This week I witnessed one of the most life-changing experiences. Thursday afternoon our foreign coordinators and head teacher took our group to Maidan to see downtown Kiev. I have explained in previous posts that the political unrest and protesting reached it's peak about two weeks ago. The president of Ukraine has stepped down, the protesting in Kiev has now stopped, and they are planning on have re-elections in May. It was unbelievable walking around the main square and seeing where all of the violence took place. Surrounding buildings were destroyed, the streets were ripped up, the air smelt like camp-fire, and barricades blocked off the streets. People had placed flowers, candles, flags, pictures, and memorials to pay respect and show remembrance to those who were killed; there were thousands of flowers everywhere! It was a solemn and humbling day. The sights I saw helped me to take a step back and remember a broader view on things. When you see the results of such a tragedy, the problems you experience in your personal life suddenly don't seem so large. As I was leaving the place where most of the people were killed, I saw two young girls standing over a picture of a man that had been surrounded by flowers. They held each other and just sobbed, I couldn't help but get a little emotional; it was heartbreaking. I was immediately reminded that when you feel life is too difficult and nothing seems to be going the way you had hoped, there is always someone who has it worse than you. We can all find simple beauties to be thankful for each day of our lives. Big and small blessings come to us always, we just need to take the time to notice them and be grateful. It's interesting to think that had I not been in Ukraine at this time, all of this wouldn't have seemed like such a big deal to me. I'm sure I would have felt bad, but then soon forgotten and gone on with my daily life. Being here while all of this is going on, seeing the way these people have been truly affected has changed my perspective forever. I will never again take for granted the freedoms and safety I have always be given. God bless Ukraine.
Here is a short clip I took we while were at the center.
It's weird to think that another week of teaching has gone by. This week we switched rooms again and I started teaching drama and arts and crafts. Like I've said before, it's nice to have a variety of subjects to teach and to move around. I'm loving my kids more each day and love seeing the improvement in their English. I have enjoyed the time I have had so far with them and also getting to know the other great teachers I work with.
On Friday Kristina was teaching Pre-k, and was trying to get the kids to say Hakuna Matata. I couldn't help but catch it on video; they are just too cute!
Kristina has been getting hiccups a lot lately, and it makes me laugh every time! She just happened to get them during class today and little Alyssa thought it was the funniest thing. Her little giggle gets louder after each hiccup.
Saturday was International Women's Day. Apparently our host family only eats "sweets" all day long! I have never felt so sick... too much chocolate is not good for you!
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”