So here I was in Ivano-Frankivsk, 7 years since my last trip to Ukraine,
as part of the "official" CYM delegation attending Natalka's wedding.
Natalka is from a small selo (village) in western Ukraine, but had
spent some time visiting with us in the U.S. several years ago. She
taught Ukrainoznavstvo for a year of Saturday mornings in CYM's New York
City Oseredok, helped the kids from Goshen Oseredok put together several
performances for Ukrainian national holidays, and worked as a kitchen hire
one summer at Ellenville's CYM Oselya.
The wedding in the selo was wonderful (I'll show you my photographs and home
movies some time!). A few days later as we strolled along the streets
of Ivano-Frankivsk, it struck me that the place had changed since my last
visit. Unlike the last time I was here, shopping in the city now had a
somewhat Western feel to it. Many new private businesses had sprung up,
catering to the wants and needs of the new Ukrainian generation.
...or was it the needs of the new English-speaking generation?
It ocucured to me that my American friends might get by here just fine,
without knowing the Ukrainian language. You'll see what I mean - take a
look at my "Shopping in a Ukrainian City" photo collection, and tell me
what YOU think!