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July 4th – Independence Day in America June 29, 2010

Posted by americanex in holidays, Uncategorized.
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The 4th of July is a very big holiday in America. It is Independence Day, the day America adopted the Declaration of Independence. This is the day we celebrate our freedom, our democracy and our love for our country.

The story of America’s independence started many years ago with the American Revolutionary War. This is the war that the Amrican colonies fought against Great Britian. On July 2, 1776, America’s Congress voted to be formally separated from Great Britian.

The Declaration of Independence was discussed, revised and discussed some more by the Congress. Finally, on July 4th it was approved. This is the day we call “America’s birthday.”

It was a committe of five congressmen, led by Benjamine Franklin, that created the Declaration of Independence included. The Committee also inclued  Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman.

The 4th of July is a National Holiday. Most people do not have to work and most businesses are closed. Americans celebrate the day with parades, picnics, family gatherings, festivals and fireworks.

Some of the traditional food eaten at the many picnics include hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, fruit salad, corn on the cob, apple pie, ice cream, macaroni salad and baked beans. The hamburgers and hot dogs are cooked on a grill just like Ukrainians use to cook Bar B Q (shashleek).

Below are some pictures from parades and picnics with my family in America.

Everyone loves the 4th of July Parade in Fairport Harbor. This is a photo of my daughter Darcie watching the Parade.

The Parade always includes firetrucks and emergency squads (ambulances) from the local Fire Departments.

A Parade in America’s Capitol, Washington DC


Where was I? June 29, 2010

Posted by americanex in Uncategorized.
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If you have visited many cities in Ukraine, you know that sometimes the cities look alike. Sometimes you cannot tell the difference between one city and another.

For example, if you see a picture of a street in Nikolaev and a picture of a street in Kherson, could you tell them apart? It is the same in the United States. Sometimes the cities and countryside look ver similar.

Do you think there is a difference between cities and country in America and Ukraine? Take a look a the pictures below and see if you can tell where I was when I took the photo. The answers are at the bottom…try to guess first…do not cheat!
















#1 Chicago, USA     #2 Virginia, USA     #3 Alushta, Ukraine     #4  Idaho, USA     #5 Kilia, Ukraine     #6 Ohio, USA     #7 Izmael, Ukraine     #8Washington DC, USA     #9 Kherson, Ukraine     #10 Ohio, USA      #11Kherson, Ukraine     #12Chernigov, Ukraine     #13Florida, USA     #14Crimea, Ukraine     #15Kiev, Ukraine

Be a “Pen Pal” June 29, 2010

Posted by americanex in About kids in USA, Uncategorized.
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When I went back to America in May, I visited many friends and family. I also visited a  class of students I have been writing to over the past year.   The students were in the 5th form at Fairport Elementary School in Fairport Harbor Ohio. They are my “pen pals.”

A pen pal is someone who lives far away, some times in another country, that you write to regularly. It may be someone you already know, or it can be someone you do not know but would like to learn about. You can also learn about the country they live in and how things are different or the same as where you live.

When I was a little girl, I had a pen pal that I wrote to with a pen on paper. Today, I write to my pen pals through email. The children from Fairport Elementary have learned a lot about Ukraine through my letters. I told them about the English Clubs at our Library and about the students I visit at many of the schools in Kherson.

It was nice to get to meet the children from Fairport in person. They had so many questions about the children in Ukraine and what schools are like here. They also wanted to know about the children that visit the Kherson Oblast Children’s Library and what life is like in Kherson. Below is a picture of the kids in their classroom with their teacher, Sabrina Rowan.

Mrs. Rowan’s class was anxious for summer vacation. Many of them told me they would like to have a pen pal from Ukraine.  If you would like to have a pen pal from America, come and visit me in the Foreign Literature Department at the Children’s Library. I will help you get started finding a friend from far away and you can learn more about life in America.



American Graduation June 4, 2010

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I recently went back to America to see my oldest daughter Hallie graduate from the Virginia Commonwealth University. She received her Master’s Degree in Forensic Science. Forensic Science is a science that is used by the law and criminal investigations and trials. It used chemistry and biology to analyze evidence left behind at crime scenes. 

In America, it takes 4 years to get a Bachelor’s Degree and another 2 years to get a Master’s Degree. Before you can go to a university, students must complete 8 years of elementary school and 4 years of high school. So Hallie has been in school for a long time. 

Graduation ceremonies at American  universities are very formal. The graduates wear a black gown (like a judge wears) and a cap with a tassel. In addition, when a student graduates with a Master’s Degree, they also wear a hood that flows down the back of the gown. The student goes up to the stage when his or her name is called and the head of the department of study places the hood on the student, shakes his or her hand and hands them their diploma. 

When Hallie received her diploma I cried. I was so proud of her because it is very difficult to receive a Master’s Degree. The grading system in America  is “A” for the highest, best grade, “B” for the next, “C” means an “average” grade. An “F” means failing.  

In the Master’s program, each student must receive a “B” or better in every grade in every class they take. If they get 1 “C”, they are put on probation. “Probation” means the student is watched carefully by the teachers to be sure they are intelligent enough to stay in the program. 

If a student gets 2 “Cs” they are kicked out of the program. So, that was why I was so proud of my daughter – she had to work very hard to get good grades and stay in the program. 

Below are pictures of Hallie in her cap and gown. 

Hallie before the graduation ceremony.


Hallie is wearing a Hawaiian Lei (necklace of flowers) that was a gift from a student from Hawaii.

Memory…Remember…Memorial June 4, 2010

Posted by americanex in About kids in USA, Uncategorized.
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What do these three words have in common? They all refer to thinking about something from the past. 

Here in Ukraine, there are special days where we can remember the past…that would include t celebrating Victory Day on May 9th. It would also include remembering our hard work by celebrating Labor Day on May 1st. And on May 24th, we think about God on Trinity Sunday.

In America, we have a day of remembering too – May 31st, Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is when Americans remember those soldiers (they are also called veterans) that died in a war. We also think about and cherish the memories we have with our family members that served in a war and have passed away.

My father, John Molnar, served in World War II. He was a Sargent in the Medical Air Evacuation Unit of the United States Air Force. His job was to take care of the wounded soldiers while they were in the airplanes that flew them from the front lines of battle to hospitals in the safe zones.

My father did not die in World Ware II. He lived to be 84, raised 5 daughters and enjoyed life to the fullest. He loved to travel, and as a family, we traveled by car all over the United States.

After the war, my father worked as a nursing assistant at a hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. The work was very difficult and tiring. After several years, he went to work in a factory that made medical products. He worked on big, loud machinery and eventually lost some of his hearing because of it.

Eventually, my father returned to his roots and worked in a hospital again. He was an orderly at a hospital in Painesville, Ohio. He retired from that job, and I remember visiting the hospital where he worked him. All the nurses knew him by name and told me how they loved working with my father because he was such a kind man and hard worker. I was very proud of my father for that, and for many other reasons.

Below is a picture of my father. We do not need a special day to remember the people we love…but it is nice that we come together as a country and say, “Thank you,” to all the men and women that served or are serving in the armed forces (armed forces refers to the Navy, the Army, the Marines and the Air Force.)

This is a picture of my sister, Barbara, my father and me. My sister and I are all dressed up to dance at the Hungarian Festival at our church in Cleveland, Ohio.