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Journey to the Borderland

May 22

Posted by Lindsey Whissel on 05/23 at 04:47 PM

Next stop—Kiev!

I was re-reading a few of my blog entries and was horrified by what I saw—I know I’ve said this once before, but I must beg forgiveness for any and all spelling and/or grammatical errors because I’m usually writing at the end of a long, information-packed day, so my brain is not functioning at optimal capacity.

After one last breakfast in Mirogord, we boarded our last train of the trip. I was excited for this because I LOVE traveling by day-train! The bummer about night-trains (aside from the lack of a good night’s sleep) is that you don’t get to see any scenery—not so with day travel:)

A large delegation of Rotarians from Kiev was waiting to greet us at the station, including my new host, Sergei. While we were driving to his apartment, he told us there was a lot of construction to prepare for the Euro-championship in June. He said it was typical Ukraine, waiting until the last minute.

We were given the afternoon to settle in with our host families. My host mother took me on a brief tour around the city, then we went took her grandchildren to the park. Eventually, our GSE team regrouped and gave a short presentation to one of the Kiev RI clubs. The club was hard at work planning this Saturday’s district conference and their meeting went long, so we were taken on another brief tour, this time on foot.

Our guide pointed out a few buildings of interest including several government buildings, some equipped with secret tunnels formerly used by the Gestapo. At one of these, we were stopped from walking on the sidewalk near the building (even though there’s no alternative except the street which given Ukrainian driving can mean taking your life in your hands). Our guide got quite angry and vented some of his frustrations about the current government. This reminded me of something from one of the other cities we visited—Ashley asked someone about organized crime to which the response was, “Our organized crime is the government.”

We passed some more pleasant sites, such as the football stadium where the Euro-championship will be held and the puppet theatre where the RI conference will be. Eventually, we met up with my host again and he took us on another drive around the city. It was great to see Kiev at night and the weather was perfect for a drive around town with the windows down.

Word of the day: комар (ka-mar) – mosquito.

{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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