Today was a sad day for Ukraine. If you read the news this morning, you would have seen that there were multiple bombing attacks in a town called Dnepropetrovsk in Central Ukraine. This is about an hour and a half drive from Zaporizhya, and I passed very close to there last night on my overnight train to Kyiv. Several dozen citizens were injured; the bombs went off in a regular town, near a movie theatre and tram stop.
The articles that I’ve read online say that nobody is sure who set off the bombs or why. Maybe by the time you read this, the investigations will reveal who did it. Right now, they think it might have been to make some political point. Unfortunately, Ukrainian people are suffering because their government is a mess, and this may be yet another sign. I have grown to love these people and this rich culture, and I am so sad that this happened.
Today is also my last day in Ukraine, and this is another reason why I’m sad. It is hard to say goodbye to the friends I’ve made here. I’m sad to leave a community of teachers who inspire me. When I first learned that I was going to Zaporizhya, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. I read that it was an industrial city and other teachers were getting to go to the Black Sea or beautiful countryside villages. I was so wrong. Zaporizhya is a small, friendly city with a rich history and a lot of green space. I was lucky to spend a week calling it home. I’ve been wanting to share some of my favorite photographs from the Zaporizhya, and today seemed like the best time since I am leaving tomorrow. I hope these photographs capture what a special place it is.
The Beauty of Zaporizhya:
I’m going on to Turkey by myself — first stop: Cappadocia. I have to admit that I am feeling a bit more scared than excited now. There are a lot of unknowns in Turkey and I have felt very cared for in Ukraine. I am reminding myself that the best experiences come from stepping out of our comfort zones. We learn the most when we challenge ourselves. So, while I am excited for this journey, I am also bracing myself for the challenges that will come from exploring a new culture alone.
Today, I got an email that I needed to call Turkish Airlines. After a while fumbling with my phone and international calling codes, I had to wait on hold while I listened to a recording in Turkish. Eventually, I found out that one leg of my flight is running fifteen minutes late. Whew! No problem. Now, I just need to manage my bags onto the plane. Hopefully, that is going to be my biggest challenge tomorrow. Wish me luck, but don’t worry about me! I’m ready for the adventure.
And I will take a piece of Ukraine in my heart as I board the plane.