01 Jul

Today was the final day with our program. In the morning I spent some time preparing and practicing my speech to be given at the celebratory lunch. The students enjoyed a morning of field day games and was the most fun day yet! The students played a game where they had to pass the ball between their legs- our soccer players excelled at that! There was a craft room station where kids were able to create to their hearts content. Some classic games we played included musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey, hole hoops etc. I worked the musical chair and pin the tail on the donkey station. After our planned activities we took all the kids to the park where I enjoyed playing basketball with the kids. 

We had a celebratory lunch with lots of important people like the mayor of Verba, the mayor of Kotun and the vice principal of the school. We were also joined by many dignitaries from the state, and county governments from Ukraine, Poland and even Germany. During lunch we were treated to a concert from all of the Ukrainians who sung and played their bandoras while dressed in traditional clothing. Everyone received gifts from the mayor of Kotun. Myself and a few other volunteers gave our speeches- all translated into three different languages. My speech seemed to be well received. 

I was honored to have some one on one conversations with some of the dignitaries and had a great conversation with the may of Vessel, another one of the sister towns, this one currently occupied by Russia. The mayor had to leave for safety when the war started. I used google translate to have our conversation and seemed very interested in my community, already reaching out to keep in contact. 

Later this evening we were invited to a dinner with all of the important people from the sister towns. We learned how a town from Germany had donated three fire trucks to Kotun, so that they could send their own truck to Verba. Seated with the mayor of Vessel we learned a great deal about his town as well. 

We had an amazing week with all the kids, I felt like I was able to help them learn some English and have some fun during a time scary time of upheaval for them. I am going to miss all the interesting people I've gotten to work with over the last week!

* The email will not be published on the website.