About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Barn Charm - Eva's Farm


The barn I'm sharing this week is not that "charming".  In fact, just looking at it you'd think it's from the previous century.  However, Eva, the farmer, (with two of her prized pigs) was most definitely a warm, charming and intelligent woman concerned with making a living for her family in western Ukraine.  In December 2001, I spent almost a month working with farmers like Eva, teaching them how to set up farm cooperatives to grow better crops and market what they raised.

Here are some members of the farm women's councils that I was there to help (the pretty young woman in the black fur coat and hat was my interpreter Ina.  Thank goodness for Ina.  I'm peeping over Eva's shoulder):

The women were very excited when they learned that I was from Kentucky because I would know about making bourbon and raising tobacco.  Here we are in the stripping room behind Eva's home.  The women are stripping Eva's tobacco crop--getting it ready for market.  I didn't have the heart to tell them how anaemic those tobacco leaves were in comparison to Kentucky crops.

We traveled long distances between rayons (districts) over snowy roads in cars that broke down frequently.  Here Elena and I stop at a traveler's shrine to ask for a little help:


Here's one of the workshops that I conducted.  Yes, it was always cold and yes, I carried those flipcharts all the way from the United States because I knew such training materials would not be available.  These students were surprised when they were not lectured too, instead working in small groups to come up with solutions to their own problems.

Ina and I stayed in a remote village while in western Ukraine.  This was my bed.  You can see I was well protected by the Russian Orthodox church:

My stay in Ukraine was not all work.  On the weekend my host Maria and others from the village took us sightseeing.  We saw a Christmas market and the ancient Mukaceve Castle.  Here I'm holding hands with Count Mukaceve:

I'm thinking about Ukraine now because in just a month I'm headed to Russia.  On this map of western Ukraine, I've marked the places I stayed and worked.  Notice that the names are also in the Cyrillic alphabet.  I'm trying to learn just a bit of it now for Russia.  I've read that there's not much English signage.  Be doing well to recognize "toilet"! :-) Should have started studying sooner. . .



Now if you'd like to participate in the Barn Charm meme, or just see some interesting "barnery" from many different places, just go to Bluff Area Daily .

16 comments:

Brian King said...

What a cool barn! I'm sure the pigs aren't all that particular about their digs! Not like some prized Thoroughbred horses are!

Linda said...

What a fascinating post today! I will be anxiously awaiting photos from your next trip!

Beth said...

such fun. i enjoy the pig photo, makes me smile. (:

Molly said...

I always enjoy reading about your life adventures. This one about your work in the Ukraine is delightful.

Tanya said...

i really enjoyed this post! sounds like a hard life there, in all that cold! very interesting to see how other people around the world live! looking forward to your russian adventures. my great grandparents from my mother's side are from there!

Jan n Jer said...

What a wonderful memory Faye..thanks for sharing how the other side of the world lives. I am spoiled compared to their way of life!!!

TexWisGirl said...

i like the farm and the story behind it. your work and travels are fascinating - and rewarding!

Deanna said...

This was very interesting. I can imagine it difficult to grow just about anything in the Ukraine. What an experience for both you and those you helped. How rewarding!

Living Life said...

Oh how I love to see photos of your travels! I doubt that I will ever get to see that part of the world, so I find it very interesting to see how other cultures live.

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Interesting to see and hear how others around the world live.

A Quiet Corner said...

How wonderful that you can experience these things and people!...:)JP

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

Definitely charming, in that it's well used by a warm, charming farmer!

Linnea said...

What an interesting experience you had. I hope this barn is still going strong! Thanks for checking out mine. Enjoy the week.

Tricia Hays said...

Incredible! Great barn! Fantastic post

Thank you =)

Marie said...

Oh, what a wonderful trip! How lovely that you were able to live and work there in such an interesting place, and that you are travelling to Russia soon as well! I disagree that the barn is not charming! I think it's absolutely delightful!

Patti said...

What a great story!