Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chernivtsi, Ukraine

We visited the Chernivtsi Branch for the Mission the middle of September. It takes a 15 hour train ride to get there, plus another hour to get to the train station. Due to ticket availability, we left Saturday late afternoon, arrived on Sunday morning. We then spent Sunday night at a hotel and then back on the train the next night. So it is an ordeal to do this a couple times each month. But it is a great experience to visit the branch there. Several speak English and we help teach classes.
The picture on the left is just before having lunch a "Helen's". A great place for lunch. It kind of reminded us of the Pubs in London for a great lunch.

Chernivtsi is over 1400 years old (historical founding was in 602). Its archetecture was not destroyed in WWII, so it is a fun place to visit. They love flowers, and the wreathes at the Shevchenko monument are beautiful. We wish we could take them back to the States, especially for Memorial Day. You can get flowers nearly everywhere as they sell them in street stands, along the roads, etc. They are so colorful and many varieties that we had not seen before. Ukraine is truely a gardener's delight.

We spent some time at the University. It is beautiful and fully functional. They still have hard wooden benshes for the students, but that doesn't matter as this has a reputation for teaching and learning excellence.
It is not a huge university, but is prominent in the city and is a favorite place for weddings. On Sunday we counted 22 limosines parked waiting for the bride and groom to come out of the University grounds. The weddings are very beautiful as well, with lots of people pampering the bride. Their dress is very formal and quite expensive, we are sure.

The last two photos were taken at Independence Square in Kyiv. This is where the Ukraine Orange Revolution got started in which they turned their attention west to Europe. The last election brought an end to the Orange revolution as the new government is making friends with Russia again. Personally, they need to keep a tie with Russia for economic and political purposes, but look to the west for models of democracy and ecomonic growth. Russina depends on Ukraine for food and manufacturing, and Ukraine depends on Russia for energy and some raw materials.

The last photo is along side Independence Square looking at more beautiful floweres. The clock is never the right time, but the flowers make it worthwhile.
Enough for now. Best wishes to all.
Tom and Shauna

1 comment:

rebecca said...

Looks like you are finally getting some time to see new things. I'm glad to see you are enjoying things.