wow! the time is just trucking along. we're already in november. man!
in kyiv now after a elongated stint in poltava. karen and i worked on a civics conference (we specifically demonstrated ways democracy can be evident in education). we were also able to hang out with our bestest pc friends, kris and jen. it was sure nice to see them, and to get away from l'viv for a little bit. until i left, i didn't realize how frustrated i was with everything that was going on there, professionally. personally, most everything is good. being in poltava, observing teachers, participating in conferences, and meeting new students really energized me.
being in poltava was my first experience in "the east." though some people might call poltava the center, i think it is east enough--and russian speaking enough--to count as east. and being there, i realized that some of my preconceived notions about that part of the country were wrong. people seemed happier in poltava than they do in l'viv. people were smiling, laughing. we walked around at night several times in poltava and never, ever felt unsafe. this is not true in l'viv. l'viv is a bigger city, however, so maybe that accounts for some of the goodness i found in poltava (a decidedly smaller, but not small) city. in short, yay for poltava! i really think it comes down to the fact that there are jobs in poltava. factories adn such. money. none of that is really in l'viv. l'viv is a beautiful museum with a rich history, but unless they can spin a strong tourism base out of the city--and they seem to be trying--there's not much else there in the money-making field.