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Journey to the Borderland

May 17

Posted by Lindsey Whissel on 05/18 at 03:01 AM

I’m a Ukrainian celebrity- I’ve been on TV twice in two weeks.

I had another professional visit today and was interviewed for an evening news spot. The station is called S-plus and it’s one of two stations in Slavyansk. I spent all day in the office, so I was able to get a feel for what their typical day is like. I also got to go on a shoot with them to a local music concert in the afternoon and sit in on a recording in the studio. Despite any differences in technology, I’m finding there is one thing that is the same in both countries—people who work in TV are lots of fun:) Seeing the camaraderie among the staff made me a bit home sick for the WPSU-gang, but it was great to feel so welcome at their station.

They interviewed me and as with the interview in Cherkassy, I was nervous, but I did my best. It’s difficult to explain through the language barrier that PBS operates very differently from the commercial networks in USA that they are probably thinking of when they ask certain questions.

I am totally loving the music that’s played on the radio here. I was told it was a French radio station, but no matter- I got to hear Mark Morrison, Blackstreet, and the Fugees all in one sitting- amazing. We keep trying to get recommendations for Ukrainian or Russian music, but everyone tells us they listen mostly to American music.

After my day at the station, I met up with the rest of the GSE team and got o briefly compare notes before the evening Rotary meeting. Poor Ashley had a bit of a rough start to the day; she woke up with a sore throat, so her host mother gave her warm water and salt to gurgle. As she was swishing the solution around her mouth, she realized something didn’t taste quite right, so she took a closer look at the bottle and, lo and behold-  it was bath salts. We’re keeping an eye on her to make sure there’s no need to call poison control.

Carrie still hasn’t had any luck visiting a prison, so I helpfully suggested she could commit a crime, then she could see the inside. Mark was in his glory because he got to see the city dump (I don’t think his translator shared his excitement).

There wre members of both Rotary and Rotaract at the meeting and my host gave a summary of his trip to Thailand for a RI conference. After the meeting, my phrasebook provided entertainment for all… we found a section dedicated to “Romance.” I ended the night at Vika’s (host’s daughter) where I hung out with her and her friends in a cool little lodge (complete with fireplace and a boar hide on the wall) they have in their back yard.

Word of the day:  Kpyto (kroo-tah) - cool.

{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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