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Journey to the Borderland

May 16

Posted by Lindsey Whissel on 05/17 at 01:35 AM

Just call me Luci.

My host, Anatole, told me it would be better if my name were Luci because it’s easier for him to pronounce, so I told him that was fine by me:).

We had a wonderful day today. For starters, the weather was cooler than what we’ve had and it even rained a little (a very welcome treat:), and I heard a musical good omen in the car—“The Chicken Dance” in Russian! [Side note, I really love Slavyansk. It has such a comfortable atmosphere.]

First, we went on a tour of Sviatohirsk Cave Monastery, which was AMAZING! It’s a beautiful structure built into a mountain of chalk rock along the Seversky Donets River. If I understand correctly, there are only seven monasteries like it in all the world and three of them are in Ukraine. In one of the churches (more like a big nook) inside the cave, a face of a saint miraculously appeared in one of the walls, but due to translation issues, I wasn’t able to figure out which saint. People rub the spot to receive a blessing and it has long since worn away into a non-descript shape.

After a tasty lunch, we visited a camp for orphans called (roughly translated) Emerald House; it’s one of the Slavyansk Rotary’s projects. I fell in love with this place. If I understand correctly, it’s a camp for orphans (houses up to 500 at a time) who attend for three weeks each year. They learn vocational skills in a fun way—they are taught different trades (sewing, sculpting, etc.) and are able to sell their wares and taught to manage money through their earnings. We were each allowed to choose an item as a gift and were given the chance to purchase additional goods. I think the idea of this camp is wonderful and I loved it all the more because it is decorated with a fairytale theme, so there are statues of storybook characters all over the grounds and the buildings are decorated to look like castles.

On the ride home, our translator gave me a crash course of Russian words ranging from parts of the head (eyes, nose, etc.) to colors to forest animals. Sadly, I only remember a few of the new words, but I’m sure she’d be willing to review with me.

Word of the day: изумруд (iz-oom-rood) – Emerald.

{name} Author: Lindsey Whissel
Bio: Lindsey Whissel earned her degree in cinema and digital arts from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. She has produced a variety of broadcast and non-broadcast media projects for television, radio, and the web.

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Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
05/17 at 04:09 PM

love your blogs

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