Our internet has been extremely inconsistent over the past week! We have finally gotten to a place where we can post a blog without having any problems without connection! The following blog was written in L’viv on July 5th, our LAST DAY in Ukraine!
“Could three weeks have already passed by so quickly?! I feel like only a few days ago we were landing in Kyiv looking for Iuliia! We have been lucky enough to be able to spend the last of our days here in the beautiful city of L’viv!
I have never seen such a place in my life before! It is so beautiful here, and the city is full of history and culture. We were lucky enough to be able to meet a few people from the YMCA that is based out of a suburb here. Roxanna, an HIV/AIDS awareness volunteer for the Y picked us up from the bus station on Tuesday night and helped us find our hostel and some delicious Ukrainian food (I have developed a strong liking for the berries here in Ukraine). It was quite late, so we went back to our hostel to get some sleep before our long day yesterday began.
Lesya (the sister of an awesome young leader at camp, Marko) is the president of YMCA L’viv and met with us our first morning here to take us around the entire city to see all of the amazing sites. We saw the L’viv wall, the opera house, all of the cathedrals, and monuments, plus we got all of the back stories and legends that even the locals talk about. It was quite the tour! I definitely recommend L’viv as a place to see if/when you find yourself in Ukraine.
This morning was just as exciting as the last. We spent our morning browsing around traditional Ukrainian markets, watching the locals barter for fresh goods and practicing the bits of Ukrainian we have picked up here. Afterwards, we got the chance to meet with yet another Iuliia! She participates in the TenSing program here in L’viv along with her friends Kristina and Veronica. All three were very eager to meet with us and discuss what YMCA Canada does and what the major differences are. It was great to be able to talk about home and have it be well received by them – everyone was genuinely interested.
We are both extremely grateful for Lesya and her patience and kindness towards us – I have no idea how we would have fared in L’viv had the YMCA not sent somebody to help us out! I am extremely sad to be leaving Ukraine – this is one of the best experiences YMCA Calgary (and in relation, YMCA Ukraine) has every offered me. I am very grateful to have been granted this opportunity to take part in the building of relationships with our Ukrainian Counterparts.
Hope to see you all soon!!”
Goodbye Ukraine! You will be dearly missed! Thanks again to all those who have helped us throughout this fantastic opportunity!
Submitted by Sarah Finn