Віка, вікна, дерева
So now that I have moved, I can tell more about this person who has suddenly started showing up in my posts, and why she has started showing up in my posts.
When I got to Kirovograd, I was assigned to an organization, with a secondary assignment at a university with which the organization is affiliated. It did not work out.
In the past few weeks, I have been transitioning from the old organization to my new one, and looking for a new place to live. As of Saturday morning, when I moved to my new housing, that transition is complete.
So where am I working? For an organization called Kirovograd Press Club of Reforms. It is part of a national network of press clubs, which were formed during a project that USAID did, related to Ukrainian Educational Centers of reforms. It is an NGO that “creates the field for effective intercourse and wide exchange of information for all sectors of society – business, power and society – and also for the sake of receipt of useful information by the representatives of local and regional mass media.” Vika is the person who is my counterpart here, and she has a wide variety of things she has done, is doing, and can do. As well as overseeing the content of www.kirovograd.net (where she has been featuring many of my posts), she works for “Lanruzh,” which is a local magazine (in which I will also be featured), organizes press conferences, and partners with other NGOs on projects (like the one we are doing for helping young people with disabilities develop skills for finding employment). She is excited about working with me and we are already working on a number of things together, as well as discussing other project ideas.
Here’s is an example of how much energy Vika has. Last Winter/Spring, in addition to her work and other events that were going on in her life, she collected over 8,000 uah at local stores and beauty salons, and used all of that money to buy two new window sets for the Kirovograd Regional Childrens’ Hospital. In doing so, she also negotiated a discount on the price of the windows. This morning we went there and watched while the windows were being installed. You can see a photo of Vika in the Kirovograd album on Picasa.
So I found a new organization, and I needed a place to live. I am now living at the Kirovograd National Technical University, and will be working there one day a week, doing guest lectures (related to business topics), conducting a conversational English club, and helping them with their international exchange programs (as well as other things with which they need/want assistance). I will also be working at the Technical College, which is part of the Technical University. Here a college is where someone goes after 9th grade, either as preparation for university or as a trade school. So I will also be working there, but I am not quite sure what I will be doing yet…I still have ideas of things I WANT to do, but they need to match up with what the organization wants.
After moving in to my new room on Saturday, I went with Sofia, Jenna (he calls himself Eugene in English, I don’t know why), and his wife to see a 1300 year old tree near a town called Buda. It was nice to see the fall yellows (I did not really see reds or oranges), to take in some fresh air, and to see this tree. Photos are on Picasa in the album called Fall Colors.