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As I contemplate what to write this morning, it is easy to get side-tracked.  After several days of snow, extreme cold and cloudy days, this morning it is clear skies, sunny and 10 degrees!  A “dreamy” kind of morning in eastern Ukraine, if it weren’t so cold! Joseph was 17 years old and his father’s […]


January 8, 2018  7 a.m. View from the central square in Kharkov, Ukraine I have been here numerous times over the last almost 4 years.  Many of those times have been in the winter, some with snow and temperatures below freezing, some days with rain.  Today is was cool: temperature at 32F (0C). I dressed […]

Familiar sights, familiar sounds

Last Friday, August 12, I drove to a village near the war front on the west side of Donetsk. As I crossed the border between Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk regions, I pulled over to take this photo. It was somewhat comforting to see, freshly painted in the Ukraine colors of blue and gold. As I pulled out […]

Child like

In several European countries, there is a tradition of clapping after the plane lands. I do not know how, why or when this tradition started, and as of late, it seems fewer people are doing it when landing in Ukraine. Friday, as I returned to Kyiv on a WizzAir flight from Budapest, several people started […]

Of hair, and new experiences

I had a new experience today! I got a haircut at an Express Cuts kiosk near the apartment where I am staying. As you walk in, there is a pay box. At first, I didn’t understand what it would be there for, but soon, I discovered that you pay for your haircut through the box. […]

Days of our Lives (or something like that…)

Early this morning I visited the hair salon to get my hair cut.  It is a nice shop about a 5 minute walk from my apartment (another reason to love living in the center). Oksana has been cutting my hair for over 2 years and she knows how I like it done.  We talked for […]

Back in Donetsk

I arrived back in Donetsk 10 days ago and still wondering where winter has gone… it had been above freezing since I arrived until today.  Snow began falling this morning and the temps started falling.  Currently it is 21 degrees. Everyone has commented about the weather and how “warm” it has been… and most of […]

“Village” life

I grew up in a small town (Ukrainians would call it a village) in east Texas, population 2,000.  I spent my entire childhood in small towns so I didn’t know any better. Growing up in a small town had its advantages (know most everyone) and its disadvantages (know most everyone and their “problems”).  I enjoyed […]

Way of movement

I live across from the train ticket office in the heart of Donetsk.  Like most people in the world, many Ukrainians take vacations during the summer and that means, for most of them, that they will travel by train. Each morning before 6 a.m. people begin arriving at the ticket office and sit.  The office […]

Freedom to …

Last week I had a conversation with a professional woman.  She shared with me how she is volunteering at a local animal shelter, along with some of her friends.  I congratulated her on the decision to volunteer and give back to her community. Then, I shared with her that I learned at an early age […]