Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Contagious Spring in Eastern Ukraine

Already four months… I cannot even believe it. Time flies without acknowledgement when you enjoy what you do.
Interactive English class at Vostok-SOS office

I arrived in Severodonetsk with a clear view of what I want to do, with objectives attentively put on paper - I only had to work a little bit on the overall strategy with my colleagues after I arrive there, I thought. I didn’t have any expectations; I enjoy surprises however they are, because I believe one can learn from any.
It turned out a successful strategy, as I’ve mainly faced pleasant surprises in Severodonetsk. Maybe in the first two months the atmosphere was a bit grey due to the capricious snow and the change of office that both the team in Kyiv and the one in Severo were going through as many other changes.
By now I am fully introduced into the work of the team and this has been made with incredible sensitivity and understanding so that I was able to closely watch what and how my colleagues work, what the overall expectations from the beneficiaries are and how I can find my place in this new environment. My imperfect language skills weren’t much of an impediment in discovering the Vostok-SOS community thanks to the great people that are part of it.
Chistyi Ozero (Clean Lake) in Severodonetsk

Of course, my objectives, strategy and myself have changed during these four months, but I absolutely cannot regret it. I'm continously learning. Whenever I have an initiative, we talk and try it out, which one should face it – it doesn’t really happen in other work environments. 
Brave squarrel by the monastery near Severodonetsk

Otherwise, what can I say about Severodonetsk in spring? The town seemed to be brought to life. Little kids jumping around and having some fun out of life, as the song goes, elderly friends discussing the state of the country by the lake, youngsters having early swims and life going on as usual. 

I guess it took Severodonetsk a few years to adapt, but these people are stronger than you’d think. 


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