Archive for the Category Nora’s notes



We speak very little Russian. When we go to restaurants it is hard to read the menu, on the street we can not read the signs, at the store we can not understand the food labels, but mostly we can not talk to Ukrainians very easily. There is a huge language barrier for us, and the Ukrainians. And when we can break through it, it is thrilling. I went with my mom (and a translator) to Kyiv’s main square and interviewed people there about what they thought about the candidates for president. It was a great language break through. I love coming along to those types of interviews. You get to hear what the normal people that you see on the street everyday in Kyiv think. It is really interesting and fun.

Pavlov&NoraIt is sometimes fun to try to use my Russian to communicate with people who do not speak English. I bet I sound silly but as long as I am understood, it is fine. My once a week violin lessons for instance. My violin teacher knows just as much English as I know Russian, so it is pretty even. He loves to learn new words in English and I like to learn new Russian words. I’m always learning. He pronounces many things wrong, but I can still understand, and I bet I do that too.

Once our family was in a restaurant and we were looking at things on the menu and trying to figure out what they meant, (we forgot the dictionary) when a couple came over and tried to help us. We could not understand what they meant when they said “Chicken head.” Finally we figured out they meant eggs. That sort of thing comes up a lot and it is amusing. We like living here because it is so interesting. Even though it is frustrating trying to communicate when you do not know the language, it can also be very entertaining.

Nora’s Trip to Crimea

This fall my class flew to a village in Crimea called Koktebel. Koktebel is in South-Eastern Crimea. We swam in the Black Sea, and ran along the beach. We also visited a mosque, museums, a water park, a dolphin show, and toured the Sudak Fortress. My favorite thing that we did on the trip was have dinner at a Tatar house. There we danced, sang, and got a chance to play piano or sing for each other. We had a lot of fun in Koktebel. I recommend visiting there if you get a chance.

Independence Day distractions

Ukraine turned 18 today, and the center of Kyiv filled up with crowds looking for a good time. There was music, costumes, and a lineup of armored vehicles. But we found our eyes drawn to something else. Call us shallow, but we couldn’t stop looking at the astounding shoes on display in this city. So Nora and Molly started snapping pictures. Below, in slide show format, we present some of Kyiv’s finest footwear.