Ukraine update

I’m not updating any specifics on social media as I did last year in Iraq. Work has informed us not to post details of our work on social media many clever Ukrainians and DPR (Russia backed separatists) troll social media to get information.

The only tough part about life these days is trying to find an apartment in a very small Ukrainian town. We are the only ‘hub’ in the East who are allowed to live outside of hotels in apartments. The town is quiet. Our team is around 80 persons, though we don’t all work together as people patrol on different days. So far, my days are easy. We drive to 1-2 specific areas and interview community members, mayors, local government, police, etc re: the conflict and how they are affected in terms of humanitarian aid,(food, water and medicine), basic infrastructure (electricity, water) and political dynamics of the village (i.e.: who is siding with Ukraine, who favors the separatists). The other day we met with a mayor who then led us to the main school to meet with the principal. We hung out with the students who were excited to practice their minimal English. They were very excited to meet an American and about 10 teenagers asked me to pose for a photo with them (for the Ukrainian version of Facebook). 

Very sweet.

Things are quiet. Not the same hectic pace as last year in Iraq. I just hope i can find a place to live soon — hotel life sucks. I miss cooking.

I’ve never lived in a place that has literally zero English. Even in remote parts of Iraq, many spoke fantastic English (very well educated population).


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