beauty, culture, experience, travel, Uncategorized

Ukraine

ua

August 24 is Independence Day in Ukraine. It’s a big deal for Ukrainians since latest events have not been the greatest. Lots of people immigrated different places still dreaming to come back one day. Who knows maybe in the future things will be back to normal? Keep praying and hoping for the better.

If you ever want to travel somewhere nice and cheap go visit Ukraine. I miss it terribly! Kyiv is the best city I have ever lived, for me it’s the place where miracles happen and history is still alive. Explore and you will be surprised how much more there is to discover…

This country has a lot of problems and stuff but it feels real with four seasons, good and bad smells, street markets and all the pleasures of public transport. People are so direct, sometimes you wish they weren’t that way and women are so beautiful that it’s hard to keep up to par. Population is mostly poor, there is no middle class but it doesn’t seem that way.

Ukrainians love foreigners thinking that all of them are milliners. Foreign culture is considered to be better, a lot of loan words are used just because it’s cool. Traditional food is great, hospitality depends on the money paid and part of the country you are in. If you want to see the contrast go to Lviv where people speak Ukrainian and Odessa which is mostly Russian, fantastic tourist destinations with tons of things to enjoy. I wish I was there to be your guide…

 

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culture, depression, experience, friends, learning, self help, Uncategorized

Tell me who

Tell me who your friend is and I will tell you who you are. ( Proverb )

How many people would you call friends? Some days it seems I have too many, when the weekend is so busy that my nose starts bleeding by the end of Sunday. Other times I want to ask, Where are you guys? And sure enough people have their own lives full of duties and commitments. And that’s fine.

Real friends are like unicorns. You have to believe in them. They will tell you the truth instead of flattering empty words. They will help you out by giving a new perspective. They will act when action is needed. I am so grateful I have them in my life. I hope you do too. And if not be that friend for someone. It’s hard to tell who is who sometimes. Here is a story I really like.

A poor bird fell frozen at the animal farm. He almost died but the cow pooed on him which warmed up a small body. Later a fox found something alive in the cow pie and ate it. It was a brave soul who didn’t make it home. The moral is: not everyone who poos on you is your enemy, not everyone who takes you out is your friend.

 

 

culture, experience, immigration, learning, motivation, self help, survival, Uncategorized

How to survive in a new culture

Working with American teens made me think about useful tips I can share with new teachers.

The culture I found myself in is a mix of Latino and African-American youth with a minority of whites and Asians. Just for your information I came from Ukraine where the population is very homogeneous.

The school environment is not usually conducive to making friends with students but I keep trying anyway.

  1. Listen to their music. God only knows how much I hate rap but this is what they love. I make myself listen to the lyrics, it’s quite weird for strangers like me.
  2. Eat their food. Teens love junk food, it never looks or tastes great. But you should be brave enough to try it. I also go to cafeteria once in a while to experience the agony they have to endure every day.
  3. Don’t ignore the things that matter. Two of them are mentioned above but figuring out the rest can be tough. One thing that I noticed is you have to pronounce their name right.
  4. Ask questions showing genuine interest. When doing this you should be ready to deal with their answers which are not always easy. Reflect on them.
  5. Be a good student. Take notes to remember new words and concepts, learning new language / dialect is always fun. You will be tried and tested a lot.
  6. Mind your body language more than anything else. Respect yourself and the people around you.
  7. Stay positive and keep learning despite making mistakes.

This list is not all encompassing but gives you a general idea. Good luck!