jump to navigation

A Great Celebration of the Ukrainian Family November 21, 2013

Posted by americanex in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Wednesday, November 20, 2013, the International Day of the Child, was a very special day for me.  I was invited, along with my Counterpart Anya, to visit School #39 for an Open English Lesson.  Marenchyk Olga, the Director of the School and an English Teacher asked us to part pate in her lesson.

CIMG0052This is a wonderful school that I have visited before.  It is located just outside of Kherson and is a school with bright, happy children who seem to be very comfortable together.  They are all interested in their lessons and seem to enjoy learning and being together in their warm, friendly school.
The theme of this lesson was the relationship between children and their parents.  This is certainly an international topic, one that children and parents all over the world can relate to.  I could not help think about my own daughter and the pleasures and challenges of raising her and watching her become an adult.  School # 39 invited the parents of the students to participate in the lesson.  Some of the parents also attended this school and were taught by Marenchyk Olga, making the event even more enjoyable.  For a very pleasant class period, the children and their parents shared their feeling and emotions about their relationships, the atmosphere in their homes, and the inevitable conflicts that can arise.  What parent has not struggled with the request of a child to stay out late, go off with friends, or have a boyfriend or a girlfriend.  As a parent myself, I can say that the child always seems too young to the parent.  And, of course, the child always feels that he is “grown up” enough to make his own decisions.
This day was completely enjoyable.  The children did a wonderful job with their English, the parents told them how much they support them and how proud they are of them and everyone had a wonderful day.  I enjoyed meeting everyone and was pleased to share my own family with them.  This will be a warm memory of Ukraine for me.  The close relationship of families is one of the real strengths of your country.  It is a privilege to share an event like this with you.

CIMG0066

CIMG0065

CIMG0057

CIMG0056

Celebrating Autumn In America November 4, 2013

Posted by americanex in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Autumn and the beginning of school always feels like a new beginning in America, sometimes even more than the traditional New Year of January 1st.  Children return to school, one year older and in a new class.  Older children go off to college and university.  The relaxing summer is over for families and everyone gets back to the busier schedule of work and school.  The weather and the leaves on the trees begin to change also, and we put away our summer clothes and starting wearing warmer winter clothes.

It is the season of the harvest and everyone is enjoying the last fruits and vegetables from their gardens and from local Farm Stands.  In the country, there are many fairs and festivals where everyone displays the best items from the garden and prizes are awarded for the biggest and best vegetables, and for the best chicken, rabbits, goats, sheep and cows.  Look at this website http://www.belchertownfair.com/fair/photos-2012/ to see some pictures of the Belchertown Fair in the small town where I live.  The whole community volunteers to make the fair possible and everyone has fun visiting with friends and neighbors.  In the cities, there are Farmer’s Markets everywhere, so these city-dwellers can enjoy the fresh vegetables and produce, too.

When large displays of pumpkins appear at the Farm Stands and Markets, everyone knows that it is really Autumn.  People from the city take a trip to the country to buy some pumpkins and do something outdoors while the weather is still nice.  A popular activity is to visit a Corn Maze.  Farmers’s plow complicated designs into their corn fields. They look beautiful from the air and strange from the ground.  Visitors try to find their way through the maze without getting lost, take pony rides, shoot the potato cannon, and try other fun activities.  Mike’s Maze is near my home in America and is a lot of fun to visit.  Take a look at the maze for this year and all of the past years at http://mikesmaze.com/. There are also some pictures of the farm and the other activities that Mike offers at his farm.  Everyone wants to be outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather before winter arrives.

Now that I have been in Ukraine for 20 months and seen all of the seasons, I know that many of the same things happen in Ukraine.  The Bazaar is full of wonderful fruit and vegetables. Families are preserving the produce from their dachas and going to the forest to gather mushrooms to save for the winter.  Everyone is enjoying the warm, sunny days because it will soon be winter.  Autumn is a wonderful season, no matter where you live so be sure to get outside and have fun while the weather is still fine.