01 August 2005

Enchantment of the World

I've picked up a great book called "Ukraine: Enchantment of the World." It's aimed at teens, but much more my style than the long, dry history books Larry goes after. This book has pictures and everything!

Some things I've learned so far from my new book:

-CDs and ice cream cones are much cheaper in Ukraine than the U.S. (except for maybe in Kiev)
-About 20% of Ukrainians work on farms
-Their major crop is sugar beets, with potatoes and wheat close behind
-Ukraine is the largest European country, slightly larger than France
-Ukraine's name comes from the Slavic word okraina, meaning "borderland"
-People have lived in Ukraine for about 150,000 years
-Ukraine has 24 regions called oblasts and one autonomous republic (Crimea)
-Soccer is the national sport of Ukraine, its first match was in 1894
-Ukrainian weddings can last 3 or more days
-Ukraine celebrates International Women's Day in March
-Average temperature extremes: 18 degrees F in January, 77 degrees F in July

Larry and I try to study some Ukrainian in the evenings. We've both got the alphabet down, and are learning greetings and emergency words. The pronunciation can be tricky, especially the backwards "N" sound.

Happy studying! About 2 months left!

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