1. Ukraine Linguistics 101

    What a mystery is language.  What a wonderment.  The myriad ways humankind has developed for communicating.  And, the confusion caused when various methods connect, or attempt to connect, and fail. The best way I’ve found to comprehend many attempts at connection is to teach, no, to try to teach, a new language to children or teenagers.  It causes one to meet language face to face. Some examples--- “I am an ecologist.”  An English expression which states a profession.  The Russ...

  2. Moldova Nistru River

    This is the Nistru River that boarders Moldova and Ukraine.  The river lies right behind my host family's home in Southeastern Moldova.  This picture was taken in July 2009 on my first visit to my new site.  The man in the picture is sitting with his cow while it grazes. 

  3. Moldova Computer Class

    This is Doamnă Tanya practicing her typing skills during our center's 1st Computer Skills Seminar in Tudora, Moldova.  

  4. Ukraine Orange Revolution

    We were fortunate to serve during the Ukrainian Orange Revolution.  This is a shot of a young woman activist in Kiev.

  5. Turkmenistan Dinosaur Footprints

    Beautiful Kopetdag! Dinosaur Footprints!

  6. Turkmenistan Derweze Gas Crater

    "Pit of Hell"

  7. Ukraine Russian Teachers

    My host brother Ilya (age 7) and sister Vika (age 6), here on Day 1, were my favorite and most valuable Russian teachers.  They never lost patience and always took the greatest delight in my language blunders.  My first breakthrough moment came with Vika who was (as usual) sitting with me at my desk as I did my homework.  She asked me something I did not understand (again, as usual) and in trying to ask her to repeat I must have said something unintelligible.  She stared at me for a few seco...

  8. Ukraine Babushka

    Babushki, with their quintessential headscarves and frumpy skirts, are a practically a national symbol.  Most have lived through times tougher that any PCV can imagine and a great deal can be learned from sharing a cup of chai with one and listening to a few of her stories. 

  9. Ukraine GLOWing in Ukraine

    What constitutes a youth summer camp in Ukraine?  Five PCVs, two showers, one electric burner, and 28 Ukrainian girls.  Mice, mosquitoes, bed bugs and filthy dorm rooms.  A week before the camp began, we had to cancel the camping component because our equipment fell through and rearrange responsibilities because two volunteers unexpectedly left the country.  Upon discovery of the single working burner, the first camp meal (spaghetti dinner) was a complete disaster.  That night, the five exhau...

  10. Ukraine A Taste of Ukraine

    (This ran as a travel essay in the Seattle Times, Aug. 20, 2004.) Since coming to Ukraine in March as a Peace Corps volunteer, my culinary palate has been wiped clean and replaced with something entirely different. I've eaten raw fish, boiled fish head, raw pig fat, squid jerky, pickled everything and an odd assortment of mystery meat, usually doused with ketchup. Pizza usually includes corn and shredded, pickled carrots, and hot dogs are covered with cabbage and mayonnaise. But I e...

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.