Another trip to Poland

Trip Start Mar 02, 2003
Trip End Jul 04, 2005

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Flag of Poland  ,
Tuesday, October 5, 2004

I made what I think will probably be my last trip to Poland during Peace Corps service a couple weeks ago. My mom flew in to see her mom, and so I took the opportunity to take the fancy train and hang out in the "west" for a week. It was a very necessary trip away from Kyiv and a good break from work. Take a look at the pictures - my friend Devon (who lives in Lutsk) came out for the weekend and we all went down to Zakopane. It was a great trip, as usual, and this time is was a little odd to think that next time I go to Krakow it'll probably be after I finish this Peace Corps gig. How time flies!

I've been very busy lately with work organizing a large PDM (Project Design and Management) workshop for the three oblasts in which CRDP (Chornobyl Recovery and Development Program) operates. It's going to be huge! I've been working on the terms of reference and logistics with a couple of my coworkers. Hopefully we'll be able to stage it during the first three weeks in November. One workshop per week per oblast. Ironically, this also happens to be the time that I'll be travelling in India. Tee hee. I feel slightly bad about not being here for the big event, but for the time being I'm pulling more than my weight organizing this thing. We're hoping to train around 350 people from the various program villages. I hope that it's beneficial for them - I know when I took part in a similar training it helped me a lot in understanding how to take a project from start to finish successfully - I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Also, my first environmental resource center project is really coming around. I organized a large round-table meeting in Chernihiv (north-east of Kyiv) a couple weeks ago. Now I've mobilized 14!! different NGOs that work with environmental issues to coordinate and work cooperatively on organizing this particular project. It's such a good feeling to be able and create something like this center. I have a lot of days working at UNDP when I don't feel very "volunteer-like" but for the past several weeks I've been working my tail off and achieving really positive results. However, I still can't say that I'm currently a typical PCV - but feel very happy with the work I'm doing. I can't wait to go to the opening ceremony of this environmental resource center. I just hope I'm still in-country when the opening takes place. With my luck it'll probably happen after I have my COS (close of service).

Well, that's a short update about work. I wish I could talk about more interesting things associated with work, but most days I spend typing up quarterly reports, researching, and coordinating with our regional staff. Nothing extraordinary about that...

But, just like in spring, Kyiv is beautiful in the fall. The leaves are turning, and the chestnuts are falling from the trees. It's gotten quite cold quite quickly, but I'm enjoying the brisk morning walks to work, and the appearance of pumpkins in the markets. The theatre and opera season have started again, and I can go to concerts and shows for less the $5. There are definitely benefits to living in this big city -- and I'm extra lucky to be able to spend some time in the village as well.
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