The Home Country

After a pretty hectic end of semester in June, I was able to take part in the “Don’t Forget To Dance” Workshop here in Norway, run by my amazing friend, dancer, and teacher Chavva! July was spent in costume mode to start organizing our costume shop and pre-ordering anything we needed come September for me to start working.

The last week of July, I finally hit the road for my summer holidays. The way my flights worked out, I was able to get the best deal by creating a little 2 day stop over in Warsaw.  Photos Here!

It was fun and, I realized, my first time in Eastern Europe. However, I can’t lie that I was super ecstatic to get to Ukraine. This was my maiden voyage to the home land, and I have been anticipating this trip for years. Trying not to have any expectations, my mind was racing with all the possibilities of what it could turn into and overall it was – Ukrainian! haha. I don’t know how else to describe it. It just made so much sense to me, and my life made so much more sense. It was a blast.

It wasn’t all hunky dory though. The first couple of weeks, I planned to help in orphanages and summer programs being run for them. I started with this, and with the help of some new amazing friends, I transitioned into seeing so many types of institutions, people who are trying to help, various conditions, and various (and seemingly never-ending) amounts of need. I was able to collect a lot of new information for myself to understand the circumstances better and how to better formulate my ideas to help. I can’t say that I fully know what that is yet, but I know I need to keep trying to make a difference, and hope to use movement (through dance and my upcoming physiotherapy education) to do it. I can’t share all of what I saw, photographed, or learned through this blog or on facebook so feel free to contact me if anyone wants to know more. In the meantime, some photos from Part 1 are here.

The last week and a half of my month in Ukraine was with my Mama! We were on a tour that was taking place as part of the celebrations for 100 years of PLAST ( A Ukrainian Scouting Organization). Plus we just wanted to see each other since I have been away living in Norway. Why not Ukraine? We were in Kiev, Kaniv, Ivano Frankivsk, Tatariv, Bukovel, Kamianets Podilsky, Chernivtsi and Lviv – and of course many other small villages en route. We had a fantastic time and saw a ton. Top experiences include: going to Taras Shevchenko’s grave as Plast, Dancing with Hutsals in the Carpathian Mountains, a day on catamarans on the Dnister River, family and friends reunion at an UPA themed bar in Lviv. Here are the photos to prove it!

Hope you enjoy 🙂

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