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відволікатися особи були введені 29/08/2011

Posted by brendan in Avions, Trains et Voitures, Bienvenue à la Semaine de Fonctionnement, Leçons Culturelles.
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Where Is The NGO?

Number 28 Khreschatyk sits recessed from the main drag, cresting steps from where you can watch proselytizing acolytes and aging sleaze drip hair gel on teenage girls. Innumerable entries open into foyers where suspicious citizens watch silently, ignorant to western rules of eye-contact.

These troubles failed to impress Alexa, who no doubt finds the doorway of Children of Chornobyl Relief and Development Fund as unique and distinguished as the people making a difference inside their one-room office. Distracted faces were introduced and I wondered which of these women had been victimized repeatedly by my increasingly frantic phone calls. No one had the energy to stand and slap me across the face.


A minor miracle had chased Janice and I the two blocks from our shelter. The text message from Irina informing us her father declined my invitation to reminisce about good times was followed by a call from our SFSU attending acquaintance. He had suddenly remembered meeting an American of Ukrainian extraction who worked for a local charity.

CCRDF helps kids in need of medical care. I was a kid in need of doctors, patients or anyone in between who could talk to me about Chornobyl. Alexa explained that her organization arranges equipment for hospitals and that her connections were administrative. No clinic radiologists hid in her rolodex. No oncologists administering the touch of God to the northern oblasts. No epidemiologists studying birth defects in orphanages. She did have a book, a compilation of extracts from a myriad of studies focusing on long-term exposure to radiation.

People pay good money for copies of this book. According to eyewitness accounts I laughed in her face.


The rudder had snapped. We drifted past Lenin entrenched on a traffic island splitting Boulevard Taras Shevchenko into opposing forces and allowed eastbound traffic to pull us along. Our wandering deviations scaled the heights of Kyiv’s founding, history peeling back like onion layers. Exhausted apartments shed pastel paint leaned on the stout shoulders of concrete communist hangovers. Shimmering glass and steel rocketed earthward, the shockwaves of impact scorching the surrounding land. Trash choked courtyards of abandoned buildings where broken windows and spraypaint became plate glass displays of luxury, of perfume, of haute cuisine.

Homegrown urban planning had been excoriated by Ivan during the previous day’s brief guided tour. Buildings are left to deteriorate until uninhabitable then soaked in decay while vandals and time breeze through splintering frames. Rehabilitation is impossible, the structures now a hazardous public nuisance which must be torn down. And so room is made for new shopping centers, cookie-cutter condos and lucrative contracts. No competition to China’s growth revisionism, but the same conclusion awaits.

We Find Her Postcard

Janice pulled an old Soviet postcard from her bag. This immense expanse of brickwork, untroubled by the trees and concessions which normally grow in every vacant inch of urban terrain, is St. Sophia’s Square. Ripped and torn, thirsty and hot, nothing to do but stare across the emptiness. Bohdan Khmelnytsky, the Cossack leader who freed Ukraine from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth only to sign everything away to the czars, offered a seat in his shadow.

We stared across the emptiness.



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