June and July

Hello everyone!

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but I’ve been crazy busy!  Between camps, visiting friends, the Euro Cup, and going to Russia, I’ve barely had a minute to get back to the internet.  I have a few days at home now, so I thought I’d update you all on what I’ve been doing since I last posted!

At the beginning of June, I took a 10-day trip to Russia with a few other Peace Corps friends.  In short, it was a GREAT trip!  I’m not sure what I expected, but I was shocked to find friendly people, beautiful cities (Moscow and Saint Petersburg), and pure Russian language.  This last one might not seem like a big deal, but living in Ukraine and speaking Russian means I’m occasionally running into Ukrainian words, signs in Ukrainian, menus in Ukrainian etc.  It was so cool to be somewhere where literally everything was in Russian!

St. Basil’s Church and Red Square in Moscow

Red Square

Andrew, Warren, and I on a boat tour through Moscow

I was able to meet up with Bo, the previous volunteer at my school from 8 years ago. He currently lives in Moscow so we were able to meet for dinner one night!

Church of Spilled Blood in Saint Petersburg

In front of one of many canals running through SP with Church of Spilled Blood in the background

Saint Petersburg from the top of St. Peter’s Cathedral

Winter Palace

I only uploaded a select few Russia pictures here, but here’s a link to more if you’re interested: https://plus.google.com/photos/107346328342222106764/albums/5755418227739425729?authkey=CN_N6___r7jrjQE

After I got home from Russia, I left the next day for Donetsk for the Semifinal game of the Euro Cup!  Not only was the game fun, but it was really cool to see so many international tourists in Donetsk.  I have never heard so much English being spoken in Ukraine!  On the whole, I think everyone was really positively impressed by Ukraine and their handling of the Euro Cup, despite all the negative press leading up to it.

Meeting up with other volunteers before the game

Donetsk stadium right before the game started


I left the next evening for Kiev for the weekend.  Because the Euro Cup final was being hosted in Kiev that weekend, there was also a FREE Queen and Elton John concert in downtown Kiev the night before the final.  Lucky me!  And then the next night, I got to watch the Euro Cup final from the fan zone in Kiev.  It was really cool!

Elton John concert!

Packed downtown for the concert


Katie, Alison, and I at the concert

Crazy Spanish soccer fans in the fan zone

Everyone watching the Euro Cup final on the big screens

I returned to Lugansk just in time to celebrate the Fourth of July with a bunch of other Peace Corps volunteers!  It was a blast.  We made hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, and even got a hold of some fireworks.  It wasn’t quite the same as watching the fireworks at the lake, but it was still pretty great!

Fourth of July party in Lugansk

I had a few days back home before I left for Camp MAKE in Donetsk for two weeks.  What a great camp!  It was a fun group of Peace Corps volunteers and an even better group of Ukrainian students.  It’s rare for me to get to work with students who have such a high level of English, so it was a real treat.

Camp MAKE – 75 Ukrainian students, 18 Peace Corps Volunteers, 7 Ukrainian teachers


I have a few days at home now before I leave for another Peace Corps camp in Nikolaev (near Odessa).  It’s been a whirlwind summer thus far and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks!











2 responses to “June and July

  1. Was awesome to see your tour of Russia, lots of beautiful Churches, my favorite were the Angels. The soccer looked exciting too. I got to go see Elton John when he was in Omaha it was quite a treat, it wasn’t quite free though. We have been having such a terrible summer Very, Very hot weather 102 and above for a long spell. Hope you enjoy the rest of your tour, can you believe it is almost over! Take care and enjoy. Lol Georgia & Mark, USA.

  2. Wow, Dara, that sounds like an amazing summer! The pictures are great, especially the Winter Palace. Do you know who all the figures along the roofline are? Who sang lead vocals for Queen? I didn’t even know they still performed – lucky you!

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