 1  P.O. Box B267
Ravnushkina Tetiana Valeriivna

If you would like to do more to help, here are some items they currently need in their shelter and the address you can send them to:

Gryshkovska Tetiana Valeriivna

I did do one touristy thing while I was in Kyiv. I visited the National Art Museum. I went on Tuesday but it was closed (contrary to what my guide book said) so I went again on Wednesday before we took the train to Vinnitsya. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Presentation Update with my Rotary Host Club

My host counselor Igor (president of the Rotary Club-Kharkiv my host club) asked me to come and talk to the club again about my trip back to the US and how my research and studies were progressing in Ukraine. I brought Matt to this meeting, even though he was sick, so they could meet him as well. It was nice to check in with everyone and tell them about everything I have been doing. They also talked about much my Russian had improved since the first time I was there which was nice to hear because sometimes I just get bogged down in my research and studying that I don't notice all the progress I have made!

It was also the man standing at the end of the table's birthday and this is a picture of him giving a toast (there are always at least 10 toasts at every meeting) and reciting some Ukrainian poetry that everyone except me knew by heart!