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We are all connected to one another February 23, 2010

Posted by americanex in Uncategorized.
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Sometimes we think that the country where we live is like an island….people working and living without much contact with people from other places. But really, we are all connected.

We are connected by many things…our families and friends that live in other countries; our studies in school about the world; and the many products and foods that we use and eat that come from far away lands.

People in Ukraine make things and grow vegetables and fruit that go to other cities and countries. They are used by people who speak a different language.

Did you know that people in Ukraine also use products that are made in factories located in countries very far away? It is true. People in Ukraine use products made in Cyprus, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Some big companies in Ukraine sell metals, fuel and petroleum products to other countries.  Other companies sell and ship chemicals, transport equipment and machinery to far away lands. These products make up about 72% of everything that Ukraine exports. About 13% of what is sold to other countries is food products.  

Can you guess what type of food or agricultural products Ukraine sells to other countries?

Do you know what type of products Ukraine imports (brings into the country from other countries around the world)?

Take a guess and let me know what you think. Come to English Club on February 28 and we’ll talk about it. Beginners can come at 10 a.m.  If you can speak a little English and want to learn to speak better, you can come at 11 a.m. And if you speak English well and want to practice, come to English Club at 12 noon.

I look forward to seeing you at the Kherson Oblast Children’s Library in the Foreign Literature Department.

Deborah Garofalo, Peace Corps Volunteer

A sign of spring February 18, 2010

Posted by americanex in Interesting about nature.
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Do you know the name of these flowers?

When I was a little girl, in February my mother would tell me to listen for the spring birds. She said if I hear spring birds in the morning I would know that winter would soon be over.

There is another sign of spring that many people look for…the first flowers. For Valentine’s Day, I received a bunch of beautiful white flowers. I had never seen flowers like these, so fragrant and tiny and delicate. I was told that these are the first flowers of spring.

In America, we watch for the first flowers of spring also. Folklore says that the first flower of spring is the flower of hope. It is a symbol fo new beginnings and rebirth. 

There are a few different flowers we watch for to tell us that winter is over.  The daffodil is one of them. So is the crocus.

And we have a superstition about the first flower of spring. Read below and maybe you can watch and see when you see the first flower in Ukraine.

If the flower is found on a…
Monday – good fortune is approaching.
Tuesday – success will be achieved in higher goals.
Wednesday – wedding bells will ring.
Thursday – opportunities for small profits will soon arise.
Friday – wealth is heading your way.
Saturday – consider yourself warned.
Sunday – you are guaranteed great fortune over a long period.

Can you name these flowers?

From rain to snow… February 16, 2010

Posted by americanex in Interesting about nature.
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crystal1.gif (13937 bytes)

Last night, we went to bed to hear the rain falling on the roof. This morning, we woke up to snow. What happened?

That is easy….when the air is warm, such as above 0 degrees centigrade, moisture in the air forms rain. When the air turns colder, 0 degrees or below 0 degrees, the moisture freezes and turns to snow. 

What is snow? It is frozen water. It freezes in the air in tiny little drops and forms crystals. There is a lot of air in snow and that makes it lighter than water or ice. Rather than falling straight down from the clouds like rain, snow will often drift down like a leaf falling from a tree.

Sometimes the snowflakes are very large and heavy and wet. That happens because the little drops of water stick together high up in the sky before they form crystals.

And other times we have sleet instead of snow. That occurs because high up in the sky, the air is warmer than the air by the earth. The drops of water start out as rain but freeze as they fall to the ground. Those frozen drops of water become sleet.

Isn’t learning about the weather fun? If you want to learn more, visit a few of the websites below.




We can build new words! February 12, 2010

Posted by americanex in Uncategorized.
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I recently went to Kiev for a Peace Corps Language Seminar. I learned a lot of interesting things about the Russian language, including that a root word is used to build new words by adding a prefix or a suffix. (a root word is the main part of a word that creates new words)

A prefix is put before the root word. An example in Russian would be двигать, which means the process of moving something. You can change the word to mean the result of or the process of moving something if you change the word to двинуть.

Well, you can do the same thing with English words. For example, the word “authorize.” Authorize is a  verb which means to approve of something. For example, the president of a country may authorize a city to close the schools if the weather is so bad that it is dangerous to be outside.

If you add the ending – ation – you get a whole new word – “authorization.” Authorization is a noun and it is the approval of something, such as the written authorization from the mayor to close the schools. Or  having authorization or approval from your teacher to leave your classroom.

If you add the ending – ity – you get the new word – “authority.” Authority is a noun that is a person that has the power to make a rule or law.

Below is a word game. See how many words you can create from the root word. If you can create two new words from each root word, bring your list into the Kherson Oblast Children’s Library and get a prize.

I’ll do the first one for you. Remember, you can use a prefix or a suffix; you may also find that the spelling of the root word changes a little.

List of root words:
















Have fun and I’ll see you at English Club on February 14 at 12:00 noon.

Deborah Garofalo, Peace Corps Volunteer

Answers to the Travel Game February 12, 2010

Posted by americanex in Uncategorized.
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Great guesses everyone! A couple people came really close to guessing all the answers, which are:

1) I traveled from Kherson to Odessa by train. I used a taxi to get to the train station in Kherson, and another taxi in Odessa to get from the train station to the airport. And I went on a bus to get from the airport terminal to board the airplane.

2) I went by airplane from Odessa to Warsaw.  At the Warsaw airport, I went on a bus to get from the airplane to the terminal.

3) I traveled by airplane to go from Warsaw to Chicago.

4) From Chicago to Cleveland I traveled by airplane.

5) I went by car from Cleveland to Painesville. There are no buses that travel between the two cities. Painesville is a small little town with only local buses that serve the areas close by.

Wow! Just talking about the trip makes me tired!