On the Situation in Kiev


12.20.2013

Hey Christian!
 
I look at your morning brief whenever I get the chance and I love it, but I am a little sad that you haven’t mentioned an article about the protests in Kyiv.
 
I am not sure if you know but I am currently finishing my final year of service as a Peace Corps volunteer here in Ukraine. What is happening here in this country is incredible. People are finally standing up against complete corruption and injustice. To be honest, I was a little surprised that these protests started.  People in Ukraine have been so hopeless and frustrated for so long, but I guess the frustration and injustice was too much.
 
I work in a village about 25 km outside of an oblast (like a state) capital in the north-west part of Ukraine. My school is small but is one of the larger schools for the surrounding villages. We frequently don’t have electricity, we just got inside toilettes last year, and only about 25% of the chalkboards in the school actually work. Teachers here make about $150.00 a month. There are absolutely NO supplies given from the school. If a teacher wants to use paper, or markers, or anything like that, they should purchase it themselves.
 
We are actually lucky and have three computers!  But they are all from 1997 and have no internet. The most interesting thing about this, is that this is not considered to be a “bad school”.
This is one of the best village schools.
 
Another thing to understand about Ukraine, about 90% of the country is made up of villages. There are still countless people in my town with no running water, jobs are impossible to find, and the cost of an apartment in the nearby city (one of the smallest oblast capitals in Ukraine) is EXACTLY the same as if you were to buy an apartment in Los Angeles or Chicago. Most families live with more than three generations in one apartment.
 
I could go on and on about the problems in this country but what it is really about is that the government gives the people NO money or power to do anything.  Every election – whether it is village elections or national elections – votes are stolen and everything is predetermined. I am so incredibly proud to see the people here stand up for themselves and am continuously disgusted by the acts of the government here. I know there are always problems with politics, and America is no exception, but after living here for almost 2 years, I have really learned to appreciate America and even our politicians.
Anyways, sorry for blabbering…. I just get a little worked up over this! (Especially when my host-mom is screaming swear words at the TV whenever Yanukovych  from the other room).
Hope all is well for you!!

keepingitbriefpodcast@gmail.com