Memorial Day and Ukraine’s triumph

Today is a very important holiday for Americans, for some it means remembering those who have given their ALL for our freedoms. Sadly for others it means BBQ and being outdoors in the fresh spring air. I am reminded that during all the wars that Americans have fought in, “All gave some, some gave ALL!” The family members who are left behind to grieve, remember that. So, today my husband and I put up our two American flags to show any passersby that we remember the sacrifice of others for what we often take for granted. We went out to stalk asparagus in the ditches and came home with a fresh batch. Life is good.

My American friend, who is an economist, wrote the following earlier to her friends about what she has been doing as an election observer.

“So economic nerd thoughts on today: 1) we take so much for granted, like indoor plumbing and power. Schools in this town had indoor plumbing, the villages did not. 2) The average monthly income here is about 200 to 300 per month. We are paying our interpreter and driver over 300 dollars for four days work. No wonder they love elections! 3) gasoline (or benzine as they call it) is about 6 dollars per gallon-and we complain about 4 dollar gas ( and keep in mInd the average income above) 4) cars in Kyiv were Audi, Saab, Benz, and upward from there in price. Cars in Khmelnytsky were Honda, Kia, and the like. Cars in Slovuta (where we are stationed) are Lada (ancient Soviet brand) and in the villages it is bicycles, horses and walking. Net result of all this trivia-I am so very blessed and should be more grateful than I usually am. Lesson learned!”

Thankfully Ukraine got the right person to do the job the first time around. If it had been under 50%, they would have had to go through more uncertainty and waiting for a second election again. I am glad they have the former boxer as mayor of Kyiv. Time is of essence for all the new leaders in Ukraine. I am glad my friend is safe, here is what she wrote:

Happy Memorial DAy and thanks to all my family that have served!

I have spent two full days touring the villages of west central Ukraine and it is interesting to see a monument to soldiers in EVERY one of them. One SMALL village of about 700 adults had a multiple memorials to the 200 plus + lost in WWII.
More economic and farming reflections tomorrow. Tonight I am just tired after two days of little sleep, rough roads, trying to think in another language!

So, that is what I am thinking today, I know it is far removed from anything having to do with Kazakhstan. However, Ukraine wants peace and so does KZ and also the US. Too much blood has been shed already.

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